WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Franchise Association (IFA) has promoted Matthew Haller to president and CEO, succeeding Robert Cresanti, who left IFA March 31.
As CEO, Haller will work with the IFA board and IFA Foundation and lead the IFA staff during "one of the most important times in the franchising industry's history."
In addition, Mr. Haller — formerly senior vice president of government affairs and public relations — will enhance IFA member value by focusing and committing to providing the franchising industry with the tools necessary to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and more focused, the Washington-based trade group said.
"Over the past several months, I have had the privilege of working with Matt on a weekly basis, along with the senior leadership team developing strategic priorities," Catherine Monson, IFA Chair and president and CEO of Propelled Brands.
"I have been impressed with his command of the association business, how he has driven a thought process to engage key stakeholders inside and outside the membership and kept command focused on hitting milestones, all while continuing to achieve results in the advocacy arena."
During his tenure leading IFA's advocacy program, Mr. Haller expanded the association's lobbying, coalition-building, grassroots, research and communications capabilities and took on difficult challenges, including defending the business model against the joint employer threat and significant legislative and regulatory issues at the federal, state and local levels.
"I am extremely proud of the work we have achieved to elevate the franchise business model and create an inclusive, welcoming environment for our members," Mr. Haller said.
"As we enter a new chapter for the IFA, I vow to continue building upon our strides and break down barriers for opportunity, enhancing our member engagement and value with a 360-degree approach, leveraging the IFA Foundation's programs to tell the story of franchising in meaningful and impactful ways, and maintaining our powerful advocacy presence in Washington, state capitols and city halls."
Mr. Haller joined IFA in October 2010. Prior to that he was director of industry relations at the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association and also manager of political affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Cresanti, who left IFA at the end of his seven-year tenure, led the trade group during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped ensure that franchises were eligible for financial relief in the CARES Act.
In a statement issued at the time, Mr. Cresanti said: "Even as the association had to take painful but important steps to streamline the association and ensure its financial viability during the pandemic, the mission to protect, promote and enhance the franchise business model continues to be achieved despite these economic difficulties. The IFA staff is unmatched and has delivered for our members throughout this incredibly challenging time."