- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 23, 2005

Matthew Shay is representing about 30,000 franchisers, franchisees and suppliers as the newest president for the International Franchise Association (IFA).

Mr. Shay, 42, has been with the organization for 12 years and has served in six positions, including executive vice president, chief operating officer, chief counsel and government relations vice president. He was promoted to president this month.

Mr. Shay said most of his time is spent preparing for the association’s convention in March in Hollywood, Fla. He also is heading up preparations for the group’s trade show at the Washington Convention Center in April.

His daily responsibilities also extend to managing the group’s $8 million budget and 30 employees, and lobbying.

“We have a number of key priorities” for the 109th Congress, he said. Those issues include passage of association health plans, class-action legal reform, immigration reform and more Small Business Administration lending programs.

The association also is working with the Federal Trade Commission on trade rules for international franchising. A final rule is expected to be completed in 2006.

The challenge of his new job is “building on the success that IFA has experienced in the past few years,” Mr. Shay said. More than 18 million Americans are employed by franchised businesses, creating $1.53 trillion in total U.S. economic output, according to a 2004 study for the group by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“I feel very confident in this role and very fortunate to have such a committed staff and volunteers on our executive committee who are passionate about this industry,” Mr. Shay said.

Sid Feltenstein, chairman of the association’s board of directors, said Mr. Shay was the best choice because he has been successful in his previous roles and works well with the board.

“He knows what needs to be done for regulatory and other issues. And he has a great vision of the [organization] that is shared by the board,” Mr. Feltenstein said.

Mr. Shay lives in the District with his wife.

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