Steve Ellerhorst Memorial Service


Steve Memorial.jpg

Steve Ellerhorst was a firm believer in the value and necessity of franchisee associations.  Steve's entire working life was spent in franchising: franchisor executive, franchisee operator and as a franchisee association leader. 

Steve, along with others in the Hardee's system, was instrumental in forming the Independent Hardee's  Franchisee Association. 

The  Independent Hardee's Franchisee Association exists today because of the foresight of Steve, his deep appreciation of the three different views and needs of the franchisee, franchisor, and supplier -and how to reconcile those needs within the business framework.

Steve was a master of finding great ideas, presenting them to the right person in the franchise system - then stepping out of the way so that person could get their necessary credit and applause.  He created the best audience for great ideas, which then got implemented because of the audience's enthusiasm.

Steve was also instrumental in the growth of a number of franchisee associations: the Meineke Dealers Association, the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers,  the Curves Association,  and the Coalition of Franchisee Associations.

Steve was also one of  the founders of the International Association of Franchisees and Dealers.

The IAFD is a testimonial to Steve Ellerhorst's grand vision of how franchisee associations exist to strengthen, help and promote the franchise brand through member benefits, communication, advocacy and education.

A great organizer, with a keen and penetrating mind peering out of a loveable soul, Steve will be dearly missed by all his family, friends,  franchisees, suppliers, and franchisors.

Please feel free to add your own remembrances of Steve in the comments section.   (You will have to register by providing your name and email.)


Memorial Notice


Beloved husband of Lisa Krummen Ellerhorst; loving father of Elizabeth 
(Matt) Yingling and Katie Ellerhorst

Loving grandfather of Micah Yingling;  dear son of Margie and the late 
Jack Ellerhorst;  dear brother of John (Julie), Dan (Lucy), Tom (Vicki), 
Scott and Patti;  dear uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Died May 30, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Graduated from Purcell High 
School in 1975; was CEO/Executive Director at International Association 
of Franchisees and Dealers;  

Memorial service to be held Saturday, June 
4 at 11:00 am at Holy Trinity Church, 201 Clark Street, Middletown, Ohio 

If sending flowers, please send by Friday, June 3, 2011 to Holy 
Trinity Church;  In lieu of flowers, family asks that donations be made 
to the American Cancer Society.

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Steve was an important leader in franchisee association world. His ideas lead to the financial stability of the Hardee's Association and the Meineke Dealers Association. Both Dave Glodowski and Ron Soto, of Hardee's and Meineke would tell you how much Steve's insights helped fund their associations.

For the last couple of years, Steve had been convinced that franchisee associations could do much more for the franchisee operators, the brand and the franchise system.

His organization of a franchisee association's four pillars: member benefits, communication, education, and advocacy was copied by many associations.

Steve had great connections with franchise suppliers and prided himself with keeping in contact with them, and not just hitting them up for sponsorship money at convention time.

He intuitively understood the function of a working association as what economists called 2-sided markets. In a 2-sided market, there are two types of participants -call them V and M, for vendors and members. If the association has enough members, it will attract a certain number of vendors - which will attract more members, and then a different class of vendors, and so more members.

But, how to start the golden circle of growth between Vs and Ms is always a tricky proposition. A problem Steve relished solving.

Recently, I was able to convince Steve that we could parlay some of his knowledge about 2-sided markets into an online catalyst. He threw himself into the work of generating our four linkedin groups - franchisees, franchisors, suppliers, and attorneys- and created in less than a year a group of 1400 connections, which is about 1/2 of the IFA connections.

Our work at the IAFD will go on, and we will succeed. But, it is going to be very hard to enjoy it fully without Steve.

To the Ellerhorst family and friends. We have had the distinct pleasure of working with Steve for eight years first as his trade show decorator and quickly became friends. Steve was a brilliant man with whom we enjoyed many lively discussions on a myriad of subjects. As our client, he was always fair and receptive to new ideas. Steve loved his wife and daughters deeply. Micah--well he added a new dimension to Steve's life! A proud Grandpa, he was.

His new love that found him Abby (his puppy) seemed to give him joy.

We share your grief and regret that we had not been able to have the pleasure of meeting the entire family.

Know that he was loved, respected and prayed for by us.

May God Bless and help you through this sad time--our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Houston and Pam Melton
FM Convention Contractors, Inc.

I just want Steve's family to know how much he did for me. I worked with Steve for years booking speakers and entertainment for the IHFA. When I decided to open my own speakers' bureau with my partner, Steve was so supportive and encouraging. He really went out of his way to help me in my new business. I considered Steve a good friend as well as my "oldest" client! I will truly miss the great conversations we had in the past. I'm sure his legacy to the franchise world will not soon be forgotten.
I also enjoyed hearing him brag about his girls! We swapped stories about our kids, and it was obvious how much his family meant to him. Steve - I will truly miss you!
Blanche Powell, Powell Kohne Associates

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