The VetFran Program

Founded in 1991, VetFran is a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association and the IFA Foundation.

Our Mission

The mission of VetFran is two-fold:

To educate both veterans and franchisors about the unique match between the skills and aptitude of entrepreneurial veterans and the demands and opportunities of being a franchisee. Our research and experience has shown that veterans make great franchisees and that the business model is a gateway to small business ownership, prosperity and success for our nation’s heroes.

To facilitate the transition of veterans into franchising by encouraging franchisors to offer discounts and incentives to veterans on the one hand, and to assemble resources, tools and a database of franchising opportunities for veterans on the other.

Although veterans make up only about 7% of the population, they account for a whopping 14% of all franchisees in America. They’re more likely to hire other vets and spread the opportunity, prosperity and job creation that has made franchising one of the fastest growing sectors of the US economy. Our mission and passion in VetFran is to continue to grow these numbers, and continue to connect talented and patriotic veterans with so much to offer with franchise business ownership opportunities.

Our Team

Leadership and strategic planning and oversight of the VetFran program comes from VetFran Committee. Composed of CEOs, senior franchise executives and multi-unit franchisees, the members of the committee bring unparalleled experience and insight to the program. Many of the committee members are veterans themselves and all of them volunteer their time and expertise because they share a deep commitment to the veterans community and have a passionate belief in the opportunities and prosperity that the franchise business model creates.

Ralph Yarusso, CFE
Chief Executive Officer
Atticus Franchise Consulting
Chair of VetFran

Sean Falk, CFE
Client Executive
Vice-Chair of VetFran

Ron Bender, CFE
Chief Growth Officer
Threshold Brands
2nd Vice Chair of VetFran

Steve White
President & COO
PuroClean, Inc.
Immediate Past-Chair of VetFran

Eric Stites
Franchise Business Review

Lou Schager, CFE
Mosquito Joe, a Neighborly Company

Justin Ghadery
Board Member
Best Life Brands

Steve Chambers
VP, Franchise Development
The UPS Store

Tom Kasbohm, CFE
Director of Franchise Systems
Snap-on Tools

Apoorva Gandhi
VP of Multicultural Affairs
Marriott International

Eric Gagnon
We Sell Restaurants

Jimmy Weeks
Internet Strategy Labs

Art Coley Jr., CFE
CGI Franchise

Guy Darter
Vice President
Darter Specialties

Alesia Visconti

Bret Lowell
DLA Piper

Gordon Logan
Co-Founder & CEO
Sport Clips, Inc.

Darin Hicks
Go Crest Consulting

Jeff Bevis
Chief Operating Officer
Caring Senior Service

Doug Dwyer
President & Chief Stewarding Officer
DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen

Troy Schwehr
National Account Executive
F. C. Dadson

Leonard Harris
Senior Vice President
Trend Group

Peter Baldine
Moran Industries

Matt Goers
First Bank of the Lake

Any VetFran member company may apply to be represented on the VetFran committee by one of their executives, and a small number of vacant seats are usually filled twice a year. Representatives serve three year terms, and are expected to attend the two in-person meetings of the committee each year. If you are interested in serving on the VetFran committee, contact us.

The International Franchise Association

Celebrating 57 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and nearly 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.

The IFA Foundation is a global resource of education, research and non-profit programming serving the franchising community. As a 501(c)3 organization and a close partner of the IFA, the Foundation provides training, education and certification to franchise executives and produces key research to help franchises thrive and to quantify their positive impact on the economy. Beyond education and research, the Foundation’s programming seeks to promote, recognize and increase the diversity and vibrancy of the franchise community, with programs designed to help the next generation of franchise leaders, minorities, women and veterans. The Foundation also works to highlight the positive impact franchises make in the philanthropic and charity space. The Foundation’s program’s and initiatives are supported by volunteer leadership committees, a dedicated staff and the generous support of partners from throughout the franchising community and beyond.

Contact Us

How can we help?




1900 K Street NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006