February 21, 2008 // Franchising.com // Maple Valley, WA - Mark Willard, Director of Franchise Operations with Desert Sun Tanning was recently designated as a Certified Franchise Executive by the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives.
Willard completed a comprehensive course of study in franchise management offered by the institute, which is the academic branch of the International Franchise Association's Educational Foundation. IFA, the world's largest trade group representing the franchising industry, includes nearly 1,300 franchise companies, 10,000 franchisees and more than 500 firms that provide goods and services to the industry, hosts the presentation during its annual convention in Orlando.
Willard is responsible for the franchise operations of the 85 store Franchise chain based in Maple Valley, WA. He relocated to Seattle from Dallas when Desert Sun's parent company Palm Beach Tan acquired the Franchise company in December of 2006. Prior to Desert Sun Willard was the Franchise Business Consultant for Palm Beach Tan Franchising Inc.
More than 1,000 candidates are currently enrolled or have received certification. More than 300 IFA-member companies currently have one or more executives enrolled in the program that provides benefits such as specialized knowledge, industry recognition, peer-level networking and professional standing.
Candidates must complete a rigorous course of study to earn the CFE designation, which includes attending institute-sponsored educational seminars and workshops. The program is designed to enhance franchising professionals' understanding of both the industry's fundamental and complex aspects.
About Desert Sun Tanning Salons
Founded in 2001, Desert Sun operates 85 franchise locations, with an additional 25 salons currently in development throughout the west coast. Desert Sun Tanning Salons is a subsidiary of Palm Beach Tan Inc. and offers a full selection of indoor tanning services, including three different varieties of tanning beds, Mystic Tan, sunless tanning creams and other skin care products. Salons are designed to create a warm, inviting environment for its customers. The company is poised for additional growth via a franchise model. For more information, please visit www.desertsuntanning.com.