Interview: Robert Cresanti, International Franchise Association

Interview: Robert Cresanti, International Franchise Association

Global Franchise meets with the president and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA)

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What does your role at the IFA involve?
RC: I serve as the president and CEO of the IFA, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. The business model has become a truly global phenomenon, spreading entrepreneurial opportunity, economic growth and the values of the small business community around the world. The economic, personal and supply chain ties bring communities closer together and build cooperation and understanding between people.

And, while this is undoubtedly an exciting time for franchising, it is also a time of growing challenges; vigilance and advocacy for the franchise business model remain at the core of IFA’s work. My job continues to be working to protect, promote and enhance the franchise business model, here in the U.S. and abroad.

What excites you most about working in the world of franchising?
Franchising combines the power of an international brand with the know-how and engagement that only local ownership can bring. I am continually amazed by the impact franchising has on a global scale and its positive world impact.

Our work through our IFA Foundation is truly inspirational. Whether it’s having a meaningful impact in a community by providing education, outreach, and networking around the opportunities in franchising through our Diversity Institute or connecting talented and patriotic veterans with so much to offer with franchise business ownership opportunities through our VetFran program, our Foundation showcases the best franchising has to offer.

It also has been incredible to see the community service work that franchise brands and local business owners bring to their local communities. IFA’s Franchising Gives Back Program highlights and recognizes the many ways that franchise businesses give back to their communities through charitable programs and community leadership. These programs amplify the best of what is, and what will be, in franchising.

How do you think other people would describe you?
As a kid, growing up near several American military bases in Germany teaches you a lot of key life lessons when you least expect it. Life was always changing, and you couldn’t predict anything. Because of that, I have the ability to adapt to different situations more easily. It prepared me to be ready for almost anything and that life should never standstill. Being exposed to a giant melting pot of cultures as a young person shaped my core values and people who spend time around me can see that in my personal and professional life.

Why should franchises become a member of the IFA?
RC: Education, networking, franchise growth, and advocacy. The IFA connects franchisors, suppliers and franchisees to a community of like-minded individuals looking to network, become more educated on franchising and support the franchise industry as a whole. Being a part of the IFA also connects you to a community of valuable partners with a variety of expertise that can be a great asset in growing your brand. While you are focused on growing your business, the IFA is focused on growing the industry.

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