Walega Will Use Her Skills and Experience to Mentor Female Entrepreneurs
Larisa Walega, vice president of marketing at Ziebart International Corporation, will now have a new platform to mentor female franchisees as Vice Chair of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Women’s Franchise Committee (WFC). With this position, she will help enhance specialty programs and resources provided by the WFC that allow female entrepreneurs to thrive. The group provides encouragement and support through conversation, events, and networking opportunities by sharing contacts, discussing industry opportunities and new ideas to promote female representation and participation in franchising. The committee has been mentoring and inspiring female entrepreneurs since 1996.
Throughout her 20-year career, Walega spent a lot of time focusing on franchising. Using her previous experience and knowledge of the industry, she looks forward to coming into her new role with the IFA and helping female franchise owners succeed.
“I am so grateful to the IFA and the Women’s Franchise Committee for their faith in me to lead the charge as the new Vice Chair. In this role, I will continue to mentor and support the innovative female voices in the franchising space. Using my personal experience, I hope to share my knowledge and encourage others to grow and succeed. To stand beside this talented group of women, who are incredibly passionate about what they do, is a dream come true,” she said in a statement.
From Advertising to Franchising
Walega got her start by managing accounts at some of the largest advertising agencies in the Detroit Metro area, such as Doner Advertising and Campbell Ewald. It wasn’t until 2009 that she entered franchising. She was hired by Ziebert, a car care solutions company, to oversee some of its franchised locations as a local store advertising and promotions manager. But it was her work on the national level that moved her into the role of a senior marketing manager. In this role, she expanded companies through a variety of new digital initiatives.
Today, Walega sets the tone for retail, franchise owner and employee branding, and franchise development as vice president of marketing. She is also a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) and received a certificate in marketing strategy from Cornell University.
Walega’s specialties include culture development and optimization, team building, coaching and management, creative development, consumer-focused research, advertising national and regional integrated strategy development, and more. All of these skills translate to a successful career in franchising.