SAN DIEGO, CA…
The American Association of Franchisee and Dealers (AAFD) announced Mort Aronson as this year’s recipient of AAFD’s Total Quality Franchising Award for Lifetime Achievement. The AAFD’s highest individual recognition, Aronson is being recognized for a lifetime of embracing collaborative relationships in franchising.
Aronson will be honored at AAFD’s Total Quality Franchising Awards banquet, to be held during the Association’s Annual Franchisee Leadership Summit on Thursday, April 30, 2009, in San Antonio, Texas.
“Mort Aronson exemplifies the AAFD’s vision of Total Quality Franchising,” said Robert Purvin, chairman of AAFD. “His body of work, from his quarter of a century with Holiday Inn to his service to the International Franchise Association (IFA) and his leadership in advocating the mediation of franchise-related disputes, reflects a dedication to encouraging collaborative win-win relationships.”
As General Counsel/Franchising for most of his 25 years at Holiday Inn, Aronson developed a reputation for openness and fairness from the franchisee population, and he is one of a very few ‘non-franchisees’ to receive an Honorary Lifetime membership in the IAHI, the franchisee association for Holiday Inn franchisees.
Said IAHI President Eva Ferguson, “For more than 20 years, Mort has been a well-respected key participant in the franchisee and franchisor relationship within InterContinental Hotels Group. Through his involvement in the IAHI Owners’ Association, he provided direction and counsel to the most pressing challenges. He continues to be viewed as a leading industry expert and a knowledgeable advocate for the best hotel franchising practices. On behalf of the IAHI, we congratulate Mort on this award and recognition.”
An active leader of the International Franchise Association, Mort served on the IFA Board from 1996-1998. In August, 1998 Aronson was elected founding chairman of the National Franchise Council, a franchisor organization, and he reached out to the AAFD to discuss collaboration on a range of issues of mutual interest.
Among Mr. Aronson’s greatest contributions to the franchising community has been his dedicated and inspirational drive to promote mediation of franchise disputes. Mort is a founder of the National Franchise Mediation Program, which is endorsed and supported by the IFA, the AAFD and the Asian American Hotel Association, along with many franchisor and franchisee organizations. Mort served as chairman of the NFMP from 2002-2004, and continues to serve on the Steering Committee today.
Bill Hall, a Dairy Queen franchisee and co-chair of the NFMP, believes there would not be a National Franchise Mediation Program without Mort Aronson. Hall says, “Mort’s leadership in founding, nurturing, leading and mentoring the National Franchise Mediation Program since 1993 has provided a meaningful way for franchisees and franchisors to resolve disputes without litigation. Countless parties have benefited from Mort’s work to promote mediation to resolve conflicts fairly and cost-effectively without destroying relationships.”
Hall added, “Mort is a personal mentor to me and many others and the right choice for the AAFD’s 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Aronson reacted to news of the AAFD honor with gratitude and humility. “I am deeply honored and appreciative the AAFD to receive its lifetime achievement award. I have learned during a 30-year career in franchising that a cornerstone of success is franchisors maintaining good relations with their franchisees.”
After leaving Holiday Inns in May 2003, Mort served as counsel with the firm of Kilpatrick Stockton in Atlanta. He is also an adjunct professor at Emory University Law School where he has been teaching franchise law for the past 15 years. Currently, Mort Aronson is Of Counsel at the firm of Federal & Hasson and is in charge of the franchise practice. Mort is a frequent speaker and has authored numerous articles on franchising and franchise relationships.
Aronson is a graduate of Boston University where he received his A.B., Boston University Law School where he received his L.L.B., and Harvard Law School where he received his L.L.M. His civic activities include serving on the Law School Council of Emory Law School, a member of the Board of Directors of Atlanta Israel Bonds, and a member of the Atlanta Council of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Aronson resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Ellen. They have three children and four grandchildren.
About the AAFD
The AAFD is a national non-profit trade association representing the rights and interests of franchisees and independent dealers throughout the United States. Formed in 1992, The AAFD is focused on market driven reform to achieve its mission to define and promote collaborative franchise cultures that the AAFD describes as Total Quality Franchising. Since its formation the AAFD has grown to represent more than 50,000 franchised businesses throughout the United States. The AAFD currently has members in all 50 states and represents more than 100 different franchise systems.
The AAFD’s Fair Franchising Standards, Fair Franchising Seal, Trademark Chapters, and emphasis on Marketplace Solutions led to the Association’s recognition as a growing force in franchising. The AAFD’s Branded Partner programs add a new dimension to the value of AAFD membership. The AAFD provides a broad range of member services designed to help franchisees build market power, create legislative support of interest to franchisees, provide legal and financial support, and provide a wide range of general member benefits.
For more information about the conference or the AAFD, please call toll free – 800-733-9858 or visit www.AAFD.org.