February 13, 2012 // Franchising.com // ORLANDO - John Rotche, CFE, president of The Belfor Franchise Group, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the International Franchise Association during the group's 52ndAnnual Convention.
"John has seamlessly combined his innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to build and create thriving franchise businesses," said IFA Chairman Jack Earle, managing partner of Earle Enterpises LP and a multi-unit franchisee of McDonald's. "In addition to his companies' success, IFA's mentoring program, FranShip, was John's brainchild and demonstrates his steadfast commitment to developing the next generation of franchising leaders through mentoring programs with franchise industry peers."
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes those individuals who have the vision to see what might be and are willing to take the risks that traditionally accompany any new endeavor, and possess the management skills to create a successful business enterprise through franchising.
As a former athlete and coach for the University of Michigan football team, Rotche began his career in franchising at Domino's Pizza, two miles from the Michigan Football Stadium. Rotche spent many years in a leadership position under the founder, Tom Monaghan. Soon after Domino's Pizza was sold, Rotche joined Krispy Kreme Doughnuts where he helped expand the brand throughout the Midwest.
After the diagnosis of a severe respiratory illness to Rotche's infant son, his independent spirit and entrepreneurial vision led him to leave Krispy Kreme to start DUCTZ, a single van air duct cleaning business from his daughter's bedroom. Within five years of franchising this business, DUCTZ grew to become the nation's largest air duct cleaning and indoor air quality company with more than 175 locations. Rotche identified an opportunity in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when he assembled The DUCTZ National Service Team, a traveling team of franchisees that provide services on large scale projects worldwide. After cleaning the New Orleans Public schools and many federal buildings following Hurricane Katrina, the team performed other projects including partnering with FEMA in the cleanup efforts after the California wild fires; Hurricanes Wilma, Ike, and Andrea; the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino; NASA; and the Star Princess Cruise ship.
In 2007, Rotche sold DUCTZ to Belfor, a property restoration company and he later created The Belfor Franchise Group. In 2009, he launched his second business, HOODZ Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning, which has grown to be the nation's largest within its category with more than 150 locations in less than two years.
Rotche created and chairs IFA's Franship mentoring program, a program growing in popularity among emerging franchise executives to take advantage of the lessons learned from successful franchise executives. Rotche also created and chairs MBiz, a mentoring program for University of Michigan Student Athletes; and Camps for Kidz, a charitable foundation for children suffering from respiratory illnesses.
Rotche was awarded Crain's 40 Under 40 Top Executives, is a columnist for Detroit Smart Business, and was recently featured on The FOX Business' Small Business-Big Ideas segment.
Editor's Note: To request a JPG of John Rotche, CFE, contact the IFA Media Relations Department at 202-628-8000.
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 and public policy, 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 more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which 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