Washington The International Franchise Association (IFA) announced that its Educational Foundation will establish a Diversity Training Institute, which will be supported by The Coca-Cola Company. The purpose of the Institute will be to provide a permanent framework for fostering diversity awareness and providing training for franchise executives and franchisees, according to Foundation chairman Sid Feltenstein, chairman and CEO of Yorkshire Global Restaurants (A&W, Long John Silver's).
Feltenstein praised The Coca-Cola Company for its vision and commitment to this initiative, noting that the Company's pledge of $250,000 is the single largest pledge to date in the Foundation's fundraising campaign and brings the total funds pledged very close to the $2.5 million goal established last year.
"Fostering greater awareness and appreciation of diversity at every level of the franchising business among corporate executives, franchisees, employees, and customers is one of our greatest challenges and greatest opportunities," Feltenstein said. "This new program, which is being made possible through the generous support of Coca-Cola, will enable the Foundation to expand and increase our educational programs and outreach efforts in this critical area."
"We are proud to be a part of the IFA's initiative to bring greater awareness and understanding of diversity issues to the franchise community," said Eric McCarthey, senior vice president, Coca-Cola North America Foundation Sales and Marketing. "Our hope is that participants in this program will help cultivate a culture of diversity throughout their organizations and their local communities. Coca-Coca is committed to the principles and value of diversity within our own business and want to contribute to an ongoing dialogue that will touch and benefit others."
Feltenstein noted that a Steering Committee comprised of representatives of the Foundation's Board, the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives Board, Coca-Cola, and the academic community will be organized to provide guidance and oversee the Institute's programs and activities.
The Diversity Training Institute will undertake a wide range of program efforts, including a video/training kit on diversity awareness for franchise systems, a series of on-line training programs, and a series of regional seminars to be held in major cities around the country. The Institute will also conduct research studies to identify and establish bench-marking and best practices in diversity awareness and diversity training, publish Case Studies, and develop a Diversity Awards Program to recognize franchise systems with outstanding programs in this area.
The purpose of the IFA Educational Foundation, founded in 1986, is to increase the knowledge and understanding of franchising through education and research. For information about the Foundation's fundraising drive and other programs contact Pres. John Reynolds (202) 682-0764 or Campaign Dir. Bill Epke (202) 662-0776.