December 2017

Celebration for Success and Education

By Franklyn Nye

The Southwestern Association RGM celebration will be held next year at the Crown Plaza in Dallas, Texas, April 9 – 11, 2018.

Why should you attend this meeting? I have 300 reasons why: Cash, learning, cash, friends, cash, fun, cash. Have you figured it out yet? Every franchise organization that registers and participates in all the meetings with their RGM/ARL will receive a $300 refund.  This is only one of the reasons you should attend, though.

More than that, our workshops will be great learning environments for your teams, and we’ll have a lot of fantastic activities to keep up the energy levels and keep the RGM’s fully engaged in the meetings.

The meetings will begin on Monday, April 9 at 9 a.m. with a general SW Association membership meeting.  This will allow our RGM’s to arrive for the opening session at 1 p.m., where they are sure to be thrilled and excited for the next 48 hours.  Kevin Hochman, Phil Klezmer and other members of the KFCC Leadership team, will be presenting to the RGM’s on Tuesday from 10 to 1.  We will be enlightened about the new future of the KFC system operations and processes.

We will celebrate with all our RGM/ARL, because, as we all know, they are the most important part of each of our businesses. Without them, we would not be where we are today. Our RGM’s will meet and greet some of the best vendors within the KFC system, as they will be able to be hands on with them and their wares.

We will again have a Casino Night & Costume party for our final night shindig. The theme will be Super Heroes / Villains.  We are planning to ramp up the excitement, with more food, drinks, and fun.

Go to the website for more information. Come join the fun! As a member of the SW Region, you can register at the following link.

Upper Midwest Regional Short

By Kevin Schlutz

The Upper Midwest regional board has been discussing for a number of years how to replace the many benefits of the mostly defunct local co-op meetings, especially the sharing of best practices and camaraderie. Those meetings were much more than just deciding on advertising initiatives. Franchisees compared sales and costs, talked about issues and shared best practices, and more often than not, came to solutions that could benefit all of them. While national advertising has been proven to be more efficient, we have lost the benefits of getting together every month or so for good old-fashioned sharing.  

Two opportunities have presented themselves so far in our region. This month, there will be a WCO-type meeting in Omaha, hosted by Upper Midwest First VP Jason Zakaras, for franchisees in the surrounding area to try and replicate the benefits we are missing from those co-op meetings. Then, in April, at our spring RGM meeting at the Mystic Lake Resort outside Minneapolis, President Bob Clawson has decided the first half day will be set aside for franchisees and ARLs to come together in a best practice sharing session. What we will learn from this first session will help us plan the agenda for the second. Our hope is that these first attempts will lead to further regularly scheduled and structured meetings in the future, so that all franchisee members may participate, share and gain valuable insights.

The power of the AKFCF and its regions is the combined knowledge and wisdom shared by all of its members, large or small, young or old, so that all might advance and prosper. The Upper Midwest region is constantly working for the benefit of its members. 

GAC Update: End of Year Discussion

By Mary Donohue

On Thursday, Dec. 7, Congress sent President Donald Trump a two-week extension, or continuing resolution (CR), of federal funding that averts a government shutdown this week but defers contentious decisions on spending on defense and domestic programs.

The White House said the President would sign the bill extending the government spending at current levels until Dec. 22. That will be the new deadline for negotiations.

If the President and the lawmakers can agree on overall budget limits over the next two weeks, one option would be to include that in yet another short-term spending bill to keep the government open until sometime in January. Then Congress could try to hash out the remaining details of a trillion-dollar spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year. Lawmakers also are likely to take up raising the nation’s debt limit at the same time.

If there’s need for another continuing resolution, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus want it to include a full defense appropriations bill, in an attempt to fund the Pentagon without having to agree to a corresponding increase in non-defense funds. 

Tax Update: Where are we now?

Republican negotiations over their tax overhaul bill continue, and talks made progress this week over the corporate rate, while some other issues linger. Republicans are pushing for tax overhaul as a centerpiece of their 2018 midterm campaigns in the face of polls showing Americans disapprove of the plan. Critics say the GOP proposals are skewed towards helping the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

President Trump and many GOP lawmakers have been intent on setting the corporate rate at 20 percent to keep U.S. companies from moving their factories and jobs offshore. But Trump unexpectedly changed his stance last weekend and suggested he was open to 22 percent.

The average rate among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is about 23 percent and the U.K. is going to be 18 percent next year.

Ethanol & the RFS:

President Trump urged Republicans to settle their differences over the U.S. biofuel mandate at a White House meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other senators critical of the requirement for ethanol use. Apparently, no resolution was reached at the meeting.

Some senators are exploring the possibility of putting a cap on the price of renewable identification numbers RINs, the tradeable credits used to show compliance with annual biofuel quotas. That could be paired with other changes to help ethanol and biodiesel producers, such as moves to build more renewable fuel blending infrastructure.

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 (

Are YOU Ready for PrimeTime?

By Kelly Rodenberg

If not, it’s time! The first step is to register by Sunday, Dec. 31. This is the final day to take advantage of the $150 rate. Afterwards, the fee will go up to $250. You can easily register online at

The next step is to make your hotel reservations at the Anaheim Marriott. The group rate is only $199 and this will expire on Jan. 22, 2018. To book your hotel room online, go to You can also make your reservation by calling 877-622-3056 and inform the agent you are with the AKFCF Convention.

Now you just have to make your travel plans. If you are flying into Anaheim, the John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA) is only a 14-mile drive from the Marriott. You can also fly into Long Beach Airport (LGB) which is 18.2 miles away or into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 35 miles out.

If you are local to the area and will be driving, self-parking is available at $25 per day.

The city of Anaheim is the home of Disneyland and provides a great opportunity for some family fun.  If you need tickets to Disneyland or California Adventure Park, click here  to take advantage of our group discount.

For detailed information on all that Anaheim offers and other surrounding areas to visit, go to

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We promise an engaging, upbeat, and comedic energy to this multi-layered program. It will be filled with fun, education, networking, music and laughter.

I hope your holidays are filled with the same fun, family and laughter this season. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

November 2017

Upper Midwest KFC Franchisees Association 43 Years and Going Strong

Membership is a year-long exercise. According to our bylaws, members must renew by the region’s annual meeting, which takes place in October, to be considered in good standing for that year. Since the bylaws also state that only members in good standing can attend meetings, the first renewal notification to the members goes out early in the year, even though convention attendance is based on prior year membership. This prompts a few members to renew.

The next reminder goes out prior to the Spring RGM meeting, which prompts most of our members to renew to be eligible to attend. Once the Spring meeting is over, individual invoices are prepared and mailed to the remaining franchisees in the region who have not renewed, giving them 30 days to go to the national membership site and renew. 

Follow-up by the state directors and regional officers ensues until the Fall annual meeting, for which attendees must pay their dues to attend. This progressive process has worked well for the Upper Midwest region over the last few years to get over 95 percent of the restaurants in the region to renew each year. Every January, the slate is wiped clean and the process starts all over again.

The National Renewal Site has significantly improved the process of renewing membership, especially for members who have restaurants in several regions. The process allows them to renew their membership for all regions at the same time and pay only one operator fee instead of multiple fees if they do their renewals separately. This not only saves time, but saves money, and offers the reassurance that their membership is all taken care of for that calendar year.

Regional secretaries send the link to their franchisees, who can use the same password they use for convention or other meetings. The simple process pre-populates their information and all that is required of franchisees is to put in the number of restaurants they operate in each region and make their payment, either by credit card or check. It couldn’t be easier and the streamlined process eliminates a host of potential errors.

GAC Newsletter Update

House GOP Leadership released the much-anticipated tax bill on Thursday, Nov.2. After a display of unity for the unveiling of an ambitious plan to slash individual and corporate taxes, some House Republicans and interest groups began to pick out parts of the legislation that were not well received.

After the unveiling, at least four Republicans said they would vote against the bill in its current form – most of them Northeast Republicans who represent districts that would get slammed by the plans’ elimination of state and local income-tax deductions. Republicans can only lose a total of 22 votes in the House as the Democrats have already come out in full against the bill. 

The AKFCF is primarily concerned with the 70/30 pass-through provision outlined in the bill. As it reads now, if you structure your business as a pass-through entity, the first 30 percent of franchisees’ income from the pass-through would be taxable at the reduced rate of 25 percent. The remaining income would revert to whatever income bracket you fall in. Here are the new brackets in the draft:

  • 12 percent ($0 - $90k)
  • 25 percent ($90k - $260k)
  • 35 percent ($260 - $1 million)
  • 39.6 percent (over $1 million)

Additionally, the current version outlines a “prove out” provision that allows active owners to pay up to another 30 percent at the reduced 25 percent rate based on assets. Though this avenue to greater savings appears to be a good solution, we’re unsure of the process of applying for the additional lower rate. Furthermore, the “prove out” provision essentially negates one of the top priorities Republican leadership had when they started to work on tax reform – making tax reform less complicated, not more, for American small business owners.

While we applaud our leaders in Congress for engaging in the tax reform effort, we must ensure that small businesses receive comparable treatment to large corporations. We are looking forward to working with leadership this coming week when the tax bill is on the floor to ensure AKFCF franchisees of all sizes receive tax breaks of substantial relief.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and re-election 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 ( 

Are you aware of all the membership benefits that AKFCF offers?

Membership in AKFCF keeps franchisees on top of important, ever-changing issues, trends and legislation within our industry. Many of you, however, believe the greatest benefit of being a member in our association is the networking and camaraderie that goes on among members. Below are just a few of the benefits of your membership:

  • Strengthening the KFC franchisee system through a "one voice" role in decision making and legal matters.
  • Attendance at the AKFCF’s Annual Convention (only association members and their guests are invited to attend the Convention, which is the ONLY annual convention held for the KFC franchisees in the United States).
  • Subscription to AKFCF Quarterly magazine and E-News, which is full of updates and information about the KFC business.
  • Communication and networking to address common issues, including the AKFCF Mobile App, which is for franchisee association members ONLY!
  • Education and training that you won't get anywhere else - even from our Franchisor.
  • Opportunity to serve on the national board or committee, speak at a meeting or write an article. (Serving on a regional board is a prerequisite to serving on the AKFCF’s board and being considered for a national officer position.)
  • Providing important back-up support to the KFC franchisee members of the National Council and Advertising Cooperative (NCAC).

Please take a few moments today and visit As a member, you have access to all-inclusive member resources and tools through the AKFCF website.

Membership in the AKFCF not only benefits the teams of your restaurants, but it also projects a positive image of your restaurant to your customers. Membership in AKFCF shows a business’ initiative, engagement and a commitment to staying abreast of developments in the industry.

To gain the most from your membership, keep in mind you will get what you put into it. This means you want to be an active and productive member who mingles with other members and contributes to the community by curating useful content. We promise it will worth the time you invest.

October 2017

Autumn is Awesome!

By Kelly Rodenberg
Each season has its perks, but none quite like the fall. It’s time to relish the crisp, cool weather this time of year brings. Everyone enjoys a nice, sunny summer afternoon, but when temperatures soar to the mid-90s, it's just one miserable experience. And, ladies, we all know what less humidity means to you: Better hair days. It’s time to turn off the air conditioners and open the windows!

There’s no denying that the weather is perhaps the most anticipated part of the fall, but honestly there are so many more great aspects.

Fall Foliage

Everything is just that much prettier in the fall. Sure, snow is great to look at, but it is NOT convenient when you have to shovel the driveway in -10 degree temperatures. Summer may leave you nice and bronzed, but that doesn’t stop you from dripping sweat after every place you venture to. And do we really even have a spring anymore? The changing of the leaves creates some of the most beautiful scenery as you walk through most any city.

TV Time

Even though younger audiences don't adhere to quite the same viewing habits as those of previous decades, there's no bigger time of year for a TV fanatic than the fall season. Our favorites are back and we look forward to seeing what’s new. (Yes, I was one of those who couldn’t wait for Will and Grace to return.)


Everyone loves a good excuse to get dressed up and eat tons of candy without feeling too guilty. It doesn’t matter how old you are, this holiday doesn’t have an age limit. Plus, we all know we still watch those scary horror movies made in the ‘80s.


Whether you are cozying up to a good book or a homemade meal, nothing is quite as serene as hanging by the fire. After a long week at work, this can be just what you need to put your mind at ease. And, the bonus – campfire s’mores!

NFL and College Football

Sunday afternoons take on a whole different meaning in the fall: one filled with wings, fantasy leagues and beer. This is also the time to cheer on your college team. College football also gives you a great excuse to visit your old school and relive your glory days at epic tailgates. I have to admit, for me it is the NHL season that I look forward to. Go Hawks!

Comfy Clothes

Ah, the time to whip out your favorite sweaters, boots, jeans, lounge wear, and hoodies.

Did Someone Say Pumpkin Spice?

It’s the season for pumpkin spice everything! On October 1, I anxiously waited in the Starbucks drive-thru line for my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. I even found pumpkin spice dog treats this year. From pumpkin pie to pumpkin craft beers, it’s all amazing!

Take a Look at the AKFCF Fall Line-up!

2018 Convention Registration

Registration for the 2018 Annual Convention is now open! Click here for detailed information on this year’s program and how to register. Watch for your brochure in the mail next week and for a special teaser video on Anaheim later this month.

Best Practices

Learn from the experiences of your peers! Each month we will highlight a specific region sharing a few of their best practices and success stories. This month you will read an update from the Northeast. Please send me your best ideas, practices, and special people who have made a difference in your restaurant so that we can share your story next month.

Large Franchisee Summit

The AKFCF Executive Committee has invited franchisees from 14 large operator groups across the country for a two-day brainstorming session to be held in Chicago next month. As franchise consolidation continues, we felt it was time to start looking at who we are serving and the services we offer, plus to take into consideration the forces that are affecting our larger franchisees. The goal is to position ourselves to offer events and services that meet the needs of all our members – no matter what size organization. We acknowledge that there is a broader constituency that we have not tapped into, and we need to look at the dynamics within their management and operations. Every franchisee has an impact within our Association. We look forward to sharing with you the ideas and strategies from this summit over the next few months.

Award Nominations

Please take a moment out of your schedule today to nominate a special person you know for one of  the AKFCF’s awards. A list of awards and their descriptions can be found in this edition of eNews. Many of you see colleague’s everyday who go above and beyond for the brand and deserve to be recognized. Please share their names with Eric Overcash or me by Nov. 1.

Regional Association Fall Meetings

I encourage all of you who are considering attending a Regional meeting this fall to make the decision to go. It is the perfect environment to meet new people, network with your local KFC friends and family, update yourself on industry related news, hear from the KFCC LT on key insights and brand strategies – and of course Eric, Ron, and I will provide you with the latest on AKFCF actions and legal updates.

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

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, California.

For questions, contact Kelly at 224-209-6701 or at

Taking care of our own when they need it the most.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated southern parts of the U.S. Fortunately, the KFC Foundation is here to help KFC’s frontline workers impacted by these historic natural disasters.

Through today, Sept. 21, the KFC Foundation has disbursed $93,000 to 186 KFC restaurant employees whose homes or vehicles were damaged by one of the recent hurricanes via our large-scale/quick disbursement process. KFC Family Fund applications continue to come in and the Foundation stands ready and able to assist.

All thanks to you!

Franchisees and their monetary support through the Cole Slaw Donation Program, along with additional gifts from individual franchisees and the generosity of the KFC Corporation, make it possible for the KFC Foundation to be a comprehensive employee support organization, assisting frontline workers via education and hardship assistance programs.

Changes in 2018
In 2018, the KFC Family Fund joins the REACH Educational Grant Program and Rise with GEDWorks (same program, new name!) as being available exclusively to employees at restaurants participating in the Cole Slaw Donation Program. Thanks to the overwhelming majority of KFC U.S. franchisees who contribute to the Foundation in this way, these programs will be here for your people when they need our help.

New in 2018! Financial literacy for participating restaurant employees… Additional information coming your way soon.

Questions? Contact the Foundation at or 800-248-5092.

AKFCF Fall Fly-in Update

On Oct. 3 and 4, the AKFCF GAC returned to Washington, D.C., for the second time this year to meet with Members of Congress and discuss a few legislative priorities; there were 14 franchisees that attended, and they visited with more than 30 congressional offices.  

The fly-in began on Tuesday, with attendees meeting on Capitol Hill to participate in an afternoon briefing session with industry professionals. They were briefed on issues such as tax reform, minimum wage, overtime, joint-employer, health care, ethanol and the RFS. They also visited with congressional staff from the House Education and Workforce Committee.

The afternoon briefing session serves a few purposes, but most importantly it prepares franchisees for their Hill meetings the following day. Hearing about current events and strategy nuances from industry professionals help the attendees stay on message.

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the franchisees hit the Hill and spent the morning visiting with Senators and the afternoon meeting with Congressman. We determine the Members that each franchisee visits by their address and store locations, while considering the strategic objectives we are trying to fulfill.

Over the two days, we also hosted four fundraisers for various Members of Congress:

  • Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
  • Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)

These Members are important to the AKFCF and for a variety of reasons. For example, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is the original cosponsor on the joint-employer bill we currently have in the House; Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) is the Chairman of the House Rules Committee – every piece of legislation goes through the Rules Committee and he determines which will get a vote; Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is the Chairman of the Blue Dogs Coalition, a left of center group of free-market Democrats, and is a huge supporter of our joint-employer legislation; and Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) sits on the House Ways & Means Committee and will be instrumental in rolling our the GOP tax reform plan.

During the fundraisers, franchisees get to introduce themselves to the Members and share personal anecdotes of how actions on Capitol Hill impact their businesses. The fundraisers are closed to outside parties and only fly-in attendees are present – providing a private environment for frank discussions. 

If any members from the AKFCF would like to participate in one of our Washington, D.C., fly-ins, please contact your GAC representative.

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 (

Northeast Region: Best Demonstrated Practices

By Dale Moulton

Our biggest challenge up until four years ago was our bench strength. Ric Rozier, Rob Rianna, and Keith Cole unselfishly served as the president of the Northeast twice. During Ric’s second presidency, Jim Waters came into the rotation. Clinton Lewis behind him. Then I was asked to be part of the rotation. If it had not been for Ray Aley, Larry Starkey, Mrs. Pfeiffer, Don Lopes, Freddy Gallant, and many others who offered their support and genuine caring, I may have passed. Jim and Clinton welcomed me and made me feel part of team right away. Joe Farley had declined for many years until Jim, Clinton, and I asked him to come on board. Our rotation is now healthy with Denise Springers as our second vice president; Mike Houston is her shadow, and Alex Rosenblum comes in behind Mike. My involvement today is because of the heart felt invitation that I was extended by many members of the association. Both Joe and Denise would echo my sentiments. I would also go on to mention that the Northeast has shared the national stage with Mrs. Pfeiffer being the only two-time AKFCF president. Larry Starkey also was the president of the AKFCF, and Keith Cole is the sitting treasurer. Larry now represents the Northeast on the NCAC. There is once again a proud tradition within the Northeast not only to serve at the regional level but, more importantly, at the national level.

GAC Commitment
The Northeast has become engaged at both the local, state, and federal levels gaining the commitment and resources of the Northeast franchisees. Ray Aley has spearheaded the efforts of our franchisees to ensure that we are engaged with every level of government that impacts our business. Ray has truly been a champion of our cause and given much of his time to ensure that as many franchisees are involved as possible. Our lobby days in Albany have grown in frequency. Ray has rallied the troops on more than one occasion to ensure the Representatives at the state level know that we are engaged and need their support to better the experience of all. Our Washington fly ins are always well attended. And there is never an issue with finding candidates for the Northeast GAC; Rep. Don Lopes, and now Jim Waters, have worked hard to support the needs of our Association.

Upper Midwest:  Making a Multi-regional Meeting Work

By Kevin Schlutz

In Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico and Minnesota, we’re making the final preparations for another Super Regional fall meeting. Yes, you’ve heard “it takes a village.” In this case, it takes officers, secretaries, and volunteers from all three regions, plus our meetings director, to finish all the preparations to ensure a smooth-running meeting. It’s great to be able to share the work and then come together with all the details handled. While we all used to run our own meetings, and still do for the spring meetings, it is great for each region to do their part in the process and feel that pride of accomplishment when it all comes together. Whether it’s picking the menus, laying out the vendor hall, or running the actual meetings, lots of people are involved. It all starts with picking the venue, which takes place years before the actual event – making sure there is adequate meeting space, accommodations, and accessibility for travel. Picking a golf course for the annual outing. Setting up the registration sites and reservation links and sending invitations to the vendor partners, members, and corporate partners. Picking menus, developing agendas, contracting speakers, answering questions, coordinating with suppliers and service providers. Oh, and who is going to run the audio visual, since everyone has a deck these days? Thankfully, we have Jon and Justin who cheerfully volunteer for that, and we have no shortage of committee reports and others who have interesting messages for the participants.

That’s the whole purpose of all this work. To provide the proper atmosphere for members to listen, learn, discuss, and share what will make the system better, stronger, and more cohesive than they were before. As AKFCF President Eric Overcash says, it’s our job to provide the members with a great return on their investment of time and money to come to these meetings. That return takes many forms, and we all work together to make it happen.


September 2017

Becoming a Better Public Speaker

By Kelly Rodenberg

Jerry Seinfeld made a great joke based on a simple observation:

“I read a thing that actually says that speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. I found that amazing; number two was death! That means to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

And even though this statement may be quite amusing, it is not scientifically accurate. However, research has shown that public speaking is in fact one of the most common social phobias.

So, for instance, when many of our association franchisees receive an amazing opportunity to take on a leadership role that involves numerous speaking engagements where they will have to talk on a particular subject in their field of expertise, or to give a live interview on the radio or TV, they immediately jump to a place inside themselves out of sheer panic. Hearts race, breathing stops, and minds go totally blank. For many, the mere thought of having to put themselves out there leaves them terrified, and they often turn down the offer to become a regional president or the president of the AKFCF.

Last year, Joan Bowling, AKFCF Leadership Committee chair, wanted to create a workshop to help future leaders overcome this fear, making the path to leadership less intimidating for those who wanted to climb the AKFCF executive ladder. We partnered with Chip Booth, executive producer of Booth Production Group, to develop a workshop series that would provide the tools and skills to prepare future leaders for public speaking.

Members invited to participate included: Greg Atwell, Eric Overcash, Bryan Robinson, Jim McKenize, Justin Stewart, Brandon Robertson, Jeanine Bagshaw, and Alessio DiFranco.

Part one of the workshop took place in January over an eight hour period. Attendees were asked to give impromptu ice breaker speeches on topics they knew nothing about. They learned how to use an official presidential teleprompter and talk from behind a lecturn. They had to memorize a Convention keynote speech given by one of AKFCF’s past presidents, make it their own, and then deliver it on stage in front of their peers. Once delivered, they were critiqued by their peers. Not an easy exercise to be part of!

Part two of the workshop just concluded in August. This time, the attendees had to write their own presidential keynote speech. They no longer had the security of standing behind a lecturn but had to walk and command a full stage. They had to learn how to use down stage confidence monitors and be prepared if, at some point, technology went out. Life never goes as planned; we are all dealt some curve balls, but it’s how we deal with those curve balls that matters!

Chances are that you'll sometimes have to speak in public as part of your role. While this can seem intimidating, the benefits of being able to speak well outweigh any perceived fears. To become a better speaker, use the following strategies:

  • Plan appropriately. Understand the process.
  • Practice. Practice a lot.
  • Engage with your audience. Relate your story to them. Add emotional touches.
  • Pay attention to your body language.
  • Think positively. Be confident.
  • Cope with your nerves.
  • Watch recordings of your speeches. Watch yourself speak in the mirror.
  • Talk about what you know. Make it your own.

The good news is that, with thorough preparation and practice, you can overcome your nervousness and perform exceptionally well. The more you push yourself to speak in front of others, the better you'll become and the more confidence you'll have.

This group worked hard, learned valuable skills, and had fun doing it! If you have any questions or would like to be involved in the next workshop on speech coaching, please contact Joan or myself.

Here are just a few quotes from some of the great speeches written by our attendees:

Brandon Robertson
“So, you see, we all have people in our lives that we owe our gratitude for helping us along our journey to become who we are today. If I had not taken the opportunity to call Minnie Stottle at Tony Orlando Theater and accepted the job as night auditor, I would not be a KFC franchisee today.”

Bryan Robinson
“The small changes you make today can make a big difference tomorrow. Accountability is ours; we need to continually evolve.”

Jim McKenzie
“The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one strength we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

Alessio DiFranco
“We have found that finding and cultivating leaders is a slow, grass-roots project that requires many people over time to grow leaders. They say raising a child takes a village. In this case, raising a leader takes a lot of chicken pluckers.”

Eric Overcash
“YOU GET BACK MANY TIMES MORE THAN WHAT YOU GIVE is never more true than with your KFC family!!!”

Justin Stewart
“I was once asked by a close friend, “What is it that helped you become successful in your career?” The answer instantly popped into my mind. I’ve just always known I would be. It’s not that I was cocky or arrogant; I just had this internal belief that one way or another I would succeed.”

GAC Report: Congress Returns to Deadlines & Division

Congress enters the fall legislative session facing a calendar peppered with a government funding decision, Trump administration nominees to consider, and a pending House Joint-Employer bill that would limit labor and employment liability for affiliated businesses.

The Senate considered political nominees and federal government appropriations during the run-up to the August recess. Some moves were delayed by the debate over replacing Obamacare. In the House, Republicans continued ongoing legislative effort to reverse some other Obama-era policies.

Lawmakers are likely to continue to pursue those priorities throughout the fall, but may once again be slowed by partisan divides. The Senate filibuster rule means the Republican majority in that chamber will need to convince at least eight Democrats to cross the aisle to move any legislation. 

Additionally, Congress must get past the looming possibility of a government shutdown. Legislation currently funding the government is set to expire at the end of September, and a long-term spending measure may be complicated by a dispute over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling.

Party-line division is largely expected to continue as members consider political nominees, employee benefits such as paid leave, union election procedures, joint employer liability, and conflict-of-interest restrictions for retirement advisers.

Deputy labor secretary nominee Patrick Pizzella is still awaiting Senate confirmation, and management lawyer William Emanuel still needs to be approved by senators for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Business advocates, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, would like to see the White House and Congress pick up the pace on nominations so that the Labor Department and NRLB can change course on various policy legal questions.

House Taking Legislative Lead & Labor Focus on Joint Employer Legislation

The GOP-controlled House this Congress has moved several pieces of legislation on labor-related issues such as compensatory time for overtime and union election rules.

Lawmakers plan to build on that success with a joint employer bill (H.R.3441) that could be marked up before the end of September. The Save Local Business Act would limit the circumstances under which businesses in staffing, franchise, and other contract relationship can be required to bargain with affiliated workers or be held responsible for wage-and-hour-violations related to those workers.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) has spearheaded the campaign for cosponsors during the August recess and is looking to add moderate Democrat support in addition to the strong Republican support he’s already finalized.

The legislation is the latest effort to reverse the National Labor Relations Board’s 2015 decision in Browing-Ferris Industries (BFI) in which the NRLB held that organizations with indirect control over contractors, franchisees, or staffing agency workers can be considered their joint employer under federal labor law. The bill would also undo the Fourth Circuit decision in which the appeals court took a similarly expansive view of liability in overtime and minimum wage cases.

The AKFCF GAC will be discussing this bill at length with lawmakers at our upcoming fall fly-in taking place October 3-5 in Washington, D.C.

Senate Focus on Funding & Nominations

Many bills that have found their way out of the House now sit untouched in the Senate as time-sensitive issues such as executive appointments and efforts to keep the government open after the end of the fiscal year take priority. The ongoing healthcare debate and upcoming push for a tax overhaul could also continue to clog up the calendar. 

The chamber’s appropriators will also be moving forward soon with their version of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, which funds agencies such as the DOL and NLRB. The Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill, which hasn’t been made public.

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 (

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 ( 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 ( 

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&