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The American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD) will honor Keith Miller, Chairman of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA), and nationally recognized attorney Ronald K. Gardner Jr. with the Total Quality Franchising Chairman’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Franchising Community. These awards will be presented at the Total Quality Franchising Awards banquet and gala on Tuesday, May 2 in Indian Wells, California. This award is given to individuals who have performed extraordinary advocacy for franchisees.
Keith Miller is a multi-unit Subway franchisee who has been an active supporter for franchisee causes for years, both in leadership of the North American Association of Subway Franchisees and in his support of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA). As Chairman of the CFA over the past several years, Keith has led the charge to advocate for franchisee-friendly legislation at both the state and national level. Keith has promoted legislation in Maine, Pennsylvania, California, New Hampshire, and several other states. He has also worked extensively with Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), to introduce federal legislation that would protect franchisee rights. Robert Purvin, Chairman of the AAFD, has described Miller as, “a one-man juggernaut to whom the franchising community owes a huge debt of gratitude.”
Ron Gardner is Managing Partner of Dady and Gardner PA, a preeminent law firm that dedicates its practice to representing only franchisees, dealers, and franchisee associations. Gardner is a past chairman of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising. His skill for embracing collaboration in his client relationships stands as a testament to building and enforcing outstanding long-term relationships. Ron and his firm represent numerous franchisee associations, as well as individual franchisees and franchisee groups.
Over his long and distinguished legal career, Gardner has represented franchisees in dozens of industries as well as more than 35 franchisee associations. He has received numerous awards, recognitions, and distinctions, including being named one of Minnesota’s top 100 “Super Lawyers” by Law & Politics six times and earning a place in the “Legal Eagle Hall of Fame” by being named a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times every year the list has existed. He has also been named “Lawyer of the Year” in Franchise Law in Minneapolis by Best Lawyers in America and recognized as one of the ten most highly regarded franchise lawyers in North America by Who’s Who. Gardner has served as Chairman of the Forum on Franchising and participates on the North American Securities Administers’ Association Special Franchise Project Group. He also regularly speaks at gatherings related to the franchising industry, including at the AAFD’s past leadership summits.
Both Ron Gardner and Keith Miller have been outstanding advocates for franchise owners, and they have been impressive in their achievements. Both Ron and Keith are also champions of the collaborative franchising model and are praised by their clients as well as the very franchisors who are often their adversaries. I am proud to honor them both with the AAFD Chairman’s Award.
“What a tremendous and unexpected honor!” Gardner responded when learning that he had received the award. “I’m not sure what I have done to deserve the honor, other than the same as so many of us – striving to make sure that franchisors do the right thing in dealing with franchisees.”
“I’d like to thank the AAFD for this great honor and accept on behalf of the many who have supported our causes,” Miller said. “Of course, the great benefit of leadership is you get more credit than you deserve when credit is given!”
The AAFD Chairman’s Award is determined by and presented at the discretion of the AAFD’s current chairman and recognizes individuals whom the chairman “feels have admirably upheld the values of Total Quality Franchising throughout the previous year.” The AAFD Total Quality Franchising Awards Ceremony is part of the AAFD’s 25th Anniversary Franchisee Leadership Summit and Annual Meeting, taking place April 30 to May 3 at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, California.