August 2017

Great Lakes Regional Update

Planning hands-on service projects

Just as Harland Sanders left a lasting impact on fast food, he has also inspired KFC franchisees to give back to their communities. The Great Lakes Education Committee, chaired by Bob Widder, has taken on the task of planning hands on service projects for their region. On May 1, 2017, the Great Lakes kicked off their Spring Association Meeting by organizing a dinner at the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Columbus, Ohio. The RMHC is a modern facility that houses families traveling far from home, spending weeks or months seeking treatment for seriously sick or injured children. The RMHC serves three meals a day, 365 days a year provided by individual donors, churches, organizations and corporate businesses like KFC. The GLEC had the task of feeding 150 family members of sick children being treated at Nationwide Children's Hospital. KFCC generously donated the food. Original Recipe chicken, mac and cheese, and green beans were brought in from local KFC restaurants. The fresh aroma of biscuits and cookies, baked on site, filled the Ronald McDonald House. Seventy volunteers, made up of KFCC employees, vendors, and franchisees served the families a home-style KFC meal.  It was great to support those in need and to show KFC cares by delivering a great southern style, home cooked meal!
 
How can you join the Great Lakes Education Committee on their next service project?  Stay tuned for details on the 2017 Fall Super Regional service project in St. Petersburg, Fla. This event will be a carry in donation to be given to a local charity.  We hope to see you there!  If you can't make it, there will be a hands on service event at the 2018 Fall Super Regional meeting in Denver, Colorado. As KFC franchisees, we work hard to preserve the legacy Harland Sanders left by giving back to the community.

GAC Report: Joint-Employer Legislation Introduced

On Thursday, July 27, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), and other cosponsors met on Capitol Hill to announce the introduction of the “Save Local Business Act” (H.R.3441).

The legislation will restore the NRLB’s joint employer standard as it existed prior to the 2015 Browning-Ferris case – creating certainty and stability in business relationships and restoring the prior standard of joint employment liability.

As you are aware, in the 2015 case involving a waste management company Browning-Ferris and a staffing agency, the NRLB abandoned a 30-year-old position that a company had to have direct control over the actions of an employee to be considered a joint employer. Instead, the board concluded that a company might be a joint employer even if it had indirect or potential control.

This is a concern to KFC franchisees because if the new standard is taken to its logical conclusion, franchisors such as KFC might determine that they will be liable no matter what happens, and as a result, decide to exercise even more control over the day to day operations of your independently owned and operated business. It also would have the likely effect of making disgruntled employees sue, as they may now believe they would have the deep pocket of the franchisor to chase, and not just the small business owner that employed them.

After the announcement by the cosponsors, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released the following statement:
 
"In 2015, the NLRB made a terrible decision to hold privately-owned franchises accountable for employees working at other franchises that they didn't hire and have no relationship to. Deeming franchise owners 'joint-employers' of such employees could end up costing thousands of jobs, tank small businesses, and provide a boon for trial lawyers attacking businesses for labor practices that those franchise owners don't control. What's worse, this decision was made unilaterally by executive branch employees in the Obama Administration, giving the American people no chance to defend small businesses and voice their opposition through their representations.
 
"In America, we don't punish a person for someone else's actions. The Save Local Business Act introudced by Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-01) will treat American businesses fairly again so they can go back to what they do best -- hiring workers and providing quality products and services for their customers."

We are urging AKFCF members to reach out to their Members of Congress in the House of Representatives and encourage them to cosponsor the bill (H.R.3441). If you need help identifying your Member of Congress or need assistance getting in touch with their office, please contact Mary Donohue at Polaris Consulting (mdonohue@polariswdc.com) for more information. 

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com). 

Back to Work After a Trip to Ireland

By Kelly Rodenberg

Since it’s the last month of summer, I thought I would share a few highlights of my summer vacation in Ireland with you.

Ireland’s reputation precedes itself, as a first-time visitor I thought I might know what to expect: fields of clover, wooly sheep, stone castles, some Irish stew and Guinness galore. But there’s so much more to Ireland than its stereotypical charms.

On March 20, I turned the big 50 and as a gift to myself for this milestone, I booked a trip to Ireland with three of my best friends. Mind you, we have been friends since middle school, were roommates in college and could survive a 10 day trip together 24/7.  We decided to skip the bus tours stopping at leprechaun-filled souvenir shops and find better things to explore on our own time. Instead, we plotted out our adventure by car from Shannon to Dublin. Below are just a few of my first-timer experiences to the Emerald Isles.

Driving in Ireland – Remember HARD LEFT!

When renting a car in Ireland, remember SMALLER is better and definitely get insurance! They drive on the left side of the road in the right side of the car. Renting a car is a must, especially if you really want to see the countryside and all of the beauty Ireland has to offer. With that beauty comes terror and white knuckles for the American driver. Irish country roads are winding, narrow and tend to be guarded by tall hedges or stone walls, which the Irish typically use instead of fences.  And which are not see-through. Roundabouts are everywhere, and there were many times we went around and around. The speed limit is 100 kilometers, about 80 for us. Livestock in the road isn’t just a cliché, it’s a real!

Cliffs of Moher

One of the rewards for driving along Ireland's coastal roads (aptly named the Wild Atlantic Way) are the vertical Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. They rise to a dramatic height of 203m (666ft). This is definitely a site you have to see for yourself to appreciate the vastness. The views are tremendous, with the Aran Islands etched on the waters of Galway Bay. From the edge you can feel the Atlantic spray and hear the booming far below as the waves crash at the shale and sandstone. It was my first “Wow” moment in Ireland and one I will never forget.

The Dingle Peninsula

County Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula is awash with postcard-worthy vistas of sandy surf beaches and Caribbean-blue stretches of ocean. Its 'capital', the charming fishing village of Dingle, is a tangle of streets teeming with art and craft shops, old-fashioned pubs and sublime seafood restaurants serving the day's catch. The fish and chips here were beyond amazing and very different than what you find in the states. So not greasy at all. We also stumbled upon the best ice cream shop ever. You know it’s tasty when they put real Jamesons in the Irish coffee ice cream! 

The Perfect Pint

Pouring a Guinness is an art form in Ireland, and no trip is complete without at least one pint. I was never a big fan of the black and tan, until I savored an expertly drawn pint at Tigh Neachtain Pub in Galway. It takes about 5-6 minutes to settle before they will let you take it from the bar. Of course I also expanded my beer horizons over the 10 days by sampling many other great Irish beers such as Smithwicks Red and Pale Ales, Murphy’s Stout, Kilkenny Irish Red and Harp. Cheers!

Killarney National Park

One of my favorite stops was Ireland’s National Park located in Killarney. It was formed in 1932 when Senator Arthur Vincent and his family entrusted Muckross House & Estate into the care of the Irish State. Muckross House & Gardens has been entertaining as a 19th century mansion, containing all original pieces of furniture, artwork, trophies and many other furnishings from that period. The lakes, woodlands, waterfalls and living history are the ingredients that make Killarney National Park so unique, particularly when coupled with the ever changing light and skies that share in Killarney’s breathtaking scenery. The park is just over 26,000 acres. We spent two days in the park walking the gardens, boating on the lake, having a picnic and biking the trails. It was a nice place to take a break from the fast-paced schedule we had been on. And a break from driving!

Dublin

I was told by many that Dublin is like any other major city and not necessary to put on the must see list. But for me, I loved the vibe of Ireland’s capital city and it was a fun place to visit. There’s the Guinness factory, Temple Bar, Trinity College Library (Thanks Jeanine Bagshaw for the recommendation) and some beautiful shops and churches to discover. Okay, so U2 was also in town on tour and I was silently hoping I would run into Bono at a pub.

So in 10 days my Irish mates and I wandered through Shannon, Doolin, Dingle, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Killkarney and Dublin. I tried Kippers for breakfast, kissed the Blarney Stone, bought an Irish sweater, chatted with the locals over Jamesons and Yellow Spot, danced the jig to an Irish fiddle, walked the halls of stone castles and just breathed!

Now back to work with my AKFCF family.

July 2017

Golfing to Benefit KFC Foundation

By Joe Farley
 
During the Northeast Spring Convention planning meeting in 2016, Dale Moulton and I discussed resurrecting a golf tournament before the convention. We had heard the desire to have such an event from members and our vendor partners at previous meetings. While discussing the idea we quickly realized that this event had to mean something. We knew we could enhance our KFC family and others!  What better way to help the KFC family then having the tournament benefit the KFC Foundation?
 
Read about our successful tournaments, what we've learned, and what we're planning for fall 2017 and 2018 in the upcoming Summer issue of AKFCF Quarterly hitting mailboxes soon.

Nominate a Fellow Franchisee by Nov. 1!

If you know someone who demonstrates leadership, commitment, and involvement with AKFCF, please nominate them for consideration as a candidate for one of the below awards.

President’s Award

The President’s Award honors members of the AKFCF who over the course of time, have made substantial contributions to the development of the Association and the KFC Brand. Individuals adhere to high standards of professionalism, decency and collegiality. Awarded to franchisees who have consistently worked to support the AKFCF’s mission statement and who have performed “over and above” what has been required.  This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

Colonel’s Legacy Award

Awarded to second and third generation franchisees who have made a significant impact within their region or nationally.  It recognizes individuals for their noteworthy contributions, innovative thinking and volunteerism. This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented for the first time in 2015, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has given decades of outstanding service and voluntary leadership spanning a career in franchising. This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

The awards program recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to the association community, and is a call for continued service within the system. Awards winners serve as a role models and mentors for individuals who are interested in making a commitment to a career as a KFC franchisee.

Please send your nominations for all awards listed above on or before Nov. 1 to AKFCF President Eric Overcash at eovercash@oincorporated. Please include a detailed summary stating the reasons for this person’s nomination and head shot photo of the nominee. Eric Overcash will choose the recipients, subject to the approval of the AKFCF Executive Committee, and the awards will be presented at the 2018 Annual AKFCF Convention this February in Anaheim, Calif.

For questions, contact Kelly Rodenberg at 224-209-6701 or at kelly.rodenberg@akfcf.com

New AKFCF Year-round Mobile App Now Available

We are excited to offer this benefit to all AKFCF member franchisees and suppliers.

Discover the power of year-round engagement and communication with AKFCF’s 365 mobile app, a one-app solution for all our organization’s needs, 365 days a year. This app includes information on regional and national events, member networking opportunities, committees, targeted messaging, publications and more. It’s a year-round solution for the AKFCF to communicate with and engage our membership while allowing members to interact with each other and have meaningful conversations.

To access the app, please enter the following URL in your mobile device's browser: http://www.tripbuildermedia.com/apps/akfcf. This URL will take you to the appropriate market to download the iOS or Android version of the App, based on your mobile device type. If you don’t have an iOS or Android device, you will be taken to the HTML5 version of the App.

To login into the App, you will need to enter username and password information on the app's login screen. If you did not receive these via an email, please contact Deb Newton.

We hope you find this communication tool as exciting and useful as we do!

GAC Report: Overtime Update

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue

PPWO Letter to Secretary Acosta: On June 16, 2017, members of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (the AKFCF’s overtime coalition) sent a letter to congratulate Secretary Acosta on his confirmation and to reiterate our concerns with the Obama administration overtime rule.

The letter explained that the Obama administration’s final rule updating the “white collar” exemptions to federal overtime rules would have significantly burdened small businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions and negatively impacted upward mobility and employee morale. By setting the threshold unreasonably high, the prior administration ignored regional differences in costs of living and exceeded its statutory authority. It also failed to account for changing economic circumstances with its unprecedented and unlawful automatic updates.

While the AKFCF and other members of the PPWO welcomed a temporary relief from the preliminary injunction, the ultimate resolution of this regulation remains unclear.

During Secretary Acosta’s confirmation hearing, he mentioned the possibility of a new rulemaking to set the salary threshold that reflects the duties association with exempt positions, rather than supplanting the duties test, such as the methodology used by the Wage and Hour Division to set the salary level in 2004.

DOL Sends Request for Information (RFI) on Overtime Rule to OIRA: In late June, the DOL sent a RFI to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review prior to publishing in the Federal Register. RFIs are used to solicit information from the public. Here, the DOL will likely seek specific information on how it should set an appropriate salary level used to determine whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt under the FLSA overtime provisions. The RFI may also seek input on other aspects of overtime, including whether the salary level should be updated automatically.

The overtime rule finalized during the Obama Administration, as you recall, increased the salary level from the current $23,660 per year to $47, 476 per year and called for automatic adjustments to the salary level every three years. While the rule was scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the rule. DOL is required to file a reply brief in this litigation by June 30 and may seek to stay the litigation considering the RFI and anticipated new rulemaking on this issue.

If you have any questions or need further information, please reach out to Mary Donohue or Dan Gans at Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).

June 2017

AKFCF Convention Planning Committee Update

At the end of the month, the AKFCF Convention Planning Committee will be heading to Anaheim to begin brainstorming ideas, developing agendas and planning for the 2018 Annual Convention. Since March, we have been working closely with the Anaheim Marriott, Convention Center and Visitors Bureau on a number of items in preparation for the initial committee meeting.

We have never held the Convention in Anaheim and like Austin, we think this new destination will prove to be a noteworthy one. This sundrenched Southern California city, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, is best known as the home to the Disneyland® Resort. This destination offers world-famous theme parks and attractions, celebrated restaurants, award-winning local craft breweries, specialty shops, pro sports, cultural museums, top entertainment and unlimited outdoor recreation. Even if you are not about the amusement parks, Anaheim is within close proximity to many popular coastal towns including:

HUNTINGTON BEACH – known as “Surf City USA”, this relaxed beach community is 15 miles from Anaheim and features boutique shopping on Main Street, a beautiful pier, and the newly opened Pacific City with views of the ocean at almost every turn. 

LAGUNA BEACH – home to many internationally renowned artists, this beach city is 20 miles from Anaheim and offers unique dining, tree-lined streets and some of the best views of the entire coastline.

NEWPORT BEACH – this community is 15 miles from Anaheim and is home to Roger’s Gardens, Fashion Island, Sherman’s Library & Gardens, and the famous Balboa Island Ferry

Over the next few months, we will share more on Anaheim and all it has to offer during your stay at Convention.

For now, please go to www.visitanaheim.org for more information on the home of our 2018 Convention.

GAC Report June 2017

The AKFCF is a member of the Coalition to Save Local Business (CSLB), which is a diverse group of locally owned, independent small businesses, associations and organizations. The group is dedicated to protecting and strengthening all sectors of small business, which are now under attack by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an unelected regulatory body of five Washington bureaucrats. The Coalition’s goal is to maintain the current joint employer legal standard across federal and state statutes.

What’s at Stake? The franchise model is in peril and all contractual business relationships could be at risk due to pending NLRB cases. Government officials in Washington are likely to adopt a new standard of “joint employer.” This could have serious negative consequences that will go beyond franchise businesses and affect any business that partners or subcontracts with outside vendors and suppliers. Upending the current, well-established, joint employer standard would cause uncertainty and disruption for many small business owners, force some small businesses to close and deter aspiring entrepreneurs from opening businesses and creating new jobs.

Recent Activity on Capitol Hill: In early April, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) sent a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee calling for inclusion of a joint-employer provision in the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor-HHS bill.

The letter had 57 signers, including 3 Democrats: Messrs. Cuellar, Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Jim Costa (D-CA).

In the letter, lawmakers said the NRLB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision has confused and frustrated their constituents, and it requires a legislative solution. Additionally, in a June 2016 report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and International Franchise Association, franchise and contract businesses are facing more operational and legal costs, decreased business values, less compliance assistance from franchisors, less growth and fewer jobs as consequences of the new joint employer policy.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).   

May 2017

Why Join an AKFCF Committee?

The opportunity to join and participate in the work of the committees is among the most effective and rewarding benefits of membership in the Association.  These committees play an important role in our organization by providing our Board of Directors with vital information and guidance as well as assisting the AKFCF staff in providing better services to the membership. Whether you choose to volunteer to gain additional leadership opportunities, build your network, increase exposure in the franchisee community, or give back to the system, AKFCF is committed to providing you with a meaningful experience. One of the great things about committee involvement is that it benefits franchisees at all stages of their careers. 
 
Committees have a clear understanding of their scope of work and goals. They each have an experienced chair who knows how to lead and run meetings. There is a solid match between the interests, skills and experience of individual committee members and the needs and requirements of the committee. The committees have accountability and are in sync with the Board on the Association’s strategic direction. They provide a strategic focus for discussions and have prioritized agendas. 
 
AKFCF hosts 10 member committees dedicated to identifying and addressing specific association issues of importance to the franchisees. The committees include:
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Convention
  • Communications
  • Governmental Affairs
  • Leadership Development
  • Partnership Survey
  • Archiving
  • Nominating
  • Technology
It’s important to recognize committees or active committee members for their hard work and achievements. Always remember that committees are incubators for existing and future association leaders to collaborate, identify opportunities and implement new programs that keep an association fresh and forward-looking!
 
We encourage all AKFCF members to consider the value of participating in one or more of our committees.  Eric Overcash, incoming AKFCF President will be working closely with the Committee Chairs over the next two months to finalize the members on these committees for the coming year.
 
For more information on each committee, please visit the AKFCF Members Only Area on the website. We encourage you to contact the Committee Chair directly with any questions or concerns.

GAC Report May 2017

The Financial CHOICE Act is a bill sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) that repeals many aspects of Dodd-Frank. After a grueling three-day markup of the bill, the Financial CHOICE Act passed out of the Committee on Thursday, May 4, 2017 by a vote of 34-26. 
 
The Financial CHOICE Act is important to the AKFCF because there is language in the bill that would repeal the Durbin Amendment and the regulations that limit credit card swipe fees.
 
The Durbin Amendment Simplified:
Whenever consumers use a credit card or debit card to make a purchase, the merchant’s bank skims a percentage off the top. These hidden swipe fees drive up the price of merchandise, costing the average American family more than $400 a year through higher prices.
 
Credit card swipe fees make up $2-$3 out of every $100 consumers spend in stores or online.
 
The Durbin Amendment cut debit card swipe fees roughly in half, from about 45 cents on a typical transaction to about 22 cents, saving consumers about $6 billion a year.
 
Repealing the Durbin Amendment would mean higher prices for consumers and a lost opportunity to insert competition into the market.
 
The Path Forward:
The Financial CHOICE Act is a huge overhaul of America’s financial system and will be difficult to sign into law even though Republicans control the House, Senate and Presidency.
 
In recent news, Chairman Jeb Hensarling has signaled that the future of the amendment is unclear, while acknowledging that the division over the amendment doesn’t neatly match party lines.
 
“I know that we have members on both sides of the aisle that may be a little conflicted on the issue… We’re still listening,” said Hensarling, who added that he is “convinced that we will get the Financial Choice Act passed, regardless of the outcome of Durbin.”
 
Republicans who oppose the original amendment and support its repeal do so because they don’t believe the government should be in the business of setting prices, however they disagree over who should bear the cost – businesses or consumers.
 
Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.
 
You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.
 
For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com). 
 

April 2017

Kelly’s Corner: The Survey Results Are In!

By Kelly Rodenburg
 
Each year we send out an evaluation form within one week after Convention to all attendees for their comments, ratings and suggestions. The deadline to respond was March 31st. 

Respondents had the option to be entered into a random drawing for two complimentary registrations and three hotel nights at the 2018 Convention in Anaheim.  The winner is Nicole Helf of H&K Partners in Milwaukee Wisconsin!

Below are just a few highlights of the survey for your review:

Overall Experience at the 2017 Annual AKFCF Convention
  • 53% of respondents rated it as Good, where 41% rated it as Excellent
Top Three Reasons for Attending
  • Content
  • Personal Growth and Development
  • KFCC Presentations
Keynote Presenter with Highest Rating
  • Kevin Hochman - 57% of attendees rating him as Excellent
Highest Rated Workshops
  • Leadership Workshop with Justin Patton
  • Annual Legal Update with Ron Gardner
  • Establishing a Personal Board of Directors for Your Life
Welcome Reception in Convention Center
  • With over 200 vendors, local food truck fare and live music, 49% of attendees said this was an exceptional event!
Town Hall
  • Over 69% of Convention franchisees attended with 64% of them saying the content was of great value
Texas Shindig
  • 70% of attendees thought Little Big Town was Excellent
  • 49% of attendees felt that Austin City Limits was an Excellent venue
  • 87% agreed that we should have an auction to raise money for a charity
  • 29% said they would like to hear a country artist in 2018
  • 76% of attendees said they preferred having this large event in the beginning of the week
85% of attendees used the mobile app and found it to be helpful

68% liked have two social events outside of the hotel

Future Convention Destinations Rated by Response
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Phoenix
The 2018 Convention Committee will be meeting in June to start work on next year’s Convention in Anaheim. If you any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me or Eric Overcash at eovercash@oincorporated.com.
 

GAC Report

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue
 
The AKFCF Government Affairs Committee (GAC) just completed their spring Washington, DC Fly-In this past March 21st – 23rd, 2017. The fly-in is an opportunity for KFC franchisees, on and off the GAC, to meet with Members of Congress and staff to discuss current legislative and business issues. We had an extremely successful fly-in last month and are excited to share the metrics with the entirety of the AKFCF.

On Tuesday, March 21st the AKFCF hosted an informational reception in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, which was an opportunity for franchisees to mingle and meet staff and Members of Congress in a casual setting. The AKFCF served KFC to just under 1,000 attendees in two hours with very little food remaining.

On Wednesday, March 22nd, the fly-in attendees met with 22 Senate offices and 30 House offices in just a few short hours, proving to be one of our largest and comprehensive fly-ins to date. Almost all attendees met with the offices of either their Congressman, Senator or Member of Congress that holds the seat where they own and operate their businesses.

Intermittent with the Capitol Hill meetings, we hosted fundraisers for Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). Each fundraiser was a huge success and allowed attendees to spend quality, intimate time getting to know each member.

Spring 2017 Fly-In Top Issues: This fly-in focused on tax reform, ACA repeal/replace, repealing the RFS, overtime reform, NRLB joint employer and a variety of other issues. Even though the ACA repeal/replace was ultimately unsuccessful, the GAC was on the Hill and in offices just days before the scheduled vote; further educating legislators on the importance of the bill.

The following is a breakdown of the issues the AKFCF GAC discussed during the fly-in:

Tax Reform
The AKFCF supports efforts to simplify and streamline the Federal Tax Code
  • The AKFCF supports reducing corporate tax rates, but only if a comparable tax reduction/reform is provided to small business owners who operate as an LLC or S-Corps
  • The AKFCF opposes the Biodiesel Tax Credit – the $1 biodiesel tax credit expired at the end of 2016
  1. There is a lot of discussion to extend this credit for 2017 and to switch this credit to a producer’s credit
  2. If extended, it would effectively shut off the imported supply of biodiesel into the U.S.
  3. This would lead to a 30% to 40% surge in the amount of soybean oil that is converted into biodiesel and would likely deplete all domestic inventories of soybean oil in the U.S.
Ethanol – Repeal the RFS
  • Current market prices of $3.60/bushel remain 57% higher than the average price level that existed prior to the implementation of the RFS II
  • The increased percentage costs have resulted in feed cost inflation for the poultry industry and ultimately higher chicken costs
  • If corn prices remain 57% higher than the historical average when weather has been ideal, a shift in weather patterns will increase costs significantly, and result in more inflation.
  • These higher ingredient costs have led to substantial impacts to the restaurant operator as PwC estimates, quick serve restaurant operator costs have risen by at least $18,000 per store, per year due to the RFS
Overtime Reform
  • The DOL proposed regulation is currently blocked by a preliminary injunction (PI) issued on 11/22/16
  • There are no definitive signals yet as to how long the incoming Trump administration will respond to the legal challenge or if they will pursue a new regulation
  • Recently, the DOJ asked for an extension to file a reply brief against the appeal of the preliminary injunction
  • The original rule as outlined was bad for employers and employees in a variety of ways. Ensuring harmful legislation like this does not get introduced in the future is a top priority for the AKFCF
NRLB Joint Employer
  • In August 2015, the NLRB created a “Joint Employer” standard in federal labor laws by deciding that prime companies may be held liable for the employment and labor actions of franchisees, over which they have no direct control
  • An expanded Joint Employer standard would be bad for franchisors and franchisees alike by pulling back resources and support for franchisees
  • Due to this new liability, prime companies may be compelled to exercise more control over small businesses with which they contract to limit their NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) liability
  • The Joint Employer standard threatens practically every private sector business in America, large and small and thus, America’s Main Street small businesses created by independent owners in their local communities will diminish
Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).
 

March 2017

GAC Report

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue
 
The AKFCF Government Affairs Committee (GAC) had an extremely successful convention in Austin, TX. We are still calculating our final totals, but we are extremely thankful for all of you who took the time to donate to the PAC and GAC—thank you again!
 
The GAC is responsible for communicating legislative information to franchisees as well as communicating franchisee concerns to legislators. The committee hosts annual fly-ins in Washington, D.C., where franchisees meet with their members of Congress, participate in fundraisers, and host a reception in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill. The Rayburn Reception serves more than 1,500 staff and members of Congress each year, and the funds raised for the GAC through personal and corporate donations are what fund this outreach effort. 
 
The Political Action Committee (PAC) is a separate committee from the GAC with its own charter and bylaws. The Federal Elections Committee (FEC) carefully regulates it, and its only purpose is to contribute funds to members of Congress and to congressional candidates. We need our PAC funds to ensure pro-business candidates are elected each Congress. 
 
As of January 1st, the AKFCF GAC has been accepting PAC donations for the 2017 cycle. In the past, we have suggested that franchisees donate $100/store, per year. However, we cannot stress enough that this amount should be the minimum donation for each franchisee instead of the maximum. The AKFCF GAC is struggling to support members of Congress who will continue to perpetuate business-friendly legislation. Without your support, the AKFCF’s interests will not accurately be portrayed and our presence on Capitol Hill will dwindle. 
 
This past year, the AKFCF was faced with a serious overtime issue that was set to go into effect the week of Dec. 1, 2016. The new rule would have doubled the salary threshold for employees to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. The delay came as a great relief to franchisees, but the fix is far from over; the rule still could be implemented after the full hearing in the courts. To make this rule disappear permanently, the Trump Administration or Congress must act and either issue a new rule or make changes to the existing rule. 
 
Without your donations, the AKFCF GAC will not be able to effectively represent KFC franchisees’ interests regarding the overtime fix in the new Congress. Additionally, several high-profile pieces of legislation that could drastically impact your businesses will be re-introduced this Congress including, but not limited to, issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and the NLRB joint employer standard.
 
To past donors, and to those of you who donated at convention, the AKFCF would like to extend a sincere thank you for your support. Thank you again for recognizing the importance and necessity of the PAC in today’s political and business-centric world and for your continued support again this year. 
 
You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  
 

Thank You KFC Family for Stacking the Shelves!

By Kelly Rodenberg

This was the first time in a few years that the AKFCF has not had a hands-on Community Service Event at Convention. Because of the way the dates fell this year, we were not able to find an organization to accommodate our group size on a Sunday.

So instead, we asked each attendee to give back in another way, to bring a children’s book, stuffed animal or small children’s activity to Convention with them that would be donated to two local Shriners Hospitals. The two hospitals were Shriners Hospitals for Children-Houston and Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston Burns Hospital. 

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Houston is a children’s orthopedic hospital in Houston, Texas, with 40 beds. Survey data for the latest year available shows that the hospital had a total of 535 admissions. Its physicians performed 271 in-patient and 566 out-patient surgeries.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston Burns Hospital is a 15-bed facility in Galveston, Texas. Survey data for the latest year available shows that the hospital had a total of 216 admissions. Its physicians performed 601 in-patient and 1,122 out-patient surgeries.

On Sunday, when registration opened, we could not have been more grateful, excited, and humbled by our KFC family’s generosity. It was an amazing sight to watch as the shelves overflowed more each day. We collected a total of 15 large boxes worth of items for the children. The items were divided and sent to the two hospitals.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research, and outstanding medical education. Their 22 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Learn more at shrinershospitalsforchildren.org

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Thank you again for opening your hearts!

 

Regional Report: Great Lakes

By Mary Beth Hamilton
 
Great Lakes January 2017 board meetingOn Jan. 25, 2017, the Great Lakes Board Members met in Las Vegas for a strategy planning meeting with Jeannie Coyle as our facilitator. The strategies discussed were as follows:
 
1.  Include more development in member activities to increase value to members, attract more active members.
2.  Strengthen Board and committee accountability through structures, plans, and activities while developing leaders.
3.  Focus energy, time and attention of board, members and committees by streamlining the number of meetings, committees, members, and board members.
 
A new mission statement for the Great Lakes Association was decided on: Develop and empower franchisee business leaders to strengthen our Great Lake