The Diversity Institute Welcomes New Board Members
The Diversity Institute Board is charged with promoting and fostering diversity and inclusion within the franchise community. The institute serves as the home for the International Franchise Association and the Educational Foundation’s diversity programs – education, research, scholarships and liaisons with national organizations. The institute stands ready to provide information to assist IFA members in expanding their diversity recruitment and marketing efforts at all levels – franchisees, employees, suppliers and consumers.
Christopher Arnett joins the Diversity Institute Board from Choice Hotels International where he serves as the senior director of franchise management. Arnett came to Choice Hotels in 2001 following eight years with Musselman Hotels and previously served as the director, brand management and strategy and brand performance consultant.
In 2009, Arnett received Choice Hotels International’s Humanitarian Award for his commitment to corporate social responsibility, in part due to his efforts within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. Arnett formed a steering committee that helped establish the company’s first employee resource group for GLBT Associates, Choice PRIDE, and served as the president from 2008 to 2010. The group’s purpose is to help create and maintain a supportive work environment that allows GLBT employees to contribute to their fullest potential and increase business profit.
Arnett worked with the steering committee to identify a nonprofit that served homeless GLBT youth and connected the charity to Choice Hotels International Foundation to receive contributions.
Arnett earned his business administration degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. with dual emphasis in hospitality and finance.
John C. Draper
John C. Draper was recently appointed to serve a two-year term on the Diversity Institute Board. Draper is the president of Restaurant Operations for V&J Holding Companies, Inc. and has served in that capacity since April 2007. He hails from Detroit and has more than 42 years of retail and operational management experience.
Known as “JD”, Draper has been an integral part of the global success for V&J Holdings Companies, Inc., since 1994. With a keen ability to multi-task and develop “right teams,” Draper has mastered the art of multi-brand/multi-marketing retail management. He currently has direct responsibility for 62 Pizza Huts, 30 Burger Kings, 24 Auntie Anne’s, six Coffee Beanerys and two Haagen Daz Shops that collectively operate in six states: Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. In addition, Draper oversees the training and development of more than 4,000 team members.
Draper has received numerous honors attesting to his management abilities, including Pizza Hut’s Cheese Head Award for outstanding operations and its Coaching Award for superior leadership in the brand. Leading the day-to-day operations, he is charged with inspiring the energy and enthusiasm that casts a positive leadership shadow over the organization.
Draper has been a key player in the organization’s growth and operating success. Prior to bringing his style of leadership to V&J, he served as a franchisee, vice president of operations and a company district manager with Burger King for 20 years. Draper attended Wayne State University in Detroit and majored in business administration. He is also involved in a wide variety of community and philanthropic organizations. He enjoys sports and “tries” to play racquetball and golf.
Karen Powell, CFE
Karen Powell, CFE, is no stranger to the franchise community or to IFA. As the CEO of Decor&You, Powell wears many hats across many brands and has added the title of chief relationship officer for Franchise Source Brands International.
Powell co-founded Decor&You in the 1994, and after careful consideration, began franchising in the male-dominated field in 1998. The idea to franchise grew from her prior career as a business educator. That background inspired Powell to create the DecorPlan System and the StylePrint Design System which served as the organization’s roadmap to sell, create and manage decorating projects.
Powell is also a member of the Educational Foundation’s ICFE Board of Governors and IFA’s Board of Directors. A champion of women in business, Powell served two terms on IFA’s Women’s Franchise Committee. She also holds membership in the Entrepreneurial Women’s Network, Women Empowered by Business, National Association of Women’s Business Owners, National Home Furnishings Association, Southbury Business Association and the Window Coverings Association of America, to name a few. Franchising runs deep in the Powell household as she is married to Terry Powell, CFE, the CEO of numerous successful franchises.
Diversity Institute BOARD of DIRECTORS 2013-2014
Joe Bourdow, CFE
The Cola-Cola Company
First Vice Chairman
Earsa R. Jackson, CFE
Strasburger & Price
Second Vice Chairwoman
Choice Hotels International
Ron Berger, CFE
Figaro’s Italian Pizza, Inc.
Joe Devereaux, CFE
Domino’s Pizza LLC
John C. Draper
V&J Holding Companies
Stan Friedman, CFE
Ron Harrison, CFE
Harrison & Associates
Bankers One Capital
Lynette McKee, CFE
McKeeCo Services , LLC
David Messenger, CFE
The ServiceMaster Company
Karen Powell, CFE
Steve Romaniello, CFE
Roark Capital Group