Mothers and Sons in Franchising

Moms and Sons Franchising -Fishmans

These Franchise Pros Combined Their Favorite Things: Franchising and Family

Every mother wants their children to be happy and successful, and every franchise professional wants to share their love of the industry. When these things happen in unison, it’s nothing short of amazing for everyone involved. 

For Mother’s Day 2023, we talk to moms in franchising who have opened up the world of entrepreneurship to their sons, creating a strengthened relationship with a new shared interest. The moms and sons featured below feel blessed to work together and learn from each other. They share their experiences and offer advice for creating the ideal mother-and-son relationship in and out of franchising.

Sherri, Zack and Jake Fishman

Sherri, Zack and Jake Fishman
Sherri Fishman is the recipient of the 2023 IFA Bonny Levine Award, which recognizes women for their business and professional accomplishments within franchising and their contributions to society. The Fishman family from left to right: Brad, Sherri, Jake and Zack.

Franchise PR Pro Sherri Fishman always subscribed to the rule that children should not join the family business right out of college. “I believe it’s the smartest way for young grads to grow and mature in the working world,” she says.  “This rule provided them an amazing opportunity to navigate their own career path.”

Since Sherri’s sons Zack and Jake were small, they observed the exciting franchise industry through the lens of their parent’s company, Fishman PR. Sherri and her husband, Brad, launched the PR firm in 1991 and have grown it into a top agency in franchising. 

Zack joined the family business in 2019, after spending years with other companies in the industry. Jake entered the world of franchising right out of college, but he has yet to take on a full-time role in the family business. “In the end, don’t all mothers want their children to be happy and fulfilled? My wish was for my sons to love the world of franchising, and I’m beyond thankful that my wish has come true. Zack is doing what he loves, and Jake is doing what he’s passionate about. I’m one happy Momma!”

The Fishmans admit that they probably spend more time talking about franchising with each other than they should. “We often have long phone calls on the weekends and dinner discussions about the industry, but it’s something that none of us would replace for the world,” says Zack.

Jared and Makayla Seger

Jared and Makayla Seger

Jared Seger worked in construction before joining his mother in franchise consulting. He was impressed with her success in the industry and saw the tremendous opportunity to help her grow her business even further. “I remember him saying ‘Mom, I could help you. I get this,’” says Makayla. “He jumped in and started taking calls.” Within a few weeks, Jared closed his first deal, shut down his construction business and became a full-time consultant and partner with his mom.  

They enjoy bouncing ideas off each other and discussing franchising on a daily basis. “We check in and chat, motivate and support one another,” Jared says. Although they share a love for helping others through franchising, they each take a different approach to the business that benefits one another. Jared is continually learning from Makayla’s experience, while his adventurous side introduces her to brands she would never have considered on her own. “Over the years I have picked up many talents from my mom and I am grateful for it. I can put those talents to use while still being able to do things my own way,” he says.

Teri and James O’Donnell

Teri and James O’Donnell pose in front of waterfall

Although James O’Donnell is a relative newcomer to franchising, he has learned from his mother’s decades of experience in the industry. He uses it all the time in his work with HorsePower Brands’ marketing arm, Franchise Rocket. “I learn from my mom every single day,” he says. Constantly collaborating, the two love to discuss new franchise concepts. “I learn because she thinks out loud often,” he says.

Teri enjoys working with James because he challenges her to think outside the box. He helps her consulting business with marketing strategy, branding, and building digital assets and content. “I feel totally blessed! It’s so great to have this additional common connection with James. It’s so much fun speaking the same language in the same industry with my son,” Teri says.

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 25 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. As the editorial director of IFPG, she serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill helps franchisors spread the word about their brands and reports on the latest franchise news and trends. A skilled storyteller, Jill communicates franchisor’s messages through feature articles and franchisee interviews.

Jill is an accomplished writer, editor and graphic designer. Her extensive experience includes key roles with major consumer publications, including Boating, Popular Photography, and Design NJ magazines. As founding editor-in-chief of Franchise Dictionary magazine, Jill developed her passion and fascination for franchising which continues to grow in her role at IFPG.
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