Who We Are
Michael J. Webster, Chair of the Strategic Committee, is an attorney, an academic and businessman. He obtained his Ph.D. in choice theory from the University of Waterloo in 1988 and his external examiner was A.K. Sen, who is the Nobel Prize winner in Economics.
His JD in Law is from the University of Toronto, 1994.
Mr. Webster was a member of the AAFD's Fair Franchising Standards Committee from 2002 through to 2009.
Joe Caruso is an experienced franchise executive, who is focused on franchisor profitability and until level economics.
Mr. Caruso has been a senior franchisor executive in Hardees, Mrs. Field's, Diedrich Coffee, Checkcare, LoveSac, and Kiddie Academy. Focused on franchise development, sales, real estate and construction
Mr. Caruso puts in place durable and sustainable systems which ensure growth and compliance with Federal and State Laws.
Joe has capital intensive franchising experience with restaurant and non-restaurant concepts with per unit project costs ranging from $400,000 - $3,000,000+ and the proven skills for recruiting financially qualified high net worth franchisees, new unit development and managing franchise systems.
Mr. Caruso’s current endeavors include independent consultant, producer of the highly regarded Franchise Today Show, and President of the Capital Area Franchise Association, based in the Washington D.C/ Baltimore area.
Connnect with Joe
Eric Karp serves as counsel to numerous franchisee associations in such chains as McDonald’s, Choice Hotels, Popeye’s Chicken, Cartridge World, TCBY Yogurt, Portable On Demand Storage, Fitness Together, 1-800 Radiators, Resort Maps, Colors on Parade, Massage Envy and DDIFO.
In that capacity, he provides a broad range of advice and guidance to the leadership of the associations on matters including the franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements and issues that affect the relationship between the franchisee community and the franchisor as well as vendors and suppliers to the system. He has represented franchisees throughout the country in a myriad of franchise issues including sales, purchases, relocations, remodels, transfers, defaults and terminations and lease issues.
He served on the Board of Directors of the American Franchisee Association (AFA) for ten years, was Chair of the AFA Model Responsible Franchise Practices Act Committee, was the principal author of the Model Act and served as the Program Chair of the 1999 AFA Franchisee Legal Symposium. Mr. Karp was a member of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD), a member of its Fair Franchising Standards Committee and was Co-Chair of the AAFD 17th Anniversary Conference and Franchisee Leadership Summit in 2009. In 2006, Mr. Karp served on the Nominating Committee of American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, was Editor-In-Chief of The Franchise Lawyer from 2008 to 2010 and now serves on the Forum’s Governing Committee.
Since 1996 Mr. Karp has served on the Franchise Project Group of the Franchise and Business Opportunities Committee of the North American Securities Administrators Association. He has five times been a presenter at the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, twice at the International Franchise Association Legal Symposium and an active participant in the decade long debate over the revision of the Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise Disclosure Rule. Mr. Karp is a graduate of Boston University and Boston University School of Law. He is member of the American, Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations.
Mark Zuckerman is the past Chair of the Board of the Meineke Dealers Association. The Meineke Dealers Association was formed in the early 90′s to organize Meineke dealers as an independent group to work together to address our concerns with Meineke Corporate. The Dealer Advisory Council (DAC), originally created by Meineke, had not proven effective and had no real input concerning Meineke policies.
By unifying the dealers, an Association was created that could influence Meineke Corporate policy. The Association also provided a forum for dealers to resolve issues and discuss current challenges facing the organization and the dealers.
Dealers were organized into districts represented by an elected, voting member who sat on the Board. The executive advisory committee did not vote on issues and only dealt with the day to day running of the organization. All of these officers and board members were volunteers and, in many cases, spent their own money to support the Association. Dues of $50 per shop were assessed and vendor support was obtained to further the Association’s activities. The Association Newsletter was developed during this time.
Jeff LeFleur is the President of the National Bread Network, a national independent Franchisee Association of Canada Bread (Maple Leaf) Franchisees. Canada Bread has a total of 900 Franchisees currently across the country.
National Bread Network has identified six important Franchisee needs, that when amended will improve the success and profitability of the Canada Bread franchised system.
1. Health and Safety of Franchisees
2. 90 Day amendment clause removal from Agreements
3. Increase contract term above 3 years
4. Allow for multi-unit Franchisees
5. Fair Compensation for time/intensity efforts
6. Food Safety analysis to protect consumer safety
The franchise system has not allowed for the franchise network to evolve with changing market demands and the identified issues above are an obstacle that decreases the value of Canada Bread and Maple Leaf Foods for shareholders and Franchisees.
Jeff also operates a Canada Bread franchise in London Ontario
Original Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director - Steve Ellerhorst (Deceased May 2011)
Steve Ellerhorst was a Hardee's employee for 20 years and then a franchisee for about 10 years.
He helped form the IHFA and put together the website that they currently have at www.ihfa.com.
He worked with the IHFA for about 8 years, on the Steering Committe and
subsequently on the Board until he sold his restaurants in about 2000.
From 2000 -2008, Ellerhorst was the Executive Director of IHFA.
He worked briefly with the NFA which is the Burger King Association and then took a job with the Curves Franchisee Association.
Steve was the guiding light for the creation of the IAFD.