March 16, 2009 // Franchising.com // (Menomonee Falls, WI)---Kim L. Kofler of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs was recognized in February as a Certified Franchise Executive™ by the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives. Kofler completed a comprehensive course of study in franchise management offered by the Institute, which is the academic branch of the International Franchise Association's (IFA) Educational Foundation. IFA hosts the presentation during its annual convention, which is being conducted this year in San Diego.
Kofler began her career with Cousins in 1983 as a cashier in Madison, Wisconsin but quickly moved up the ranks to become an assistant manager, general manager and area supervisor for all Cousins restaurants in Madison. Kofler joined Cousins' franchise department as a field consultant, a position she held until 2002 when she was promoted to senior field consultant, director of franchise operations, senior director of franchise operations, vice president of franchise operations and – her role since July of 2008 – vice president of operations. During this time, she also obtained degrees in business administration and marketing and elected to pursue her CFE designation to become a more well-rounded business person and better support Cousins as the company continues its growth.
"Becoming a CFE and joining the ranks of such an elite group of individuals is a wonderful feeling. I'm sure that the knowledge I've gained will be utilized on a daily basis," said Kofler.
More than 1,100 candidates are currently enrolled or have received certification and over 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.
Founded in 1972, Cousins Subs is a restaurant specializing in East Coast-style submarine sandwiches made with the finest ingredients served on a variety of freshly-baked breads, along with salads, soups, chips and soft drinks. Cousins Subs currently has approximately 150 restaurants in nine states – only 15 of which locations are company-owned – and is working toward a goal of 220 restaurants open nationwide by 2010 by implementing strategic regional growth throughout the Midwest including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Arizona.
The International Franchise Association, the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,250 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity.