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NIFA 2016 Winter Luncheon Draws Diverse Crowd

Photo CollageThe Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA), founded by All Points PR’s executive leadership Jamie and Lauren Izaks alongside friend and colleague Andrew Bleiman, managing attorney with Marks & Klein, one of America’s leading law firms focused on the franchise industry with a Chicago office, recently hosted its Winter Luncheon March 7 at historic Hamburger University on McDonald’s corporate campus in Oak Brook, IL.

With more than 85 guests in attendance, the Winter Luncheon was the largest event to date and a great networking opportunity with a mix of franchisors, franchisees and suppliers. The NIFA and Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) worked in conjunction to host the event and it was co-sponsored by international accounting network, BDO and Alliant.

Guests enjoyed a panel discussion led by moderator Sara Rush, senior editor at B2B digital publishing company Winsight, which includes Restaurant Business Magazine; Julia Howe, Senior Director of U.S. Franchising at McDonald’s Corporation and McDonald’s franchisor; Derrick Taylor, multi-unit Chicagoland McDonald’s franchisee; Sam Stanovich, Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana Area Representative and franchisee for Firehouse Subs; David Grossman, president of Fresh Food Management and Freshii Chicagoland area developer; and T.J. Callahan, owner of Farmheads, which operates restaurants Farmhouse and Farm Bar.

The group provided fresh insight into challenges facing those in the restaurant industry including site selection, finding, training and motivating staff members and expressed their thoughts on the NLRB and available healthcare options.

A key focus of the panel was the numerous growth opportunities in the greater Chicagoland markets. The demand for restaurants continues as the local population increases around the nation’s third largest city. Franchising opportunities are also becoming increasingly popular as many in the area are leaving corporate desk jobs and transitioning to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Following the panel, guests networked in the iconic hallways of the decades-old corporation and enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by Hyatt Hotels.

The NIFA will hold their next luncheon in the spring of 2016. Information will be shared in the coming months. Click here to visit the site to learn more about the organization, and click here to learn about the membership opportunities.

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