Change And Unity
A lot of folks have asked why I made the decision to run for National Chairman after so many years in the 7-Eleven system, especially at a time in my life when I should be looking forward to a quieter style of living. I have been in the 7-Eleven system for most of my life, and it has been a very rewarding experience for me. I’ve always been very proud to be a 7-Eleven franchisee and I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy a good relationship with the company. The decision to run for Chairman really came down to the fact that sometimes, when you observe what’s going on, you get driven by the feeling you can contribute something that will change the system to everyone’s benefit. That was the sole reason for my wanting to run.
The 7-Eleven system is going through a period of change, what with Business Transformation, the hot and fresh foods programs, new store acquisitions, and so forth. The truth is, for us to keep our top-quality trademark image in the eyes of the public, change always needs to happen, in some cases it needs to show publicly, and we need to be on top of it. But change always comes at a price, especially when you are trying to stay ahead of the competition or trying to exceed what they are doing. There are now more demands on franchisees and our sales associates, and our guests expect a lot more from us in the way of service. Additionally, we all have an investment in our stores that we want to protect and be able to reap benefits from.
As Chairman I made a promise that I would reach out to the entire membership—even if it comes at a cost—in order to bring the franchise community closer together. We need to be more focused on our issues, on improving the system, and on trying to develop a much stronger working relationship with our franchisor. The National Coalition has made some changes this year as to how we approach our meetings with our Board of Directors, the FOA presidents. We’ve also asked our vendor community to participate in what we could change to try to maximize sales and profits for franchisees.
Our goal for 2014 will be to work very closely with all the FOA presidents and to extend an invitation to work even closer with our vendor community. Most importantly, the backbone for obtaining unity in these relationships will be the ability to work and communicate with our franchisor and business partner. It is okay to agree and to disagree because we all have different viewpoints in operating a business. To disagree is acceptable as long as you can accept each other’s viewpoints and strive to make it happen to where you come together to work on a solution.
The National Coalition officers and I will try to maintain a very high standard of reporting back to the membership on all meetings we have with 7-Eleven, Inc. management and with vendors, and we will be more visible in certain areas so we can help build a stronger effort to grow our trademark. We hope when we look back later on this year it will be measured by the fact that we established a solid foundation on which we can continue to grow our business and build a stronger relationship with our business partner in the coming years, as needs and circumstances change.
I have been blessed with being an FOA president for a long number of years, and have always enjoyed helping my fellow franchisee and making our community stronger. I will continue to do the same as your National Chairman.