International Franchise Association Names the Annual Convention Award Winners

International Franchise Association Names the Annual Convention Award Winners

Meet-and-Greet Opportunity Available to Attendees at Opening Reception Party, The Buzz

Washington, DC  (Restaurant News Release)  The International Franchise Association — the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising globally – has announced its 2016 Award Winners. The IFA’s 57th Annual Convention will take place Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2017 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Hall of Fame Award Winner Russ Frith, the Bonny LeVine Award Winner Rhoda Olsen, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner Gordon Logan and the Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award Winner Ferenz Feher will all be presented with their awards during the General Sessions.

Attendees will be given the opportunity to meet the award winners in person at The Winner’s Circle during the Opening Reception, The Buzz, held on Sunday, January 29, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event kicks off the Convention with food, drinks and live music and will be the first networking opportunity with all attendees at the convention. It’s a fun way to begin #IFA2017 and a time for participants to meet not only the award winners, but also colleagues and peers with whom they will be spending the duration of the convention.

“This year, we’ve assembled an exciting convention program and we are proud to be honoring all of these outstanding individuals who have contributed so much to the franchising community,” said IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim, managing partner of NRD Capital. “We are thrilled to be recognizing each of these award winners not only for the contributions they make to the IFA, but for the impact that they have made on their companies and customers which has driven the franchising model and established it for what it is today.”

The Hall of Fame Award Winner – Russ Frith

Russ Frith, CFE, former CEO of Lawn Doctor will be named to the IFA Hall of Fame, the Association’s highest honor. The Hall of Fame Award is the oldest and most prestigious award conferred by the IFA and is presented to an IFA member who exemplifies the best of franchising and has made significant contributions to the advancement of franchising and the franchising community. A formal presentation of this award will occur Monday, January 30.

Frith was hired by Lawn Doctor originally as a sales manager and was promoted in rapid succession to vice president and chief operating officer, elected to the board of directors and appointed CEO in 1983. His outstanding leadership is credited for the company’s ten-fold growth to nearly 500 units, making the company the largest lawn care franchisor in the country. During his tenure at Lawn Doctor, Frith has positioned the company as one of the most successful franchise companies in the United States. Frith’s long-term involvement in the IFA has made a tremendous impact on the role of the association and public perception of franchising. He has held multiple leadership positions and faithfully served on committees within the IFA.

The Bonny LeVine Award Winner – Rhoda Olsen

Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Bonny LeVine Award. The Bonny LeVine award is given to a female franchisor or franchisee who is a role model and mentor for women through her business and professional accomplishments within franchising and beyond. The formal presentation will occur on Tuesday, January 31.

Olsen has been associated with Great Clips since 1984, initially as a consultant. In 1987, she became a full-time member of the Great Clips executive team as vice president of human resources and training. In February 2011, Olsen was promoted to chief executive officer of Great Clips. As president and CEO, Olsen has grown Great Clips from just over 1,000 salons in 1998 to over 4,000 salons in 2016.

Great Clips has always been a great supporter of the IFA and Olsen has consistently been involved with IFA events and programs. Olsen continues to exemplify the success of franchising and promote the industry in her professional and personal life.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner – Gordon Logan

The International Franchise Association has named Gordon Logan, founder and CEO of Sport Clips as the 2016 IFA Entrepreneur or the Year. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is given annually to a visionary who is willing to take risks and who possesses the management skills necessary to create a successful franchising business enterprise. A formal presentation of this award will occur Tuesday, January 31.

Before founding Sport Clips in 1993 and beginning to franchise the concept in 1995, Logan owned and operated salons throughout Texas as a franchisee of Command Performance. Logan realized early on that men and boys usually don’t relish getting a haircut, so he decided to place an emphasis on the experience. Logan was able to design a blueprint that would help Sport Clips experience rapid, yet controlled growth. Today, the brand operates more than 1,500 locations, and the number will exceed 1,600 by 2017. Sports Clips is the only hair care concept operating in all 50 states, plus five provinces in Canada. Logan gained many of his leadership skills during his time as an Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Air Force Leadership. Logan currently serves on the IFA Board; he is the immediate past Chairman and continues to serve on the IFA VetFran Committee, helping veterans to be employed by franchisors or to become a franchisee.

The Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award Winner – Ferenz Feher

The International Franchise Association will present the IFA Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award to Ferenz Feher on Wednesday, February 1. Feher is the founder and CEO of Feher & Feher, a consulting firm offering a range of specialized services to entrepreneurs, businesses and franchise networks. The Ronald Harrison award recognizes businesses and individuals who have made significant contributions to minorities in franchising either within their own franchise organization or within the franchise community.

Feher began his franchising journey over 25 years ago and after learning and understanding the unique business model, he became committed to making the model available to Mexico’s entire business community. In 2002, Feher decided to launch his consulting firm and remains committed to helping people of all backgrounds become successful in business growth and development. Through his firm, Feher is responsible for the development of over 850 franchise networks in Mexico. Feher has been a member of the IFA for nearly a decade and is a member of the Franchising in the Social Sector Task Force. He has served as the President of the Mexican Franchise Association. He has also served as Vice Secretary of the World Franchise Council, General Secretariat for the Iberoamerican Franchise Federation (FIAF) and as Chairman of the International Franchise Consultants Network (IFCN).

During #IFA2017, attendees will not only have access to these impactful award presentations but franchise educational sessions and several main stage keynote speakers who will focus on the foundation-building aspects of any franchise business – people, profit and performance. New York Times best-selling author of “The 4-Hour Workweek” and noted entrepreneur, Tim Ferriss, will speak at the Opening Session. Co-founders of Anytime Fitness, Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon, will share how they developed 3,500 franchised units and 36 company-owned locations in 50 states and 30 countries in 15 years. And, Marcus Buckingham, a respected New York Times best-selling author, will teach attendees how to harness excellence in their organization by empowering people to discover their personal strengths and find their edge at work.

Registration for IFA 2017 is currently open.  Please visit for more information and to register for the convention.  To learn more, you also can follow us on Facebook.

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating 56 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.

Courtney Whelan
Fish Consulting