After working together for a year, franchise owners from over 375 stores represented by the Midwest Dunkin’ Donuts Franchisee Association (MWDDFA) and the DDIFO met on May 5, 2010 to finalize the details that brings the Midwest group into the DDIFO as a local members committee.

“The addition of over 400 shops in the Chicago area is one giant step for the DDIFO in its ongoing efforts to extend its representation of Dunkin’ franchisees across the United States,” said DDIFO Chairman Kevin McCarthy. “We are extremely pleased that so many shops in the Midwest market have chosen to join the DDIFO, and the obvious enthusiasm exhibited by these franchise owners at the Members Meeting is a strong and welcome endorsement of the successful strategy and effectiveness of our organization.”

Last year McCarthy and DDIFO President Jim Coen visited Chicago to encourage MWDDFA members to become a local members committee of the DDIFO in exchange for a seat on the Board of Directors and three seats on the Franchisee Roundtable that advises the board.

According to Coen the two associations have been working closely over the past 12 months to ensure the interests of franchise owners in the Midwest region were being addressed. “So many individuals dedicated themselves to seeing this alliance through to fruition. I am grateful for the diligent efforts of MWDDFA Executive Director and DDIFO Board Member Asheesh Seth, the entire MWDDFA Board and the numerous franchise owners in the area who worked so hard to recruit members and bring us all together in a powerful partnership,” said Coen.

By enlisting more than 400 Midwest shops while simultaneously increasing membership in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, the DDIFO has increased membership by 55 percent in the past year and now boasts over 2300 member shops. This extraordinary growth illustrates how franchise owners throughout the system recognize a shared mission and understand the value of “strength in numbers,” particularly when it comes to communications, government and Brand relations.

“With the addition of members from the MWDDFA, the DDIFO is on the right track to becoming a truly national association and one that has a significant voice with regard to protecting franchise owners’ interests,” said Seth. “There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the room at the meeting, and the vast majority of the franchisees see the value in this alliance.”

The Members Meeting, held at Ashyana Banquets in Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, featured talks by Coen, Seth and a Chicagoland franchise owner.  In addition, attendees heard a panel discussion focused on legal and business issues and a lively Q&A session with Midwest Brand Advisory Council members.

As was the case at recent DDIFO member meetings in New England, DDIFO sponsors were an important component of the program.  Jeff Hyatt of Performance Business Solutions and Mark Sullivan of RF Technologiesdelivered presentations about their products and services and exhibited in the meeting room.

 In all, nine sponsors offered exhibits of their various products and services. The  sponsors included: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group; DTT Surveillance; FireKing Security Group; iTech Digital; Jera Concepts; James P. Ventriglia, CPA, Inc. and PepsiCo. Some of the sponsors such as Goldstein Law Group, PC; IKMS Group and Rubiano & Company, CPAs—were unable to attend the meeting but placed ads in the program booklet.

“As we celebrate the success of the Midwest Members Meeting and what it means to our association, we have to keep our eyes on the prize,” said Coen. “I strongly encourage all Mid-Atlantic franchise owners to attend the Mid-Atlantic Members Meeting in Newark, New Jersey, on June 3rd. Let’s continue the momentum to  make the DDIFO a national organization.

It’s our time, and together we ‘kin do it!”

Click here to register for the Mid-Atlantic Members Meeting.