Published August 21, 2020

Stories of Success: FBR Talks with Female Franchise Leaders

Who are the women leading franchising today and how did they get there? The IFA Women’s Franchise Committee (WFC) podcast series, Her Success,  profiles female franchise leaders who are changing the future of the franchise sector.

WFC Chair, and president & COO of Franchise Business Review, Michelle Rowan, interviewed some of today’s inspiring leaders.

Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer, Wild Birds Unlimited, 2020 Crystal Compass Award Winner

Paul, of course, is not a woman, but he is an advocate of women and the LGBTQ community both within and beyond franchising. Because of his tireless advocacy, the IFA’s Women’s Franchise Committee honored him with the 2020 Crystal Compass Award.

Paul shares what led him to become the first full-time employees of Wild Birds Unlimited, the people who have inspired him along the way, learning to be a good leader, and his advice for the younger generation entering franchising today.

Michelle also shared 7 Franchising (and Life) Lessons Learned from Paul Pickett when he was honored with the Crystal Compass.

Saunda Kitchen, Franchisee and President, Mr. Rooter, Sonoma County, CA, 2010 Crystal Compass Award Winner

Saunda shares how she fell in love with the trades and the franchise model, embracing being a woman and a leader in a male-dominated industry, navigating business ownership during a pandemic, and how she inspires and motivates her team.


Jania Bailey, CEO, FranNet, 2019 Bonnie LeVine Award Recipient

Jania recalls her path to franchising, shares her advice for surviving changes in management, formulating an exit strategy, and making franchising more inclusive, plus her outlook on the future of the broker industry.


Tamra Kennedy, Taco John’s franchisee, co-founder of Performax Franchisee Advisors and member of the IFA’s Board of Directors

Tam talks about starting her career as a secretary for a franchisee of Burger King and Taco John’s, ultimately buying the restaurants from the owner. She now owns and operates eight Taco John’s locations in Minnesota and Iowa. She also shares her personal mission to provide a family environment to help young people entering the workforce start on their own career path.


Subscribe to Social Geek Radio to access all the episodes of Her Success: Stories of Female Franchise Leaders.


About the Author: Franchise Business Review

Franchise Business Review is an independent market research firm specializing in benchmarking franchisee and employee satisfaction. FBR has partnered with over 1,200 franchise companies to help them achieve success through data-driven insights. Learn how you can partner with FBR to drive satisfaction and improve system performance at
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