Let’s Make Every Store An NCASEF Member
BY JAY SINGH, CHAIRMAN, NCASEF
The National Coalition began in 1973 when six store owners got together for a basement meeting in Seattle to talk about 7-Eleven and its problems and opportunities. The company at the time had 3,537 stores, 36 percent of which were franchised. Now, 45 years later, we virtually have written the history of franchising, and 7-Eleven is one of the oldest franchised systems in the country. Today an overwhelming majority—almost 89 percent—of 7-Eleven stores in North America are franchised.
I don’t know how many original members we have still around from those days, but I’m certain we do have members that have been in the system 45 years or longer. Today, 7-Eleven has grown to approximately 7,200 franchised stores, and approximately 4,700 franchisees. (This does not include corporate stores, area licensee stores, or the 1,100 Sunocos the company purchased last year and has yet to franchise.) Approximately 22 percent of 7-Eleven franchisees are multiple storeowners.
The National Coalition is organized into 43 FOAs throughout the country, and consists of approximately 4,700 franchisee member stores. We represent approximately 65 percent of all franchised stores in the country. Each FOA sends two duly elected representatives, a president and a vice president, to our board meetings four times per year.
Many franchisees have served as FOA presidents and vice presidents on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition. Many have served as members of the head table, as officers of the National Coalition. Each of these folks knows that being a franchisee leader, especially in times of strife with our franchisor, is a difficult job that demands some courage and the ability to balance the objectives of franchisees with the objectives of the company.
Since I was elected chairman of the National Coalition and took office one year ago, the National Coalition has been at odds with our franchisor over the new agreement and our attempts to make changes to that document.
Right now, a lot of people are asking what the NCASEF is doing. The National is not six people sitting at the head table making decisions for every franchisee in the country. The National is a much bigger force than that. We take a lot of votes. Right now, for every board meeting we invite 86 FOA elected presidents and vice presidents, board members from throughout the country, to represent their member franchisees at our meetings. We routinely get representatives from 35 to 38 FOAs out of the 43 total in the country.
Since my administration took office we have attempted total transparency in all aspects of National Coalition operations and decision-making. Whatever motions were on the agenda we took to a vote, whether it was voting to support the lawsuit on our independent contractor status, committees to talk about the new agreement, skipping the 7-Eleven Experience, or anything else that came up. The National is a complement of everyone on the board and everyone votes on every issue. Most of our motions are passed either unanimously or by a huge majority.
You may have figured it out by now that the National has a gap of some 2,500 stores that are not represented by FOA groups, and I would like us all to work to bring them into our membership through their local FOAs. (See previous page for nonmembers in each state.)
We are announcing a membership drive. It is my goal that every single president, vice president or FOA member should approach these unrepresented franchisees to encourage them to join, because there is strength in unity. If their FOA represents them, they can address their issues. In addition, the bigger our numbers are, the more incentive there is for vendors to attend tradeshows and support local FOAs, along with the national show.
The National Coalition executive team is open to attending local FOA events and meetings to help promote your membership. We can supply a list of who is and who isn’t a member in your area. Please call the National Office at 210-971-9211.
We are seeking to represent all franchisees by knowing what they want and what they need. Our financial status is much better than it was last year. We had the largest-attended tradeshow and convention this year, and we want next year’s to be even better. Accompanying this article is a display that shows how to create a case to become an NCASEF member. Call or contact your local president or vice president through our website about membership fees per month because every FOA is different.
Remember, issues can be addressed better when we’re united and everyone has a vote. Vendors and SEI management will listen more if we represent all franchisees. To find out about national and local FOA board meetings, tradeshows and conventions visit www.ncasef.com or look at the calendar in the back of this issue. We have also created a LinkedIn account and a Facebook page, and we would like to see you there, too.