International Franchise Association Receives Top Asae Honor for Veterans Transition Program (Vetfran)

The International Franchise Association (IFA) has earned the 2014 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its veterans transition Franchise Program (VetFran) and operation enduring opportunity (oeo) initiative.

OEO is a franchise industry-wide effort to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors through 2014. Since Veteran’s Day 2011, there have been over 151,000 veterans who have found career opportunities in the franchise industry, with nearly 5,200 becoming small business franchise owners, significantly surpassing our goals in both of these areas. The program is strongly supported by the First Lady and the White House
(where the IFA was honored in an East Room ceremony in April, 2013 or its ongoing and measurable efforts) Joining Forces Initiative, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their Hiring our Heroes program.

ASAE honored IFA for its efforts to support our nation’s veterans, which was the largest private sector veterans’ hiring commitment at the time of its launch. “Franchising provides an ideal structure  to enable returning veterans to become  productive participants in the U.S. economy,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE. “It is expected that in the next five years, over one million military veterans will be transitioning into civilian life. The franchise industry is well-positioned to support these veterans, and while we have far surpassed our goal, we will continue our steadfast efforts to help veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors achieve their dreams of business ownership.”

IFA’s VetFran was founded in 1991 by the late Don Dwyer, Sr. (USAF, Ret.), founder and chairman of The Dwyer Group, to support veterans returning from the Gulf War to ease their transition back into the civilian  economy. Today, VetFran includes over 650 IFA member companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership and/or a career path in franchising. The  program includes opportunities in employment, as well as business ownership through discounts, reduced royalties and credit for startup materials.

The Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign was launched in 2011 to support military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

VetFran strengthened the OEO by partnering with the U.S.  chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring our Heroes” program, supported by Capital One Bank. “We will continue our steadfast efforts to help veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors  achieve their dreams of business ownership”.

“Congratulations to IFA for benefiting not just their own industry or profession, but society at large,” said Paul Pomerantz, CAE, CEO of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and chair of the Power of A Awards  Judging Committee. “This year, our committee had an exceptionally strong group of entries to consider, and it’s  heartening to see so many organizations  excelling in their work.”

About the International Franchise Association The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA  works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs  nd  2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in  marketing, law and business development.

THE POWER OF A: Stronger by Association

ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, recognizes the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national, and global level. The Power of A Awards rewards outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals for their efforts to enrich lives, create a competitive work forces, prepare society for the future, drive innovation and make a better world.

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