Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS® International, Inc., was named International Franchise Association (IFA) Chair at the IFA Annual Convention.
Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS® International, Inc., was named International Franchise Association (IFA) Chair on February 11, 2020, at the IFA Annual Convention at the Orlando World Center Marriott.
Monson accepted the Chair’s gavel and stepped into her new role that current IFA Chair David Barr held for the past year.
A strong advocate for small-business enterprise and franchising, Monson has spent time serving on the Board of Directors for the IFA. Through her service with the IFA, Monson works to help further its mission of protecting and promoting franchising through government relations, public relations and educational programs.
In 2009, Monson was honored by the IFA with the Bonny LeVine Award. This prestigious award is bestowed upon a female franchisor or franchisee who has demonstrated ability in franchising through contribution to the growth of the business, contributions to her community through board positions, volunteer work and activities that promote the professional advancement of women, and contributions as a mentor to women in franchising.
Monson was involved with the second annual IFA’s fall “fly-in” event in Washington, D.C. – originally called Franchise Appreciation Day and now called the Franchise Action Network (FAN) Annual Meeting – in 2000, and has attended all but one ever since.
“In my opinion, the FAN Annual Meeting and fly-in is the most valuable IFA meeting for franchisees, along with their franchisors, to attend each year,” said Monson. “At this meeting, the IFA educates attendees on critical issues that could affect the franchise business model and how to effectively speak with House Members and Senators, making it a positive experience, even for first-time attendees, as the IFA sets up all meetings on Capitol Hill, making advocacy simple and effective. The 2020 fly-in meeting will be held September 15-16.”
In 2014 she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Workforce Subcommittee on the potential negative consequences of the National Labor Relations Board’s then-expected expansion of the definition of “Joint Employer.” In 2018 she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Workforce Subcommittee on Association Health Plans.
In 2015, she received the IFA’s first ever “FAN of the Year Award” for her commitment, dedication and efforts to champion franchise and small businesses locally and nationally through her work with the Franchise Action Network. Monson has also been a panelist or facilitator in breakout sessions at every IFA Convention since 2006. She served as a keynote speaker for the 2016 IFA Convention, the 2016 Australian Franchise Convention, the 2016 Brazilian Franchise Association Convention, the 2017 Canadian Franchise Association Convention, and the 2018 New Zealand Franchise Association Convention. She will keynote the Philippine Franchise Association Convention in March and the FranServe convention at Disney World, July 12-15, 2020.
Monson’s work with the IFA in 2020 will center around protecting and enhancing the franchise business model through teaching and promoting franchising best practices to franchisors, continuing with the IFA’s strong Government Relations outreach and increasing the membership of the IFA.
“It is an incredible honor to be elected to the position of IFA Chair,” said Monson. “I love franchising; franchising enables people to own their own business and benefit from the power of a brand along with the brand’s marketing, advertising, training and support. I look forward to serving the franchising community through my appointment and doing my part to protect, promote and enhance franchising.”