The IFA Women’s Franchise Committee

re-opening a franchise system

This committee is dedicated to providing resources for women seeking career growth opportunities in franchising, including “how to” guides, mentoring conferences, and local networking chapters.

Formed in 1996, the Women’s Franchise Committee (WFC) is dedicated to inspiring and encouraging women in franchising by creating a network of business professionals dedicated to strengthening their successes. The mission of the Women’s Franchise Committee is to promote women’s participation in franchising by providing international networking opportunities for the exchange of ideas, resources, and experiences.

This committee is dedicated to providing resources for women seeking career growth opportunities in franchising and has created a number of programs and resources to achieve this goal, ranging from “how to” guides and mentoring conferences to local networking chapters.

The WFC produces the Annual Leadership Conference, held the day before the IFA’s Annual Convention. This conference welcomes men and women; the 2018 conference (on Saturday, Feb. 10) is themed “Leadership: The Formula for Success,” and will feature a keynote presentation from Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs, sharing his formula for success and what franchisors and franchisees need to do to be successful. Attendees will also hear from our “Brass Tacks Council,” a panel discussion made up of experienced senior-level franchise executives sharing insights, tools and best practices in leadership and business development.

Another extremely popular segment of this conference is the roundtable case study. During this portion, each table in the room has the opportunity to look into the problems facing, and offer solutions to, an unidentified IFA franchisor member. Then, the entire conference will hear from a representative of the company and learn exactly what steps were taken to solve real issues. The day will then be closed out with a networking reception.

Through this conference, attendees learn new skills, grow their network of contacts, and start lifetime friendships.

Since 2001, the WFC has proudly bestowed the honor of the Crystal Compass upon a successful leader in franchising. The award was established to recognize an IFA member who has made significant contributions to their franchise organization, the franchise community, or the community in which they live. Ultimately, it recognizes leadership. Past winners are Amy Cheng, Rosemarie Hartnett, Linda Shunk, Lorrie Rennick, Joyce Mazero, Melanie Bergeron, Lynette McKee, Beth Brody, Linda Burzynski, Cheryl Babcock, Brian Schnell, Saunda Kitchen, Dina Dwyer-Owens, Susan Black-Beth, and Marianne Murphy. These amazing men and women are well known in the franchising community for their all-encompassing knowledge of franchising, and for their willingness to share what they know with each of us.

Another initiative of the WFC is establishing Women’s Franchise Networks (WFNs) around the country. These local chapters are designed to develop relationships with women franchising professionals and to address issues, share ideas, and offer solutions on the local level.

The WFC creates the operating guidelines for establishing a local chapter and offers support in the form of personal phone calls, sample agendas, ideas for topics of discussion, and so much more. The first chapter was launched in May 2002 in Denver, and now includes nearly 20 active markets. Anyone interested in starting a chapter in their area may contact Andie Snider, IFA’s Director of Conferences, at to obtain more information.

The WFC is a committee interested in providing opportunities for busy women to get together and share their franchising journey. Deb Evans, President of Franchise Foundry, has donated her time and incredible knowledge of social media to create several Google Hangouts (found on YouTube) that focus on the initiatives of the committee and give us an opportunity to hear from resourceful, well-informed women in a “live” setting. Members of the committee are in touch throughout the year via phone calls and also attend two meetings, one in Washington D.C. during the Public Affairs Conference, and one just before the WFC Annual Leadership Conference.

If you are interested in receiving more information about this committee and/or joining the WFC, please contact Andie Snider, IFA’s Director of Conferences, at

Come join us!

For more information about IFA and franchising in general, visit the IFA’s website at

Headed by Managing Directors Michael Seid and Kay Ainsley, MSA Worldwide is the nation’s leading franchise consulting firm providing strategic advice and tactical services to established and emerging franchisors in the United States and internationally. MSA’s services include franchise program development, franchise relations strategies, franchise system expansion strategy, operation assessment and support, manuals and training programs, litigation and expert testimony. MSA has offices in Connecticut, California, Georgia and Minnesota. For additional information on MSA, please visit our web site at or call 860-523-4257.