15 Nov Panel Discussion on Franchising, Inclusive Entrepreneurship


November 10, 2022

15 Nov Panel Discussion on Franchising, Inclusive Entrepreneurship

by Christ Mathis

CARBONDALE, Illinois – Faculty, staff and students are invited to a virtual event that will delve into the world of franchising and how this business model embraces inclusive entrepreneurship.

“Franchising and Inclusive Entrepreneurship” is scheduled for November 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. via Zoom. The College of Business and Analytics Office of Diversity and Inclusion is sponsoring the free event, which features a group of successful business professionals sharing their franchising stories, what sparked their interest in franchising, and unveiling the lessons they’ve learned as entrepreneurs .

Panelists include:

  • Rikki Amos, Executive Director of the International Franchise Association (IFA) Foundation Diversity Institute.
  • Ericka Garza, President of Au Bon Pain, a restaurant/bakery/cafe chain, and Chair of the IFA Hispanic Latino Franchise Leadership Council.
  • Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer of Wild Birds Unlimited and Co-Chair/Co-Founder of the IFA Pride Council.
  • Carolyn Thurston, Chief Executive Officer of Wisdom Senior Care, IFA Board Member and Vice Chair of the Black Franchise Leadership Council.
  • Cassidy Ford, director of franchise sales at Entrepreneur Media and advocate for destigmatizing the Tourette syndrome she has.

Register online to join the conversation, or email Jennifer Butler, the college’s director of diversity and inclusion, at [email protected]


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