(CARROLLTON, Texas) February 19, 2015—Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc., was honored as the first ever recipient of the International Franchise Association’s “FAN of the Year Award” for her dedication and efforts to protect, promote and enhance the franchise industry. Monson was presented the award on Feb. 18 at the IFA’s 55th annual convention.
As the inaugural recipient of the FAN of the Year award, Monson is recognized for championing franchise and small business issues locally and nationally through her work with the Franchise Action Network. An initiative of the IFA, the Franchise Action Network seeks to mobilize the franchise industry at the grassroots level to present a united front against anti-franchising forces as well as educate policymakers about the franchise business model and its positive impact on communities across the country.
“The success of the Franchise Action Network depends on committed and dedicated leaders like Catherine Monson, who epitomize leadership on the barrage of public policy issues the franchise industry is facing and the growing attacks on our business model,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “Catherine truly deserves this recognition for her tireless efforts. IFA is very grateful for Catherine’s support as we battle many issues on the federal, state and municipal levels.”
As part of her efforts to fight for the issues affecting the franchising industry, Monson and Clint Ehlers, the owner of FASTSIGNS® of Lancaster, PA and Willow Grove, PA, traveled to Washington, D.C. in September 2014 to testify before Congress to explain the threat to franchise businesses following the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) decision to pursue the McDonald’s® Corporation as a “joint employer.”
“The repercussions of a decision like the NLRB made about McDonald’s as a ‘joint employer’ are devastating for franchise owners who are small business owners,” Monson explained. “Small businesses are the backbone of this great country—we must fight to protect them.”
Franchise businesses continue to grow and create more jobs, which boosts local economies. The economic output from franchise businesses alone is estimated to increase by 5.4 percent, compared to 2014, to $889 billion (Source: Franchise Business Outlook: 2015, prepared by IHS Global Insights).
“It is humbling to be recognized for work that I am so proud of and it’s so important to raise awareness about the value of the franchise business model,” Monson said. “It is an honor to receive this award and I hope that I inspire others to join in the work of the Franchise Action Network.”
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the worldwide franchisor of more than 570 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS® centers located in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®).
FASTSIGNS is a sign, graphics and visual communications company that provides comprehensive visual marketing solutions to customers of all sizes - across all industries - to help them meet their business objectives and increase their visibility. To learn more, visit www.fastsigns.com or call 800-FASTSIGNS for a location near you.