Outsiders might be surprised that people occupying some of the topmost positions – and supplying the skills, experience and drive responsible for much of franchising’s success right now – are female. Here come 21 women currently making their mark on this exciting industry.
With more than 15 years of industry experience in food service operations and domestic and international franchising, the Chief Operating Officer of Crest Foods Inc has experience that ranges from operations management and employee training to international sales. Under her direction, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip average unit volume has continued its positive sales growth.
Melanie Bergeron joined the family business TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in 1989. In 1994, Bergeron was named president. In 2002, she became COO and in January 2007, CEO. Bergeron believes that success requires strong staff training, strategic planning, a high level of integrity and giving something back to the community. Bergeron serves on the International Franchise Association's board of directors.
CEO and co-owner of Bottle & Bottega, Bigley is an experienced franchise operations executive with a proven track record of increasing revenues and profits through the implementation of growth strategies, business practices, and systems that create a sustainable competitive advantage. She is a driven, innovative and problem-solving leader focused on achieving strategic objectives.
Vice President of Franchise Development at Huddle House, Christina Chambers has helped establish more than 200 franchised locations and works passionately to support the franchising industry. She began her career in franchise development while still in college and has played an integral role in growing multiple national food and service brands.
Painting With A Twist was begun in 2007 by Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney and pairs instructional art with friends and wine. To date, there are 341 franchise locations. A core value is to focus on giving back, and so monthly fundraising events are held at all locations to raise funds that stay local.
Dina Dwyer Owens has more than 30 years experience in the franchise industry, and made two appearances on TV's Undercover Boss. Now co-chairwoman of Dwyer Group, she helps look after 12 brands with more than 2,600 franchise owners worldwide. In 2012, Dina launched the Dwyer Group Women in the Trades Initiative.
Shane Evans co-founded Massage Heights in San Antonio in 2004 and as President and COO, she is responsible for the company’s services, products and programs. Shane and her husband have built up a family-based business which has over 100 locations in the U.S and Canada and is now looking for a wider international roll-out.
Sherri Fishman has been generating high-level publicity on behalf of leading franchise concepts nationwide since 1984, and since 1991 has operated her own agency dedicated to servicing the franchising industry. Over the past two decades, this active advocate for women in franchising has achieved publicity results for hundreds of different franchise systems.
Cathryn Hayes QFP is franchise director of auto care company Revive! Previously head of franchising at HSBC and head of business support at the bfa, Cathryn has been a regular judge for the bfa HSBC Franchisor and Franchisee of the Year awards. She contributes articles to franchise press and presents at bfa seminars, conferences and exhibitions.
Mary Kay Liston was named president of Five Star Painting and ProTect Painters when Dwyer Group acquired them in 2015. This 10 year-old franchise is poised to grow, and its goal is to become the biggest residential and light commercial painting company in North America. Starting in TV, Liston began in franchising in 2003.
Scottish Chairperson of the British Franchise Association is Suzie McCafferty, QFP. Suzie is managing director of Platinum Waves, a franchise consultancy providing advice on franchising, international franchise business and franchisee recruitment. Her experience of building, developing and managing successful UK and international franchise operations over the last 17 years has earned her widespread recognition.
The CEO of global signage company Fastsigns International, Catherine Monson also does much work for the IFA, having been involved with the Women’s Franchise Committee, the Franchise Relations Committee, Franchise Business Network meetings and various IFA conventions. A recipient of the IFA’s Bonny LeVine Award, she is known for her mentoring leadership style.
Barbara Moran-Goodrich founded her automotive repair and vehicle accessory business with her father, Dennis, and now is CEO of a group which includes Mr. Transmission, Multistate Transmission, Dr. Nicks Transmission, Milex Complete Auto Care, Alta Mere Automotive Outfitters and Smartview Window Solutions. Barbara serves as Chair to the IFA's Franchise Relations Committee.
So who do you call if you are franchising in the Middle East? Dubai-based Melissa Murray would seem a good bet. Bird & Bird's partner and head of Commercial and IP practices in the Middle East, Melissa provides advice to international businesses on commercial, corporate and general litigation matters relating to their operations in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.
A franchise generalist with 30 years of experience as a franchisee, franchisor and franchise consultant, O'Connell was the inaugural franchisee for Money Mailer, Inc. As President of FranWise, the franchise consulting firm that launches new franchise concepts, she created franchise operations manuals and now helps emerging brands optimize their operations and franchise relations.
Farrah Rose has unrivalled experience in international franchising and has been operating in this field since 1984. Initially working for major corporations, Rose has been involved in international franchise management since 1984. She began advising businesses as a consultant in 1996 and has worked with over 300 brands, helping them to expand into global markets.
A highly accomplished executive with an extensive background in business development and operations, Sherri joined the franchise industry after 20 years in telecommunications. At FranFund, she is responsible for business development, strategic marketing planning, executive leadership, and developing strategies to grow market share.
Shelly Sun is Chair of the International Franchising Association. In 2001, difficulties in sourcing quality care for a close relative led to her creation of BrightStar Care in 2002. The company now boasts over 300 locations in the US and Canada and has its sights firmly fixed on overseas expansion.
As her company grows overseas, Tumelty brings international experience gained as President of the National Union of Students and political skills acquired while working for UK ex-Labour leader Ed Milliband to her present role as MD of The HR Dept, the outsourcing firm set up by her mother in 2002.
The bfa’s chief executive, Pip Wilkins has 18 years’ experience in the franchise sector, working her way up within the Association, in which she has held a number of senior positions. A passionate advocate for British franchising, Pip regularly speaks at events and seminars both domestically and internationally, as well as writing for national, local and franchise press.
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