Top Brands and Respected Leaders will Present and Exhibit at the New York City Franchise Show
Anyone who says one person can’t change the world never met Rafael Alvarez. The accomplished entrepreneur vows to create more opportunities for Latinos in franchising, and he’s laser-focused on his mission. According to 2020 Census data, 62.1 million Hispanics live in the United States and represent 18.9 percent of the total U.S. population. “But they barely have a presence in franchising. There is a serious disconnect here,” he says. “It’s time for change.”
Although Alvarez is small in stature, he has a huge presence and a monumental vision. He plans to bring the Latino community to the forefront of franchising, and he’s well on the way. In addition to founding and launching ATAX, the first-ever Latino-focused tax preparation franchise, he has given rise to the Latino Franchise Association (LFA), a membership-based organization with a mission to promote, support, and expand franchising in the Latino community.
Making History with Franquicias Fest
Next week, LFA will open the doors to Franquicias Fest, a franchise trade show, conference, workshop and networking event for the Latino community. The event starts on August 4th at New York City’s Marriot Marquis Hotel. In addition to attracting Latino franchise seekers from the New York metro area, franchise enthusiasts from around the country and the world are expected to attend. Alvarez has poured his time, energy, passion and personal resources into making this a success. “Franquicias Fest is by far the biggest and most comprehensive Latino franchise expo in the U.S. We are making history.”
Alvarez has called upon the top players in franchising to exhibit and present at Franquicias Fest. Well-known brands will be on display, and respected franchise leaders will present to and educate attendees about every aspect of franchising.
Franchise Brands at Franquicias Fest
Choice Hotels International was one of the first brands to sign on with Franquicias Fest. “We see big things coming from the Latino Franchise Association,” says Alexander Montoya-Valdez, Emerging Markets Director for the Latino and Hispanic markets of the global hotel franchise, which has 22 hotel brands under its umbrella. “Latinos own less than half a percent of hotels in the U.S. They don’t even know it’s possible to invest in your own hotel franchise. This is a ripe vine that needs picking. We want to give Latinos a seat at the table.” Valdez and other representatives from Choice Hotels International will exhibit and speak at Franquicias Fest. Valdez, whose job is to identify Latino leaders for franchise ownership, couldn’t be more excited about the event and admires Alvarez for his trailblazing effort. “He is a special person with an unbridled passion for franchising and opening the doors for people. My goal is to be like him.”
Fast food giant Burger King will also be exhibiting. “At Burger King, we take great pride in our diverse community of franchisees, team members, and valued guests within the Latino and other vibrant communities. We’re honored to be part of Franquicias Fest, hosted by the Latino Franchise Association. We eagerly anticipate making new connections and partnerships within the franchise community at Franquicias Fest,” says Kristina Olivera, Franchising and Business Development at Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King.
Franquicias Fest presents a great opportunity for learning. It will feature 25 educational panels, four break-out rooms, plus a main stage with guest speakers. Among them, franchise pro Ericka Garza will represent IFA’s Hispanic Latino Franchise Leadership Council, an affinity group operating under the IFA Foundation’s Diversity Institute. “Our council is dedicated to promoting and nurturing franchise opportunities for Latino entrepreneurs by fostering awareness, facilitating access, and providing valuable resources.” Garza serves as Chair of the Council and has held leadership roles with top franchise brands.
Garza will be participating in two panels at Franquicias Fest. One discusses the significant contributions and opportunities that Hispanic and Latino individuals bring to the franchise industry, and another focuses on the importance of women in franchising. “I look forward to discussing the significant contributions and opportunities that Latino individuals bring to franchising and ways to promote gender diversity and create more opportunities for women in franchising.”
With more than 5 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, Garza believes that the entrepreneurial spirit is strong within the Latino community. “The Latino community’s significance for franchising is immeasurable. Embracing their diversity and entrepreneurial spirit yields mutual benefits for franchises and the community. Empowering Latinos in franchising fosters economic growth, job creation, and positive community development, fueling a cycle of prosperity.”
Franchising represents a brighter future for Latino business owners, the true unsung American heroes.Rafael Alvarez
Franquicias Fest Agenda
Franquicias Fest has a jam-packed agenda with amazing panels and discussions featuring respected franchising leaders. These include, “Franchising 101: How to Buy a Franchise” led by Dr. John P. Hayes, Titus Chair for Franchise Leadership Director of the Titus Center for Franchising. Emiliano Jöcker, senior consultant at iFranchise Group will be speaking on “How to Franchise Your Business.”
Franquicias Fest Activities
Alvarez vows to make Franquicias Fest unforgettable and has gone all out with opportunities to network and have fun throughout the three-day event. On Thursday, August 3, Franquicias Fest will host a golf tournament with a barbeque lunch at the Dunwoodie Golf Course in Yonkers. A salsa band will perform on the conference floor after the first day of expo events on Friday, August 4th.
Friday night, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, the LFA will host Yacht Fiesta, where guests will be treated to amazing views of New York City, plus food and merengue music from the popular New York group Oro Solido. “Us Latinos love to party. This is going to be a great time,” Alvarez says. Registration is open to all of the events while space allows.
With the initial success and interest in Franquicias Fest, Alvarez plans to bring the Latino-focused franchise expo to cities across the country. “People who want to embrace franchising and diversity will want to go to Franquicias Fest. Franchising represents a brighter future for Latino business owners, the true unsung American heroes,” Alvarez says.