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Join us for the franchising industry’s premier virtual event focused on helping franchisees & local business owners achieve growth in 2021.

Hosted in December 2020 by LOCALACT in partnership with Google and the International Franchise Association, this virtual event featured two days of informative keynote sessions and panel discussions focused on helping franchisees learn best practices in marketing, better understand how recent public policy and governmental changes affect their businesses, and more as they plan for revenue growth in 2021.

Missed the event? You can stream both days for free.



Day 1 – December 2nd

1:00pm EST: Welcoming Remarks

Speaker:  Alex Porter, CEO of Location3, Certified Franchise Executive

1:10pm EST: Opening Keynote – The 2021 Comeback

Speaker:  Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer, Wild Birds Unlimited

Paul will discuss his thoughts on how franchise owners can take the lessons learned from 2020 and turn them into business wins in 2021.

1:35pm EST: IFA Election Analysis & Advocacy – Resources & Information to Help Your Franchise Thrive

Speakers:  Matt Haller, Senior V.P. of Government Relations & Public Affairs, IFA and Erica Farage, V.P of Political Affairs & Grassroots, IFA

The International Franchise Association was founded in 1960 and has been a key advocate for the franchising industry ever since. This session will analyze how the recent elections impact your business, and highlight resources within the IFA that franchise owners can take advantage of to help their businesses achieve success.


2:30pm EST: Maximizing Google My Business & Local Search 

Speaker:  Corissa Saint Laurent, Google My Business Lead, Google

Google My Business is a digital storefront for franchise owners. This session will discuss how you can make the most of your GMB profiles and highlight how a robust local search program can drive real revenue for your business.

3:10pm EST: Protecting Your Business & Your Customers – How to Prepare for Policy Changes & Compliance

Speakers: Brian Schnell, Partner & Chair of Franchise Practice, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Saunda Kitchen, CFE and Owner at Mr. Rooter Plumbing (Sonoma, CA), and Craig Leonard, CEO at Mission Foods Inc.

2020 has brought about a number of changes that impact the way franchise owners operate their businesses and engage with customers. This session will highlight key changes in public policy and legal compliance that all business owners and franchisees need to consider going forward.

brian panel

3:55pm EST: Day 1 – Closing Remarks

Speaker:  Rishiraj Chowdhury, Head of Agency, Google

Day 2 – December 3rd

11:00am EST: Welcoming Remarks

Speaker:  Jennifer Brandeen, Chief Revenue Officer, IFA

11:10am EST: Franchisee Spotlight – Key Takeaways from 2020

Panel Discussion moderated by Mary Mills, V.P. of Marketing, College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving

Panel Guests: Kirsten Pellicer (President & Owner at Ace Hardware – Longmont, CO), Amy Legg & Kellie Watts (Co-Owners at Wild Birds Unlimited – Lake Forest Park, WA), and Jenn Hill (CSR & Social Media Manager at FASTSIGNS International – Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

Let’s hear from our peers. This panel discussion features multiple franchisees and business owners sharing their stories of success, challenges faced and lessons learned from 2020. 

mary panel

11:50am EST: Putting Google to Work for Your Franchise

Speaker: David Mottram, SMB Incubation Lead, Google

You don’t need a five-figure advertising budget to drive positive ROI in digital marketing. During this session, Google will discuss opportunities for franchise owners to drive increases in customers and revenue without breaking the bank.

12:40pm EST: Creating a More Diverse & Inclusive Workplace

Speaker: Charles Thurston, COO & V.P. of Sales at Wisdom Senior Care, Certified Franchise Executive and Keli Wilson, Senior Manager of EEO Compliance, Diversity and Inclusion at DCI Consulting

Your team and your employees are often the greatest asset of your franchise. This session will discuss how you can create a more inclusive workplace, and more opportunities for your business to grow and positively impact your community.


1:20pm EST: IFA Membership Benefits for Franchisees

Speakers: Tamra Kennedy, IFA Franchisee Forum Chair & Taco John’s Franchise Owner and Azim Saju, President & CEO, HDG Hotels

As a franchisee and business owner, becoming a member of the International Franchise Association offers you a wealth of benefits, resources and opportunities to help you grow your business. Learn more about membership from the IFA’s Franchisee Forum Team.


1:55pm EST: Day 2 – Closing Remarks

Speaker:  Catherine Monson, IFA Chair, CEO & President of FASTSIGNS International