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On June 2, 2010 the International Franchise Association announced that Stephen J. Caldeira will become its next president and CEO. He begins in his new position on June 15, 2010. Formerly executive vice president of global communications and chief public affairs officer for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., Caldeira brings deep knowledge of franchising and a broad array of skills to the position.
I had a chance to catch up to Ken Walker, chairman of the International Franchise Association, and speak to him about the process and vision the Board followed that led to Mr. Caldeira's hiring.
Q: What was the process used to choose Mr. Caldeira over other candidates?
Walker: “We used Russell Reynolds [executive search firm] to find potential candidates and they came up with 13 or 14 very strong and capable leaders. The search committee then narrowed that list down to 8 people and Russell Reynolds provided bios and background checks on each of those persons.
With that information the search committee narrowed the list further to the top five candidates, and then three. The full board was then presented with these three candidates, who were all excellent, and we offered the position to Stephen.”
Q: How does Mr. Caldeira make the IFA stronger or better?
Walker: “We all thought that Matt Shay did an excellent job and laid the foundation for future growth. With Stephen we have someone who really understands franchising. We believe that he will be very sensitive to the membership, and that he will connect well with franchisers and franchisees. He understands firsthand the issues impacting small business and we see that as a key advantage in this climate.”
What is the major impact that you’re hoping for?
Walker: “The strategic plan that the board and Matt came up with is very good, and I think the immediate impact will be the recognition on Stephen’s part that there is tremendous value in the thinking behind that plan. After a year or so I think Stephen will add his own expertise into the mix to build upon the strategic plan, and the result will be a stronger IFA.”
Q: An outside hire usually provides a fresh perspective to an organization. What areas is Mr. Caldeira passionate about and where will he apply his talents?
Walker: “Stephen has a wonderful reputation as a fundraiser for non-profits and that talent can be very helpful to a political organization like the IFA. Stephen is most passionate about advocacy, education, and the PR side of the IFA. He's also likely to strengthen the impact of the IFA internationally. We’re lucky to have him.”
Peter Birkeland is a strategy consultant, speaker, and author of "Franchising Dreams." He works with owners and teams to create strategic growth opportunities and to achieve productivity improvements. Contact: Peter@birkelandinstitute.com or phone 708-354-5534.