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Jim Squire, CFE, Earns IFA Educational Foundation’s Highest Honor

Franchise education advocate receives William Rosenberg Leadership Award.

The International Franchise Association Educational Foundation’s highest honor, the William Rosenberg Foundation Leadership Award, was presented during IFA’s Annual Convention to Jim Squire, CFE, executive vice president and chief development officer of Firestorm.

The award is presented annually to “an individual who has made a significant contribution to franchise education, and to the IFA Educational Foundation, through research, teaching, fundraising, or other activities or service.”  The award was named to honor the memory of William Rosenberg, IFA founding chairman and Dunkin’ Donuts founder.

Jim Squire, CFE, executive vice president and chief development officer of Firestorm

Jim Squire, CFE, executive vice president and chief development officer of Firestorm

There is fitting history behind presenting the award to Squire in 2014. The first recipient, posthumously, was Arthur Karp, CFE, the co-founder of the Great American Cookies Company, who served as the first chairman of the IFA Educational Foundation. Squire worked as senior vice president for Great American Cookies.

Begining in the late 1980s, with the foundation, and later as founding chairman of the Institute of the Certified Franchise Executives, Squire worked alongside many of the industry leaders who have received this award.  These leaders included Karp (1990 IFA chairman), Bill Cherkasky, CFE (former IFA executive vice president 1995-1981), Gene Getchell (IFA 1991 chairman) Russell Frith, CFE (IFA 2003 chairman and treasurer 2005-2009), and Kathryn Morgan, CFE (special advisor to the foundation for education and research), among others.

“In the early years of the foundation, Jim was a stalwart supporter and proponent of more franchise education,” said Morgan.  In 1996, the association’s CFE program was reorganized under the foundation, and Squire served as the first chairman, Morgan added.  Squire played a critical role in working with other board members and an educational consultant to establish the requirements, quality controls and standards for the CFE program.

“Jim Squire’s leadership in the early years of the foundation has been critical to its mission and growth of the CFE program,” said Jerry Crawford, CFE, foundation board of trustees chairman and Jani-King International Inc. president.

“It’s truly wonderful that the foundation is recognizing Jim Squire this year as the CFE program celebrates 26 years of steady progress and 1,000 Certified Franchise Executives during the convention,” said Cynthia Gartman, CFE, Institute of Certified Franchise Executives chairwoman and IKOR USA Inc. president.  “Jim was among the first CFEs and has always urged us to make the CFE program bigger and better,” Gartman added.

“Jim Squire is a great example of a volunteer leader who is always asking how can we make the franchise industry stronger,” said Steve Caldeira, CFE, IFA president and CEO. “His work on the CFE program over the years is a testament to his commitment to raising the bar for all of us,” Caldeira added.

Prior to joining Firestorm, Squire was a senior executive with such well-known brands as the HoneyBaked Ham, Great American Cookies , Arby’s, Days Inn and Howard Johnson.

Squire has been a long-standing and active participant in the IFA. He is currently a member of the IFA Educational Foundation Board of Trustees, IFA’s Franchisor Forum, Franchise Congress and the Franchise Relations and Membership committees. Squire served as a member of the IFA board of directors from 1990 to 2001.

He is chairman of the Southeast Franchise Forum, chairman emeritus of the Georgia Restaurant Association, a member of Georgia State University’s School of Hospitality Industry Advisory Board and president of his Rotary Club.  He was named Georgia Foodservice Industry Leader of the Year in 1990, and honored in 2003 with the prestigious Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association Chairman’s Award.

Ed Foundation Logo301 Previous Foundation Leadership Award Recipients 

2013 – Phil Zeidman

2012 – Mike Roman, CFE

2011—Leonard Swartz, CFE

2010—Ron Harrison, CFE

2009—Irl Marshall (posthumously)

2008—Dick Rennick, CFE

2007—Sidney J. Feltenstein

2006—Russell J. Frith, CFE

2005—Kathryn Boe Morgan, CFE

2004—Lewis G. Rudnick

2003—Eugene Getchell, CFE

2002—William Cherkasky, CFE

2001—Arthur Karp

John Reynolds, CFE, is president of the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation.  Find him at

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