SAN DIEGO, October 2021 – The American Association of Franchisee and Dealers (AAFD) announced today that Stephen Rymal and franchise attorney, Jonathan Fortman, will serve as co-chairs of the AAFD’s 30th Anniversary Franchisee Leadership Summit, taking place on May 2nd – 5th in 2022 at the Sheraton Mesa Hotel in Mesa, Arizona.  

The conference co-chairs are responsible for developing the content of the meeting, recruiting top seminar speakers, and supporting this year’s theme, “Our Time – Partner for Success!”  AAFD leaders, members and friends are urged to mark their calendars as the AAFD celebrates 30 years of advocacy in support of franchisee rights and interests with our most powerful gathering ever. Stay tuned for forthcoming details!!! 

Stephen Rymal is a franchisee of the Griswold Home Care (GHC) system and has owned his franchise since 1997. Stephen is a founding member and past president of the Griswold Home Care Franchisee Association (GHCFA) and was elected by his peers to assist in renegotiating the GHC franchise agreement. That agreement received a score of 97% conformity with the AAFD’s Fair Franchising Standards.  

Jonathan Fortman is senior partner at FortmanSpann, LLC, in St. Louis, Missouri. For more than 15 years, he has exclusively represented franchisees and franchisee associations.  Jon has concentrated on representing groups of franchisees in litigation against franchisors in failing systems and systems in distress in courts throughout the United States. 

In a joint statement released to the AAFD Franchisee Voice, Fortman and Rymal said, “Understanding that ‘knowledge is power,’ and that strong and empowered franchisee associations are essential to protecting a franchisee’s equity, the AAFD is planning our most powerful slate of government officials and franchisee thought leaders to advance franchisee interests for the AAFD’s 30th Anniversary Franchisee Leadership Summit.”   

Both Stephen and Jon have served as presenters at past AAFD Franchisee Leadership Summits and have plans to continue the AAFD’s efforts to empower our members through education and mutual collaboration. 

“We are fortunate to have two luminaries presiding over our leadership summit and annual meeting,” said Robert Purvin, Chairman of the AAFD. “As a past franchisee association president and preeminent franchise attorney, respectively, Stephen and Jon provide an unmatched depth and breadth of experience that will ensure this conference is highly valuable for all of our attendees.”   

Each year, the AAFD’s Franchisee Leadership Summit and Annual Conference brings together franchisee association leaders as well as top attorneys, suppliers, and other leaders within the franchising industry for three days of education, discussion, networking, and celebration. In addition to powerful sessions focused on our conference theme, the AAFD Leadership Summit includes networking opportunities, our supplier showcase, and our signature Total Quality Franchising Awards Gala.