December 06, 2011 // Franchising.com // WASHINGTON - The International Franchise Association has received the Peace-Through Commerce Award from the International Trade Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce, recognizing IFA's work to help U.S. franchisors expand their brands to foreign markets, which results in new job creation and economic activity at home.
Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez presented the award to IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira and IFA Chairman Jack Earle, a McDonald's multi-unit franchisee, during a ceremony at the Department of Commerce headquarters.
"We are honored to receive this distinguished award," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. "Our partnership with the ITA and the U.S. Commercial Service has helped strengthen opportunities for U.S. franchisors seeking to grow internationally."
More than 270 IFA members currently have franchisees in foreign markets, and those that do not have franchises there today are looking to foreign countries as part of their future development plans. A recent IFA survey showed nearly 85 percent of franchise brands plan to start or increase their international development efforts in the coming years.
The Peace-Through Commerce Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization, either domestic or abroad, whose actions have significantly promoted and developed U.S. export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches and improved overall U.S. trade relations.
"The Peace through Commerce Medal winners have all played a crucial and proactive role in increasing trade and strengthening our countries overall relations. They also assist us in fully exercising President Obama's National Export Initiative," Sánchez said in presenting the award. "Their efforts have led to increased exports of U.S. manufactured goods and services, thus creating jobs at home and stimulating the economy."
The Peace through Commerce Medal dates back to the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790. Jefferson gifted the medal, formerly known as the Diplomatic Medal, to foreign diplomats who aided the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. The medal is most renowned for its inscription, To Peace and Commerce, centered along the top.
IFA was one of five other organizations to receive the award. To learn more about the recipients, visit Commerce.gov.
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the franchise industry, which represents over 825,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.
Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000
Matthew Haller, 202-662-0770