In this , our 4th Annual Women ’ s Issue , we decided to look at women in the C-
suite — but not presidents and CEOs , as we ’ ve done in the past . Instead , we ’ ve focused on the female leaders who operate behind the scenes , out of the spotlight — but whose roles are indispensable to a franchise system ’ s ongoing success . From Chief Legal Officers and Chief Operating Officers to Chief Financial Officers and Chief Marketing and Brand Officers and more , this year we ’ re shining a spotlight on 28 of these women . In fact , we had to scratch two from our list because they were promoted to president or CEO in the short time we compiled the list !
It ’ s no surprise these women have risen to the top . They have the talent , experience , know-how , and networks to get things done . I know how to recognize these traits because I have seen them in my own life and in other women I ’ ve worked with over the years .
One of them , Shelly Sun , founder of BrightStar Care , served as Chairwoman at our Franchise Leadership & Development Conference last fall . We met Shelly at one of these conferences about 10 years ago , when she was still a “ newbie ” at the company she co-founded with her husband J . D . I ’ ve watched her grow and blossom over the past decade , leading a steadily expanding brand , and now representing franchising as a whole as the 2017 – 18 Chairwoman of the IFA .
Congratulations to Shelly on making her vision real through relentless dedication , an insistence on quality , and passionate persistence . If I remember correctly , the year before she attended that first conference , she wrote and filed her operations manual and FDD while she was on doctor-ordered bed rest , pregnant with her twin boys . ( I ’ m sure some of our women readers have similar memories of simultaneously raising a family and building a company . I know I do .)
Elsewhere in this issue , our managing editor , Eddy Goldberg , has gathered words of inspiration and practical advice from eight of the “ Fabulous Females ” we ’ ve interviewed in our previous Women ’ s Issues , including Shelly . Their stories are rich with lessons , personal experiences , and the “ how ” of how they overcame personal and social barriers to rise to where they are today .
We also turned once again to our friends at FRANdata for some statistics on the C-suite women leading their brands . The list is ordered by total system units .
When we speak with female franchise leaders , many tell us that they rarely think about things in terms of gender , although they also acknowledge it can still be a factor as attitudes and perceptions are slow to change . Rather , they believe that their hard work and dedication got them where they are today , fair and square . I believe them . I ’ ve traveled that road myself .
As I ’ ve watched the franchising community continue to expand over the years I have seen time and again how hard work draws a reward , regardless of gender or background .
So as the percentage of women in leadership positions continues to rise , both within and outside of franchising , I encourage all of us to aspire to be the best we can . n
— Therese Thilgen , CEO , Franchise Update Media
update | Q1
CHAIRMAN Gary Gardner
CEO Therese Thilgen
EXECUTIVE VP OPERATIONS Sue Logan
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Diane Phibbs
VICE PRESIDENT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Barbara Yelmene
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVES Jeff Katis Judy Reichman
EXECUTIVE EDITOR Kerry Pipes
MANAGING EDITOR Eddy Goldberg
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Peter Tucker
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WEB DEVELOPER Don Rush
WEB PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Esther Foley
TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Juliana Foley
SENIOR SALES , EVENT & OPERATIONS SUPPORT MANAGER Sharon Wilkinson
DIRECTOR , EVENT OPERATIONS Christa Pulling
SENIOR MANAGER , EVENTS & PRODUCTION Katy Geller
FRANCHISEE LIAISON , SUPPORT COORDINATOR Leticia Pascal
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