Here come some of the most inspiring women currently making their mark on this buzzing industry
1. Shawnon Bellah
With more than 17 years of industry experience in food service operations and domestic and international franchising, the regional vice president of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has experience that ranges from operations management and employee training to international sales and marketing. Under her direction, the brand has grown its operations internationally in Canada, Puerto Rico and the Middle East.
2. Melanie Bergeron
Melanie Bergeron, CFE joined the family business Two Men And A Truck in 1987. In 1994, Melanie was named president and in January 2007, CEO. She served in the roles until 2008 and became chair of the board in 2009. Melanie believes that success requires strong staff training, strategic planning, a high level of integrity and giving something back to the community. She serves on the board of directors for the certification board of the International Franchise Association (IFA).
3. Nancy Bigley
Nancy A. Bigley, CFE was the CEO and co-owner of Bottle & Bottega, which was acquired by Painting with a Twist last year. Some of the companies she has worked for include Dunkin’ Brands and The Dwyer Group. Nancy now serves as the chief operating officer of Painting with a Twist. She is an experienced franchise operations executive with a proven track record of increasing profits through the implementation of growth strategies, business practices and systems that create a sustainable, competitive advantage.
4. Dina Dwyer-Owens
Dina Dwyer-Owens, CFE has over 38 years of experience in the franchise industry and made two appearances on TV’s Undercover Boss. In 2012, she also launched the Dwyer Group Women in the Trades Initiative. After the rebranding of The Dwyer Group to Neighborly, Dina now serves as the brand ambassador and a board member of the Global Franchise Award-winning Neighborly. The business is the world’s largest parent company of 22 home service brands and nearly 3,700 franchise owners in nine countries. In 2002, she was awarded the Bonny LeVine Award, the IFA’s highest award for women who mentor and advance the careers of women in franchising.
5. Shane Evans
Shane Evans co-founded Massage Heights in San Antonio in 2004, and as president, she is responsible for the company’s services, products and programs. She went “undercover” on CBS’ Undercover Boss in 2013 and 2014. Shane and her husband have built up a family-based business which started franchising in 2005. The company’s growth strategy will allow for the development of 1,600 units across the U.S. and Canada.
6. Sherri Fishman
Sherri Fishman has been generating high-level publicity on behalf of leading franchise concepts nationwide since 1984 and since 1991 has operated her own agency dedicated to servicing the franchising industry. Over the past two decades, this active advocate for women in franchising has achieved publicity results for hundreds of different franchise systems. Last year, Fishman PR was also named the best PR firm in Entrepreneur magazine’s influential industry list for a second consecutive year.
7. Cathryn Hayes
Cathryn Hayes, QFP is franchise director of auto care company Revive!. Previously head of franchising at HSBC and head of business support at the British Franchise Association (bfa), Cathryn has been a regular judge for the bfa HSBC Franchisor and Franchisee of the Year awards. She contributes articles to franchise press and presents at bfa seminars, conferences and exhibitions.
8. Mary Kay Liston
Mary Kay Liston, CFE was named president of Five Star Painting and ProTect Painters when The Dwyer Group, now known as Neighborly, acquired the company back in 2015. Then, in 2018 she left Five Star Painting assuming a new role as president of Neighborly’s residential home cleaning franchise Molly Maid USA.
9. Suzie McCafferty
The chairperson of the Scottish Franchise Forum of the bfa is Suzie McCafferty, QFP. She is the CEO of Platinum Wave, a franchise consultancy providing advice on international franchise business and franchisee recruitment. Her experience of building, developing and managing successful U.K. and international franchise operations over the last 18 years has earned her widespread recognition.
10. Catherine Monson
Catherine Monson, CFE is the CEO and president of global signage company FASTSIGNS International. She was the first vice-chair of the IFA and this year was named the chair during the IFA Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. She has been involved with the Women’s Franchise Committee, the Franchise Relations Committee, Franchise Business Network meetings and various IFA conventions. A recipient of the IFA’s Bonny LeVine Award and the Global Franchise Award Supreme Champion 2019 – she is known for her mentoring leadership style.
11. Barbara Moran- Goodrich
Barbara Moran-Goodrich founded her automotive repair and vehicle accessory business with her father, Dennis, and now is CEO of the parent company, Moran Family of Brands. This national franchise company has six franchise brands and 180 franchise service facilities located in 26 states.
12. Melissa Murray
So who do you call if you are franchising in the Middle East? Dubai-based Melissa Murray would seem a good bet. A partner at Bird & Bird, Melissa provides advice to international businesses on commercial, corporate and general litigation matters relating to their operations in the U.A.E. and the wider Middle East region.
13. Mary Ann O’Connell
A franchise generalist with 30 years of experience as a franchisee, franchisor and franchise consultant, Mary Ann was the inaugural franchisee for Money Mailer, Inc. As president of FranWise, the franchise consulting firm that launches new franchise concepts, she created franchise operations manuals and now helps emerging brands optimize their 14 operations and franchise relations.
14. Farrah Rose
Farrah Rose has unrivalled experience in international franchising and has been operating in this field since 1984, initially working for major corporations such as Burger King and the Arcadia Group. She began advising businesses as a consultant in 1996 and has worked with over 300 brands, helping them to expand into global markets. Farrah has been director of international development at The Franchising Centre since 2001.
15. Sherri Seiber
A highly accomplished executive with an extensive background in business development and operations, Sherri joined the franchise industry after 20 years in telecommunications. As COO of FranFund, she is responsible for business development, strategic marketing planning, executive leadership, and developing strategies to grow market share.
16. Shelly Sun
In 2001, difficulties in sourcing quality care for a close relative led to Shelly launching U.S.- based BrightStar Care in 2002. She is the CEO of BrightStar Care which launched its franchising efforts in 2005, becoming the first and only franchising company in the country to specialize in both medical and non-medical care and healthcare staffing. The Global Franchise Award-winning BrightStar Care has grown to over 325 locations nationwide and in Canada serving over 20,000 families.
17. Gemma Tumelty
As her company grows overseas, Gemma brings international experience gained as president of the National Union of Students and political skills acquired while working for U.K. ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband to her present role as managing director of The HR Dept, the outsourcing firm set up by her mother in 2002.
18. Pip Wilkins
The British Franchise Associations’ chief executive, Pip Wilkins, QFP has 20 years of experience in the franchise sector, working her way up within the association, in which she has held a number of senior positions. A passionate advocate for British franchising, Pip regularly speaks at events and seminars both domestically and internationally, as well as writing for national, local and franchise press.
19. Phi Van Nguyen
Phi Van Nguyen’s experience spans over 20 years as a senior executive in brand, retail and franchise development across emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. Phi is the chairwoman of advisory board Saigon Innovation Hub as well as of Vietnam Angel Network and is also the founder and chairwoman of Fran-A, a six-month acceleration program that aims to support any brands that plan on going global through franchising.
20. Kay Ainsley
A managing director at domestic and international franchise advisory firm, MSA Worldwide, Kay Ainsley, CFE has over 20 years of experience in franchising and has been an advisor to companies within the retail, restaurant, services, manufacturing and business-to-business industries. In the past, she has been appointed as the director of international development for both Domino’s Pizza International and automotive aftermarket retail franchise, Ziebart International.
21. Jane Masih
Jane Masih heads the franchise team at Owen White Solicitors and has in excess of 30 years of experience of advising franchisors in the development of their franchise networks, including drafting franchise agreements and master licence agreements. In 2018, she became managing director of the firm.
22. Sherry McNeil
A long-standing Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) board member, Sherry McNeil was appointed as the president and CEO of the CFA in 2018. The industry veteran brings more than 20 years of franchise experience working with both franchisors and franchisees in a variety of categories and brands, including Yum! Brands, Inc., Little Caesars, Boston Pizza and Dairy Queen.
23. Tracy Skeans
Tracy is the chief transformation and people officer of Yum! Brands, Inc., one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with more than over 48,000 restaurants that include KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in over 140 countries and territories. Reporting directly to the CEO, Tracy is in charge of the company’s global business transformation. She can also be credited for playing a key role in the brand’s transformation strategy to accelerate growth by moving to a franchised and more profitable business model.