Franchisee Convention Energizes Membership to “Maintain a United and Strong Front”

The 44th Annual NCASEF Convention and Trade Show was the largest yet – but what may have set the tone for the convention was the first event of the show.  “Our opening reception was an outdoor event,” said NCASEF Vice Chairman Rehan Hashmi.  “I looked around and saw families.  Franchisees had brought their kids to the event.  When you see that, you realize this business is not just supported by the franchisee, but also each of our families.  This isn’t just about a corporate organization.”

The theme of this year’s convention was once again “Franchisees ARE the brand” and NCASEF Chairman Jatinder Singh said franchisees came out in full force. “This was our strongest year yet,” Singh noted. “It was a family-oriented convention and trade show.  We had 2,498 franchisees in attendance along with some 80+ vendors. The overwhelming message our board members heard was that this convention was the best yet.”

Baldev Singh Dhiman has been a franchise owner in California for the last 22 years and has attended almost every NCASEF Convention and Trade Show held during that time span.  “The unity and strength of the franchise owners who came with their families to support our national association leadership was the strongest I’ve ever seen,” Dhiman said. “There is concern among us over the 2019 contract as well as the lawsuit, but the franchisees I spoke with from across the country all are united behind our association leadership.”

Austin-based franchisee Gaurav Kapoor echoed Dhiman’s sentiments.  “It was a great event and was very informational while also family-centric.  You can’t go wrong with all the events that our families, including our kids, were able to attend.  I’m looking forward to next year in D.C.”

“Events such as the NCASEF trip to Disneyland as well as our evening event on the Queen Mary were packed with franchisees and their families,” said Singh, noting that a room subsidy was offered for those in attendance. “The convention and trade show really was a mix of time well spent with families as well as time spent learning more about how to ensure the success of our businesses.”

It was standing room only at the legal forum led by NCASEF General Counsel Eric Karp, Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and franchisee advocacy consultant Keith Miller.  Karp spoke extensively about the profits SEI is earning, and how those profits continue to grow, some at the expense of franchisees. Liss-Riordan updated the state of the California lawsuit and Miller’s message was franchisees hold the power and outnumber our franchisor, noting that harnessing that power is sometimes a challenge.  Looking at the crowd gathered at the event Miller stated that this didn’t seem to be an issue. Our strength is truly in our numbers, he said, and we need to maintain a united and strong front.

“Franchisees came away from the convention energized and engaged,” said NCASEF Executive Vice-Chairman Michael Jorgensen. “Franchisees understand that they are the brand. They get it.  We are really hopeful that SEI will get the message.”

“NCASEF members work diligently in our stores everyday to build relationships with those in our communities.  And the NCASEF board works tirelessly to ensure we can continue to stay in business.  Every action we do is about protecting and advancing the 7-Eleven brand,” said Jaspreet Dhillon, NCASEF treasurer.

We know the convention reenergized our members,” said Rehan Hashmi, NCASEF Vice Chair.  “They know the franchise system itself is broken and needs to be fixed.  We need to have a transparent and collaborative dialogue as equal partners to make this brand stronger. We all believe in the convention theme. Eventually common sense must prevail at SEI.  Our mood going forward is hopeful.”

“We were very pleased with the overwhelming positivity of this year’s event,” said Jorgensen. “Our goal looking ahead to the 45th annual convention next year is to continue to include our families and to increase our focus on building our political engagement. Building relationships with our legislators both locally and nationally is a key focus of NCASEF leadership. We need a voice to effectively communicate with  our legislators to protect our business.We have already been successful in a number of efforts in the past through different organizations and organizers, but we can do this on our own. Changes to franchising laws is just one of many issues that we hope to impact.”

**Next year’s convention will be held from August 10th-14th at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center just outside of Washington, D.C.**