SPOKANE, Wash. – Ben Litalien, an educator and expert in franchise analysis and operations, will discuss “Franchising for Community Impact” in two 90-minute presentations Thursday, May 31 in the Wolff Auditorium at Gonzaga University’s Jepson Center for the School of Business Administration. Gonzaga University is partnering with SNAP to bring this timely presentation to Spokane. The lectures are free and open to the public.
The first lecture begins at 7:30 a.m., and is geared toward consumers, business owners and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the franchise sector, either as a potential franchisee or in starting a new franchise. Litalien, who has two decades of experience in the franchise sector, says the key to franchising success is focusing on well-documented success factors, and avoiding equally documented pitfalls. His firm, FranchiseWell LLC, is a leading consulting practice that has developed successful franchise plans for companies involved in business ventures that include pet supplies, “green” residential cleaning, water treatment technologies, automotive services, various foodservice operations, and convenience stores. He was the U.S. franchise manager for Exxon Mobil, responsible for its “On the Run” convenience store franchise.
“Given the sustained unemployed an under-employed populations across our communities, taking a deeper look at the franchise model is essential for providing economic stimulus,” says Litalien.
The second lecture begins at 9:15 and is designed for nonprofit organizations. With deep experience in the social franchising arena, Litalien will focus this message on nonprofit opportunities that develop vital, sustainable revenue streams to fund programs, as well as guiding franchisors toward organizations that have the capital, motivation and community connections to operate successful units.
The social franchising concept has been around for over a decade. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream pioneered the concept in 1987 when it opened its first “PartnerShop” with The Learning Web, a nonprofit youth development organization in Ithaca, N.Y. The popular TV show “Undercover Boss” profiled such an operation in 2010 – a Subway franchise operated by a church in Buffalo, N.Y. Litalien is a leader is this emerging arena and the subject is the basis of his dissertation at the University of Maryland University College where is completing his doctorate this year. His research on social franchising was awarded the Karp Foundation Award for “best paper in franchise impact” for 2011.
“We’re excited to take part in this opportunity. More people are seeking new and creative ways to make a profitable living, and SNAP is a huge supporter of the entrepreneurial spirit,” said SNAP CEO Julie Honekamp.
Litalien is sought by media, including The Wall Street Journal and Franchising World, for his insights and extensive knowledge about current research, emerging trends and sector innovation. This year he’s been featured at national conferences for franchisor companies and nonprofit agencies such as Goodwill and NISH, a national nonprofit agency that creates employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. Litalien also counsels dozens of businesses and organizations in best practices.
His experience was tapped by Georgetown University to develop a new franchise curriculum that led to the Georgetown Franchise Management Certificate program. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College where he teaches Entrepreneurship & Venture Planning and Management & Organizational Theory in the School of Undergraduate Studies.