The Board of Directors of the Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners (DDIFO) has officially named Jim Coen president of the organization, elevating him from interim to full-time status.
Board chairman Kevin McCarthy said, “DDIFO is indeed fortunate to now officially have Jim Coen as our President. Jim brings unrivalled enthusiasm, creativity, integrity and common sense to this vital position. We all look forward to Jim now leading DDIFO well into the 21st century and making DDIFO a major positive force in the franchising industry.”
Coen took over as president December 1, 2008 after serving as a director and clerk of the DDIFO board of directors. He brings 25 years of experience in franchising not only as Executive Director of the New England Franchise Association, but also as a former owner and operator of an Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream franchise and as Vice President of sales and marketing for Direct Home Advertising, a SuperCoups franchisee.
Since stepping in as interim president last year, Jim has focused on improving the flow of information Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners receive. “My approach is to try and provide as much pertinent information as possible to enhance and protect the business interests of franchise owners,” he said
Under Coen’s leadership, DDIFO now produces a monthly newsletter, DDIFO Insider, that includes articles written by DDIFO journalists, the bi-monthly Legal and Legislative Update and a weekly compilation of interesting and relevant news stories packed under the umbrella News You Can Use. Coen has also shepherded the creation of Independent Joe, a quarterly DDIFO magazine containing in-depth articles also written by DDIFO journalists, on issues that effect Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners.
Coen hired Amy Levine as Membership Director and together they created the Associate Member program for vendors who currently do business with Dunkin’ Donuts. “The Associate Member program is designed to offer vendors various opportunities for exposure to franchise owners thru online, print and meeting sponsorships, as well as offering franchise owners alternative vendor options and choices,” Amy said. She has recruited well over 30 Associate Members with more in the works.
“What’s great about the Associate Member program is that we’re able to use the revenue to support our communications efforts while also contributing 5% to the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation,” Jim said. “We anticipate this program adding significant revenue to our budget increasing the resources with which we have to work with.”
Coen said there are specific goals for DDIFO. Shortly, DDIFO will establish a “Member’s Only” section at the ddifo.org website where; articles, surveys, forums and research will be accessible only to members with predetermined logins and passwords. Coen expects that to be set up by early September and he and Levine will be personally contacting all DDIFO members in the coming weeks to find out who in each network will have access to this valuable section of the website.
DDIFO has set a date for its next meeting which will be September 22nd at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. The theme of the meeting is “Cutting Costs and other Strategies to Improve the Bottom Line”.
For the next 90 days, DDIFO will be focused on expanding membership. “That is a critical piece of our mission,” Jim said. “I strongly believe no franchise owner is ever as strong as a group of united independent franchise owners. Increasing franchise owner participation in DDIFO will strengthen our collective voice and enable DDIFO to have the resources to gain more impact and greater influence for all members.”