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IFA Announces Mary Heitman as the new President of the IFA Franchise Education and Research Foundation

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 - IFA has appointed Mary Heitman as the new President of the IFA Franchise Education and Research Foundation. 

“We are excited to welcome Mary Heitman to this new role, and I know her experience, creativity and the excellent rapport she has built with staff across our organization will serve her well as s leader. She will be instrumental in helping to move forward IFA’s mission to protect, enhance and promote franchising,” said IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE.

Heitman has worked as the Executive Vice President at the Foundation for the past year, building close relationships with staff, IFA’s leadership and with brands across the industry. Heitman is a proven leader, innovator and fundraiser and brings an ambitious vision for growth to the Foundation. Her past work includes expertise and a long record of success in development, marketing and management in both the association industry and private sector. She recently served as Vice President of Retail Programs at the National Retail Federation, managing strategic initiatives and retail programs within the digital, marketing, information technology, security, loss prevention, and technology standards retail verticals.

“I am excited to work with business owners and individuals who recognize the risk and hard work required in owning a franchise business.  My goal and the Foundation’s focus is to strengthen our educational and professional business resources so that our members and stakeholders can improve their businesses and grow the franchise business model,” said Mary Heitman. 

Prior to her work with associations, Heitman worked as Deputy Director of Development at the Trust for the National Mall, a $350-million capital campaign and partnership with the National Park Service. Her executive and professional experience also includes leading record breaking fundraising operations at the Republican National Committee, Republican Governors Association and as Executive Director of the Senate House Dinner. Heitman’s private sector background includes 10 years as a small business owner of a marketing and strategic fundraising firm catering to corporate, political, and non-profit clients. Heitman also serves in Washington, D.C.’s non-profit space, being an active member of the board of the D.C. Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.


About the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation

Founded in 1983, the International Franchise Association (IFA) Franchise Education & Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and supported through the generous contributions of IFA members and others. The Foundation’s mission is to advance franchising and the free enterprise system by increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community; educating the next generation of franchise practitioners; increasing recognition of franchising’s key role in the free enterprise system; and providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising.

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating 56 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.