Franchise Update Media: IFA Recognizes Franchisees with Open for Opportunity Awards - Open for Opportunity


By Kerry Pipes

This article originaly appeared on on October 5, 2022. Read the full piece. 

A year after launching its Open for Opportunity campaign, the IFA recognized 16 franchise owners and business leaders with its first-ever Open for Opportunity Awards. The recipients were chosen for the impact their work has had on their community and employees, as well as their efforts to spread the message of the opportunities created by the franchise business model.

“These individuals represent some of the best of franchising, demonstrating how the work they do contributes to every local community and the individuals within,” said Erica Farage, vice president of political affairs and grassroots advocacy for the IFA. “Their participation in Open for Opportunity has helped spread the message that these local businesses contribute to a stronger society and improve the lives of workers and communities alike, and this work will have a lasting impact on the franchise business model and the people they serve.”

The Open for Opportunity campaign has focused on the way franchising contributes to four pillars: workforce, veterans, community, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The recipients were selected based on their participation in the campaign and their individual commitment to the betterment of the lives around them through their work in franchising.

Here is the full list of recipients:

  • Ruth Agbaji, Code Wiz
  • Jerry Akers, Great Clips
  • Ellen Bryant Brown, Hope Rising Child Learning Center
  • Steve Danon, Restaurant Brands International
  • Clint Ehlers, Fast Signs PA
  • Leslie Fields, Authority Brands
  • Ericka Garza, Au Bon Pain
  • Joe Johnson, Interim Healthcare
  • Alex Johnson, Cinnabon
  • Tamra Kennedy, Taco John’s
  • Devon Mitchell, DSN Corporation/Anytime Fitness
  • Scott Nowak, Hilton
  • Tracy Panase, Just Between Friends Franchise System
  • Andri Purkanto, Brightstar Care
  • Gary Robins, SuperCuts
  • Jyoti Sarolia, Ellis Hospitality
  • Lori Shaffron, Rita’s Italian Ice
  • Richard Snow, WSFS Bank
  • Cheryl Stanton, BrightStar Care
  • Carolyn Thurston, Wisdom Senior Care
  • Clement Troutman, Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  • Azim Saju, HDG Hotels
  • Joe Lindenmayer, CA Closets
  • Shelly Sun, President and Co-Founder of BrightStar
  • Daniel Price, President of BrightStar Care of Leesburg