Three years ago, DDIFO changed its board structure to better respond to the needs of its membership. Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners would no longer make up the Board of Directors; instead, a board comprised of outside professionals, would manage the direction of DDIFO. Attorney Kevin McCarthy, former vice president of development and operations for Dunkin’ Donuts, was selected DDIFO Chairman. Last month, McCarthy announced he would step down from his duties.

 “I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as a Director and Chair of DDIFO for the last three years. I have especially enjoyed renewing many old friendships and making many new ones, particularly amongst Franchisees of the Dunkin’ system,” said McCarthy. “I look forward to following, with great interest and pride, the continued impressive success of DDIFO.” 

 During McCarthy’s tenure, DDIFO expanded its membership by over 50 percent, bringing in new members from the Midwest Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Association (MWDDFA) and the Independent Association of Franchise Owners (IAFO)—which represents franchise owners in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

 “He helped to guard DDIFO from denigrating into a simple anti-franchisor club of self interested voices. Franchisees will always owe Kevin a debt of gratitude for guiding the transition of this franchisee association from what it was to a modern trade association focused solely on the business interest of all of its members,” said Rob Branca, DDIFO member.

 Board member Daniel Connelly, who joined DDIFO in 2009, said, “From the beginning, it was evident to me that Kevin’s focus was to protect and enhance the business equity of our franchisee members.  His strong leadership skills aided in advancing this cause while growing our membership base in terms of additional stores and geographic reach. He will be missed.”

 DDIFO President Jim Coen says under the professional board model, DDIFO has been able to focus on three specific goals: increasing membership, developing a robust sponsor network and using government relations and public relations as strategic tools.

“The past three years has been an important time for DDIFO. We are better positioned than ever to address the ever-changing needs of our membership,” said Coen.

 Pat Kaufmann, Clerk of the DDIFO Board of Directors, agrees the organization has blossomed during McCarthy’s chairmanship.

 “Kevin McCarthy brought tremendous insight, system knowledge, and business sense to DDIFO at a critical time as it transitioned to an outside board and grew into a national organization.  He helped shape a DDIFO that was both able to protect the interests of the franchisees while always standing ready to work constructively with franchisor management to strengthen the brand.  His leadership and attention to detail were indispensable and although it is difficult to imagine the DDIFO without his guidance, he has left the association strong and ready to continue its important work,” said Kaufmann.

 DDIFO Vice –Chair Asheesh Seth will serve as interim director while the organization undertakes the process of nominating and approving McCarthy’s successor.