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Executive Chat April 2018

Executive Chat with Rebecca Patt, SVP Development at Wray Executive Search

Featuring John Francis, Franchise Industry Advisor, Speaker, and Founder of Fathers Eve holiday

John Francis has a lifetime of franchising experience. He grew up in his family’s hair salon franchise, “The Barbers,” which was the 1,000-plus unit, publicly traded, an international organization that franchised the brands Cost Cutters, City Looks and We Care Hair. He became a leader in the family business and played a major role in the integration and merger of The Barbers into Regis Corporation in 1999. With over 25 years of hands-on experience in the franchise industry, John has served as a franchisee, franchisor, investor, and Board Member for organizations such as Sport Clips, Cost Cutters, Inner Circle, Office Pride, Seva Beauty, Big Frog T-Shirts, PostNet and the International Franchise Association. Today, John shares his perspective and expertise as a consultant, advisor, and keynote speaker to help franchise systems and professionals achieve their highest levels of success.

What do you think are some of the biggest opportunities right now in the franchising industry?I see good opportunities in services and new technologies in franchise systems. New brands coming are always becoming available and open opportunities are plentiful. The hard part is picking a good one from the many choices out there. That takes time and effort and is well worth it.

What are a few key tips you suggest to emerging franchisors and franchisees?Take your time. It’s not a race. Sometimes it better to be second or third in a category because you can watch and learn as the number one makes mistakes. You can improve your model from their experience if you’re paying attention. Room for improvement is always there. Franchising is “economic Darwinism.” The brands and systems that adapt and innovate and evolve are successful, not always the biggest or fastest. What are you most passionate in speaking about with your keynote speeches?I really like to see people do franchising well and good. My keynote is titled “the Franchise Lifecycle” and it takes the audience through four phases of “life” as a franchisee: infant, teenager, adult, and master. I share what each phase looks like, sounds like, feels like, and what behaviors to expect --- the good and bad of each phase. Franchisees and franchisors can have a better awareness of what success and struggle look like at each phase and how to move ahead faster and better. The first three are natural, and the last one is optional. I enjoy sharing my experiences and stories of each phase. I explain from real-life experience about each part, and people can identify themselves along the way and help each other move ahead.

You are the Founding Father of Fathers Eve. What is it, and what inspired you to start it? How can people get involved?I'm inventing a new holiday - Fathers Eve. It’s fun to create something new and different. I’m learning a lot about new things and enjoying seeing it take shape and expand. Dads need Fathers Eve!

Fathers Eve is focused on making the night before Fathers’ Day a special time each year to raise awareness of dads, what it means to be a father and how to help people be better at such an important job. It features signature events around the country that bring together people, ideas, and energy focused on supporting dads and having fun. Fathers Eve was created to help dads of all ages renew existing friendships and make new connections to help support each other. It is a way to share, learn, connect, laugh, and do something good for your neighbor, friend, or the community. Fathers Eve was inspired as a way for me to give back to the dads who have helped me in my “journey” as a dad and husband. We all need help, and I’m lucky to have the people around me who’ve helped me along the way.

People can get involved by participating at a local event. We had 42 cities in 2017, and we are aiming for 100 in 2018. If people want to help, they can HOST an event (it’s FREE) or they might want to sponsor our events and brand. We’re looking for support and this is a team effort. Many of the Fathers Eve events are also fundraisers for local charities - that's a bonus we can offer, something beyond ourselves. For more details on Fathers Eve, check out the website, the Fathers Eve YouTube channel, and Facebook page. You can reach John directly at 612-868-0745, and

Need to recruit powerhouse executive talent for your team? Contact Rebecca Patt at I’m also open to suggestions for powerhouse individuals to feature in Executive Chat. Please email me their name and a short description. Thanks!——

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