To quote Charles Dickens opening in his epic Tale of Two Cities, “It was the Best of Times and Worst of times.” This can certainly be said of the AAFD’s 2021!
While our world continues to endure the consequences of a worldwide pandemic including the unexpected impacts on labor shortages, supply chain issues, inflation, and unprecedented on-going political divisions, all of which have impacted our AAFD community, we nevertheless have experienced a year of unprecedented progress towards greater awareness and sympathy for our franchisee members.
We sadly have endured pandemic related membership losses, following more than five years of more than 20% annual growth. Nevertheless, we are pleased to report some amazing advances that will clearly benefit all AAFD Members:
- Most importantly, awareness of franchisee concerns at the Federal level have never been greater due largely to the efforts of Keith Miller, the AAFD’s Director of Public Affairs, to gain the ear of the Federal Trade Commission, the Small Business Administration, the US Senate and House of Representatives, the Department of Labor, and the Consumer Protection Bureau.
- Major legislation has been introduced, or planned, to protect and enhance the business interests of all franchisees.
- AAFD has launched our Health Benefits 2.0 suite of health insurance and health care options that have generated more interest and excitement than any member benefit in our history!!!
- Perhaps lost in the spate of ‘good and bad news’ has been the AAFD being the first national trade association to endorse and sponsor a Pooled Employer Retirement plan for AAFD members from Access Retirement Solutions.
- We are proud to welcome 7 new chapters to the AAFD, including sponsored associations for Venture X, Village Inn, Freshii, Rebox+, Caring Transitions, United BNI Master Franchisees and Woops! French Macarons & Gifting.
- We welcomed new and renewed relationships with RingCentral for AAFD Members, Access Retirement Solutions for AAFD PEP Retirement Plans, AAFD Payment Processing from PayHub Payments, and the AAFD Benefit Hub.
- In June 2021, the AAFD held its first-ever virtual conference. The theme of our 2021 the conference was, “Empowering Franchisee Associations,” and attendees had the opportunity to learn from and participate in virtual sessions with industry leaders such as: Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Commission Rohit Chopra, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and many others.
None of our progress could have happened without the continued faith and support of our franchisee members, and our active chapters, realizing the value of association for common good, and your continued dedication to the vision and Mission to Promote Total Quality Franchising!
We offer our profound appreciation and congratulations to our members who have made 2021 a successful year even in the face of our world’s challenges.
We thank you and look forward to even greater progress as we welcome the AAFD’s 30th Anniversary Year. We look forward to our 30th Anniversary Franchisee Leadership Summit in Mesa, Arizona, May 1-4, 2022.
Robert L. Purvin, Jr.
Chair and CEO
American Association of Franchisees & Dealers
The Center for Total Quality Franchising