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Mary Ann O’Connell Named Crystal Compass Recipient

Mary Ann O’Connell, CFE, the founder of FranWise, a franchise‐consulting firm, was named by the International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee to receive the Crystal Compass. It signifies outstanding leadership and was bestowed during the association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

“I am not one who follows mottos or quotes, but I believe a good leader tells the truth, makes good on promises and supports others so they can do their work,” O’Connell responds when asked about her leadership style.

O’Connell began her franchising career 30 years ago as Money Mailer’s first franchisee. She was then hired as the company’s vice president of franchise support services.  As part of the Great Clips, Inc. executive staff, she helped launch two major markets (Los Angeles and San Diego) and took over the supported emerging Nevada market and oversaw mature markets in Arizona and Utah.

As a consultant, she has worked with major brands, as well as new concepts and the top professionals in the world of franchising.  She and FranWise focus on: strategic planning related to franchise conversion, franchise operations, process and procedure, compliance, manuals and training.

O’Connell is active at IFA, which includes chairing the WFC and frequently contributing to IFA with articles and presentations.  Her association involvement includes serving on the 2015 and 2014 Convention committees, Franchise Business Network Committee, Membership Committee, Supplier Forum Advisory Board and acting as the Southern California Women’s Franchise Network co-founder and as New Member ambassador during IFA Annual Conventions.

Active in the community, O’Connell serves on the steering committee of the Share Our Selves Adopt-A-Family Christmas program, which serves 1,500 families and 6,000 children.  She is secretary of the Costa Mesa Democrats Club and a member of the Costa Mesa Charter Government Committee.  Other community involvement has included serving as a Big Sister for four years, a construction crew leader for Habitat of Humanity in Orange Co., Calif. and secretary of the Costa Mesans 4 Responsible Government.

She holds a bachelor’s of art degree from the State University of New York in Geneseo.


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