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A Celebration of Allyship: Reflecting on the IFA Pride Leadership Council's Pride Month Webinar

As we continue to commemorate Pride Month, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is delighted to reflect on the recent success of our Pride Leadership Council's webinar: "Leading With Allyship During Pride Month: A Panel With IFA’s Pride Leadership Council." The event was a resounding success, attracting a broad and engaged audience, and serves as a testament to the IFA's ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Established in 2019, the Pride Leadership Council has been integral to our efforts in promoting diversity and inclusiveness within the franchising industry. Under the joint leadership of Paul Pickett and Mark Jameson, the council has strived to create an environment where every franchisee, franchisor, and employee feels valued and heard. This well-attended webinar was a remarkable reflection of this commitment​.

The webinar, co-moderated by Patti Rother and Dani Bazely, featured an esteemed panel of speakers, each sharing unique insights on allyship and LGBTQ+ issues within the franchising industry. Tristen Schultz from Noodles and Company, Robert Thesing from Tierra Encantada, Shaina Denny from Dogdrop, and Billy Rodriguez from Silvercrest Advertising all contributed their perspectives and experiences, adding depth and diversity to the discussion​.

Covering a wide range of topics, from personal experiences as LGBTQ+ individuals in the franchising industry to the concept of pink-washing, the panelists shared their insights on how companies can create meaningful change for the LGBTQ+ community. They discussed strategies for integrating pride initiatives, supporting LGBTQ+ teams and clients, and cultivating excellence in diversity practices within franchising organizations.

The engagement and enthusiasm from the attendees were palpable, demonstrating the importance of such events in fostering understanding and promoting diversity within our community. It was heartening to see the franchising community coming together to learn, engage, and reflect on how we can be better allies to the LGBTQ+ community.

Following the success of this webinar, we are excited about the prospect of future events that will continue to celebrate and support our LGBTQ+ members and help us continue our journey toward a more diverse and inclusive franchising community. Your support and engagement will be key to driving this important initiative forward. The IFA is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the franchising sector. We believe that our strength lies in our diversity, and we are proud to stand with our LGBTQ+ members during Pride Month and beyond.

Reflecting on this enlightening event, we are reminded that the journey to inclusivity is not a one-month event; it is a continuous commitment to understanding, respect, and allyship. It is our hope that the discussions sparked during this webinar will continue, inspiring actions that support our LGBTQ+ community and fostering a more inclusive franchising industry.

In conclusion, as we commemorate Pride Month, let's remember that our work towards creating a more inclusive franchising community does not end in June. Instead, it serves as a reminder of our year-round commitment to creating an environment that acknowledges, celebrates, and respects diversity in all its forms. The strength of our community lies in its diversity, and we are proud to support and celebrate our LGBTQ+ members this month, and every month.

We hope you will join us in future events as we continue to make strides in promoting inclusivity and diversity in franchising. Together, we can make a difference, one conversation, one action, and one franchise at a time.


Written by Patti Rother, CFE, Vice President, Franchise Development, The Now Massage