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Log In / Register | Aug 14, 2018

International Franchise Association CEO Caldeira Leaves

WASHINGTON – The International Franchise Association is missing a chief executive officer. The trade group announced Wednesday that its now ex-CEO Steve Caldeira has resigned. The IFA explained that it had failed to agree on the terms of a renewed CEO contract.

"While I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with so many respected business leaders and the extremely talented staff at the IFA, the time has come for me to move on," said Steve Caldeira, who was hired in 2010.

Robert Cresanti, who was the IFA's executive vice president of government relations and public policy, has been named interim chief operating officer. The organization's board of directors has formed a search committee to immediately begin the process of identifying and recruiting a new president and CEO.

Caldeira had been CEO as the IFA lost its fight to stop the enactment of $15 minimum wage hike laws in Seattle and New York that targeted large chains. The organization has also been flanked by a burst of initiatives that it has been fighting, ranging from the National Labor Relations Board potentially declaring franchisor McDonald's Corp. as a joint-employer with its franchisees to laws that franchisee associations have been lobbying for. As franchisees and their independent associations organized grass roots efforts from California to Maine to draft and support state franchisee protection bills, the IFA responded by launching what it calls the Franchise Action Network, which puts its own franchisee face at the state level to its political opposition. In July franchisee associations brought their fight to Washington, D.C. in the introduction of two federal bills by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN)—the Fair Franchise Act of 2015 and the SBA Franchise Loan Transparency Act. The IFA has come out in strong opposition to these bills.

Learning of Caldeira's departure and the IFA's search for a new CEO, Rep. Ellison tweeted: "I hope the IFA will choose someone that will take the concerns of franchisees seriously."

Industry veteran Ed Teixeira speculates on who might replace Calderia. "I wouldn't rule out a former politician given the amount of legislative activity that the franchise industry is facing at the state and federal level," writes the author of The Franchise Buyer's Manual and chief operating officer of franchise researcher FranchiseGrade.com.

The IFA said In a press release that it has seen a major uptake in its revenues. Its political action committee now has nearly $1.3 million.

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email don@bluemaumau.org.