Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc., a leading graphics, sign and visual communications franchisor with over 630 centers worldwide, was elected as the International Franchise Association (IFA)'s secretary.
"Catherine Monson brings more than 30 years of experience and leadership in all aspects of franchising to this position, which benefits the IFA and its members," Managing partner for NRD Capita and IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim said. "Catherine's dedication to the franchise business model will be invaluable as we continue to promote the positive contributions franchising brings to economies and communities around the world."
The IFA is the world's largest and oldest association representing franchising worldwide. IFA members include franchise companies in more than 300 different business categories, franchisees and companies that support franchising in developng business, law and marketing.
Monson's franchising career began with Sir Speedy, Inc. in 1980 , where she served as operations manager for the western region. She received many promotions over the years. These included assistant vice president of franchise development, franchise development vice president, and group vice president of communications and marketing. She became vice president of business development of Franchise Services, Inc. (FSI), the parent company of Sir Speedy in 1996. From January 1997 to April 1999, she achieved the turnaround of MultiCopy Europe, FSI's European subsidiary. In 1999, Monson was named President of PIP Printing and Marketing Services (PIP).
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In 2009 she joined FASTSIGNS International, Inc. as CEO and President, during an economic downturn. Under her leadership, the franchisor has seen record growth in all metrics - number of locations, number of countries, franchisee unit level economics, system-wide sales, and franchisee satisfaction.
Catherine has served on the IFA Executive Committee, IFA board and as chair of the IFA's Franchisor Forum. She received the IFA's Bonny LeVine award in 2009. This award recognizes outstanding achievements by women in franchising. She was the keynoted speaker at the IFA's annual conventionn February of 2016. This October, she will keynote both the convention of the Franchise Council of Australia and Associacao Brasileira de Franchising (Brazil Franchising Association). She will keynote the Canadian Franchise Association Convention in April of 2017.
She has been a leader in helping to grow IFA's grassroots program, the Franchise Action Network (FAN), and was awarded the first IFA's FAN of the Year award at the 2015 Annual Convention in Las Vegas.
Monson most recently was an inaugural winner of Big Picture magazine's Women in Print award and was inducted into the printing industry's prestigious Soderstrom Society. FASTSIGNS International, Inc., under Monson's leadership, received the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition presented by the Department of Defense to employers for their outsgtanding support of National Guard and Reserve members.
Monson serves on the board of directors of two franchise companies in the education industry (The Learning Experience and Brain Balance) as well as on the Board of Trustees for Pi Sigma Epsilon, a sales and marketing fraternity for university and college students.
"I am truly honored to have been elected Secretary of the IFA, and I am ready to begin working with the IFA leadership team and its members to ensure franchising continues to create opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, marketers and business leaders, just like it did for me," said Monson.
Monson was elected to her IFA leadership position by the IFA Board of Directors, along with all of the 2017 officers, including: Shelly Sun, CEO & co-founder of BrightStar Care, who will serve as IFA Chairwoman; Liam Brown, president of North America Select & Extended Stay Lodging & Owner Franchise Services at Marriott International who will become First Vice Chair; and David Barr, chairman of PMTD Restaurants and its affiliates will become IFA's Second Vice Chair. Bill Hall, CEO, Treats Investments, LLC and CEO, Align Capital, LLC will continue to serve as IFA's Treasurer. The 2017 slate of officers will assume their new positions Feb. 1, 2017, at the conclusion of IFA's 57th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the largest sign and visual communications franchisor in North America, and is the worldwide franchisor of more than 630 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS centers in nine countries including the US, Canada, Wales, England, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Grand Cayman and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE).
FASTSIGNS locations provide comprehensive sign and visual graphic solutions to help companies across all industries and of all sizes receive more attraction, sell more products, communicate their message, help visitors find their way and extend their branding across all of their customer touch points including events, decor, wearables and marketing materials. Learn more about sign and visual graphic solutions or find a location at fastsigns.com . Follow the brand on Facebook at facebook.com/FASTSIGNS or Twitter @FASTSIGNS. For information about the FASTSIGNS franchise opportunity, contact Mark Jameson (email@example.com or call 214.346.5679).