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IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation Announces 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the Foundation honors students attending U.S. accredited colleges or universities through several scholarship programs as part of its ongoing commitment to giving back and supporting future generations of entrepreneurs. In addition to financial aid, each of the scholarship recipients received a complimentary registration and travel stipend to attend this year’s International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1, 2017.
“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and we believe that investing in the next generation is a crucial step in ensuring the franchising industry continues to thrive for decades to come,” said Lawrence “Doc” Cohen, CFE, Chairman of the Foundation. “We are thrilled to recognize this year’s scholarship recipients, each of whom displayed a remarkable passion for business and entrepreneurship. We look forward to welcoming all of these ambitious, hard-working students to this year’s convention and introducing them to the infinite opportunities the franchising community offers.”
The annual scholarship programs include:
  • Sponsored Scholarships: Awarded to deserving students studying business, hospitality or franchise management, recipients of these scholarships receive a one-time $2,500 award in addition to complimentary attendance to the IFA Annual Convention. These scholarship programs are made possible through generous sponsorships from Choice Hotels International, the Marriott Foundation, and the Stewart and Jane Bainum Fund of the Community Foundation. This year’s recipients include Victoria Bouras, Cornell University; Joshua Otey, Howard University; Kayla N. Washington, University of Houston; Steven L. Tai, Georgia State University; Kelsey Groom, Morgan State University; Uriel Rangel, Georgia State University; Elizabeth Grese, Rochester Institute of Technology; Hannah Goddard, Endicott College; Tori Carter, Regent University; and Lita Keller, Niagara University.
  • Stephen J. Caldeira Scholarship: Named in honor of the former IFA CEO and presented in partnership with the Steve Joyce Fund and Joyce Mazero, this award was created to honor Stephen Caldeira’s contributions to the franchising industry and help the next generation of communicators achieve their dreams. This year’s recipient is Amarah Blythe, who studies strategic communications and marketing at Hampton University will receive a $3,500 scholarship award.
  • Doc Cohen Franchising Scholarship. Through this program, the Foundation awards $3,000, as well as a travel stipend to attend the IFA Annual Convention, to college students studying business, finance, marketing, food service, hospitality, franchising or entrepreneurship. Maria Bohrer, a business student from the University of Toledo, received this year’s recognition. • Fred DeLuca Foundation Scholarship. Created in memory of the co-founder of Subway, this competitive scholarship award provides financial assistance to students with studies in business, entrepreneurship or franchise management. This year’s scholarship recipient is Annika Firestone, who studies culinary management at Southern New Hampshire University.
  • Don DeBolt Franchising Scholarship Program: Created in honor of the IFA’s past president and CEO who served from 1995-2004, this program is conducted in partnership with DECA. Northeastern University student Jacob Keyslay, who studies entrepreneurship and franchising, is this year’s winner of the $2,000 scholarship.
In keeping with its commitment to supporting future generations of entrepreneurs, the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation also hosts an annual NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, a worldwide program that engages young entrepreneurs ages 21-35 seeking careers and business opportunities in the franchising industry. This year’s program culminates at the IFA Annual Convention, during which the 18 winners will have a chance to attend the NextGen in Franchising Summit, a two-day educational and networking program for next generation entrepreneurs; a 90-day accelerator program with industry leaders and CEOs; and an opportunity to participate in the FRANSHARK competition for additional cash prizes. #IFA2017 will feature more than 50 educational sessions, as well as 300 supplier partners in a cutting-edge Exhibit Hall, offering the latest tools and resources needed to develop a thriving franchise business. Attendees can expect to find numerous networking opportunities, including the International Reception and the Business Solution Roundtables.
To register, please visit
For more information on the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation scholarship programs, please contact Gionne Jones at or 202-662-0772.