Inspiration and advice for female franchise leaders
To learn how women can succeed at the highest levels in franchising , we asked women at the top of their brands ( or in one case , 11 brands ) how they arrived at their leadership positions . Each acknowledged that when they started out in franchising , they were as nervous and uncertain as the young women who approach them today with questions , seeking advice , friendship , or mentorship . Let ’ s begin with the different ways they got where they are today .
One way is to be the daughter of a franchise company founder ( clearly not for everybody ). Four are daughters of founders : Melanie Bergeron , whose mother founded Two Men and a Truck after her two sons started a summer moving business , is now chairwoman of the brand and was 2015 chairwoman of the IFA ; Dina Dwyer-Owens , who was thrust unexpectedly into a leadership role at The Dwyer Group following the untimely death of her father , Don Dwyer , Sr ., is now co-chair of the $ 1.5 billion company ; Barbara Moran-Goodrich , whose father founded the automotive repair and aftermarket company she now leads , Moran Family of Brands ; and Christine Specht , whose father and uncle founded Cousins Subs .
Another is to found a franchise company yourself . Two did just that : Shelly Sun , who founded BrightStar Care with her husband J . D . in 2005 ; and Shane Evans , who founded Massage Heights with her husband Wayne in 2004 .
A third path is to start out as a franchisee and work your way up . After leaving the U . S . Marine Corps , Mary Kennedy Thompson , chief operating officer at Dwyer Group , began her career in franchising in 1994 as a Cookies by Design franchisee . She spent 6 years as president of the brand before coming to Dwyer as president of Mr . Rooter in 2006 . In July 2015 she was promoted to her current position .
And finally , join a franchise brand and work your way up . Meg Roberts began her career in the advertising industry and moved into franchising at Molly Maid in 2007 as director of marketing . In 2008 , she was promoted to vice president of marketing , and in 2012 became president .
We asked them to tell their stories , provide practical , how-to advice for women who look up to them as role models of success , and perhaps throw in a dash of inspiration while they were at it .
Speaking for franchising “ I ’ ve never seen a more exciting time in my 12 years in franchising , never seen more women in leadership roles ,” says Shelly Sun , CEO of BrightStar Care . She points not only to her role as IFA chairwoman this year , but also to other women on the IFA ’ s executive committee : Catherine Monson , CEO of Fastsigns International , secretary of the IFA , and Franchisor Forum chairwoman ; Mariana Huberman , a UPS Store franchisee and chairwoman of the Franchisee Forum ; and Mary Ann O ’ Connell , founder of FranWise and first vice chairwoman of the Supplier Forum .
“ We ’ re also seeing more new faces of women in leadership positions at large brands appointed to the board ,” she says , referring to Karen Satterlee , vice president and senior counsel , global franchise development for Hilton Hotels .
Sun also points to the growing numbers of young women entering franchising , for example as entrants in the NextGen Global Competition , including the 2017 grand prize and FranShark winner , Jennifer Turliuk , founder of MakerKids , which runs programs on robotics , coding , and Minecraft for 8- to 12-year-olds . “ I think you see women at the youngest ages who are just now starting their foray into franchising and competing on a pretty large stage with lots of applicants , men and women , who are being singled out as best of the best and are getting their opportunity for scholarships and other assistance to help their businesses get to the next level ,” she says .
Sun says she ’ s also seeing more women leading franchise businesses at industry events she ’ s attended just in the past year , whether it ’ s FranConnect ’ s event in Mexico , Franchise Update ’ s Leadership & Development Conference , or the IFA Convention . “ In recent years I ’ m seeing more women actively involved in franchising ,” she says . “ I think you ’ re seeing this across franchisees , franchisors , and suppliers .” And at this year ’ s Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp , she estimated that 25 to 30 percent of the attendees were women founders and entrepreneurs of franchise brands .“ I think that ’ s really cool and exciting ,” she says .
“ You see women in positions of leadership really contributing in their own businesses , but also contributing to the