Franchise Association President Gains CEO Title

February 21, 2008 // Franchising.com // WASHINGTON, DC,– Matthew R. Shay, president of the International Franchise Association since 2005, has been promoted by the board of directors to assume the additional duties of chief executive officer of the 48-year-old organization.

"The International Franchise Association and the franchising industry as a whole is extremely fortunate to have the visionary leadership of Matthew Shay," said IFA Chairman Michael M. Isakson, making the announcement to the association's annual gathering which drew nearly 3,000 franchise professionals. "His guidance has been instrumental in the growth and development of IFA to its role as the leading organization representing the franchising industry. The confidence he inspires in entrepreneurs and business professionals is vital to aiding franchising's expansion around the globe."

Joining IFA in 1993, Shay has served in numerous capacities including executive vice president and chief operating officer, senior vice president and chief counsel, as well as vice president and director of government relations. He has represented the association at legislative and regulatory proceedings at both federal and state levels.

His responsibilities include leading the strategic activities of the IFA, working with the executive committee, board and other volunteer leaders on governance and structure of the association and serving as primary spokesman for the franchise industry. He is responsible for overall management of the IFA's 35 member staff and annual operating budget of $13 million.

Shay served as assistant general counsel of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants from 1988 until he joined the IFA staff. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University College of Law, and received his undergraduate degree at the Wittenberg University. Shay is also a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Organization Management and holds the designation of Certified Association Executive, which is conferred by the American Society of Association Executives. He, his wife and two children live in Arlington, Va.

Founded nearly 50 years ago, IFA represents more than 1,300 franchise companies ranging from many of the world's most popular brands to small businesses adopting the business-format model of franchising for the first time. More than 10,000 franchisees who own and operate franchised establishments hold membership in the association as well as 500 suppliers of products and services to the rapidly-growing industry.

More than 18 million Americans are employed in jobs created by franchised businesses, which contribute more than $1.53 trillion annually to the U.S. economy according a 2004 IFA Educational Foundation conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Preliminary results of a new version of the study, due to be released next month, are expected to show continued industry growth.

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