Joe Giannino, DDIFO Government Relations Specialist

Joe Giannino, DDIFO Government Relations Specialist

Joseph A. Giannino is the principal and founder of Government Relations Group (GRG), which is based in Boston. Joe serves the DDIFO as the organization’s government relations specialist.

According to DDIFO President Jim Coen,  Joe’s expertise helps ensure the interests of Dunkin Donuts franchise owners are protected and enhanced at the legislative and regulatory levels. With more than 20 years of service in government, as well as experience as a small business owner, Joe brings firsthand knowledge and expertise that provide a unique and indispensable perspective together with a myriad of valuable contacts.

Before entering the private sector, Joe spent many years working in government. He served as Legislative Director to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and worked alongside the former Massachusetts House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran. Joe also worked as the Director of Government Relations and Educator Licensure for the Massachusetts Department of Education. In addition, he was elected to two terms as a City Councilor-At-Large for the city of Revere and served as an elected member of Revere’s School Committee for six consecutive years.

In his role with the DDIFO, Joe is making sure that legislators at the state and federal levels understand that Dunkin’ shops are not company stores operated by the Brand; rather they are 100 percent owned and operated by independent franchise owners. At the same time, Joe is communicating important legislative and regulatory information to the DDIFO Board and membership.

Through Joe’s advocacy, lawmakers and policy-setters are coming to realize how vital a role Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners play in their communities not just economically but also often on a communal level in terms of supporting local activities and charitable organizations. On Beacon Hill, Joe is spreading the word with legislators statewide that because they are small business owners, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees are essential to the Massachusetts business landscape and they deserve a voice in the decisions impacting their business operations.

With Joe on the DDIFO Team the organization can be more proactive and vigorously involved in legislative and regulatory issues. He works collaboratively with DDIFO President Jim Coen, DDIFO Board members and Robert Branca, Jr. a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner who leads the DDIFO’s government relations initiative. Joe is working to ensure that the DDIFO is an active participant in important processes, whether seeking to amend or dispense with legislation and regulations that are detrimental to franchise owners or seeking to file new legislation and regulations that could be beneficial. Joe’s experience allows him to effectively advise the DDIFO and help the organization navigate the system.

“Allowing franchise owners and operators to have their voices heard by decision makers is extremely important,” said Joe, “especially when it comes to legislation and regulations that result in additional costs and operational hardships being borne by these small business owners, not the franchisor.”

Joe said that he cannot stress enough how vital it is to have the franchise owner’s voice present in political meetings to provide legislators with a spot on, bona fide understanding of how issues impact these small business owners. He cited a recent meeting with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) at which Rob Branca presented testimony related to the impact DPH proposed menu labeling regulations would have on fellow franchise owners. Joe said Rob’s presence put a face to the franchise owners and emphasized how a one-size-fits-all approach to menu labeling simply does not work.

“I feel privileged to be able to advocate on behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners,” said Joe. “I am grateful to Jim Coen and the DDIFO Board for having the confidence in me to play this role and for giving me the opportunity to do this important work.”