NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- MFV Expositions, the world's largest producers of franchise expos, recently announced the finalists and winner of the "Best Franchisee of the U.S.A" award – part of the Best Franchisee of the World program, a global initiative highlighting franchisees who have used franchising to positively change their lives and/or improve their communities. The award provides franchisors the opportunity to recognize the driving force behind the franchise industry – their franchisees.
Finalists were announced at Franchise Expo West, which took place at the Long Beach Convention Center, during an awards ceremony on Friday, December 6. Winners, Mike and Katie Warechowski, Fitness Together franchisees, will now compete for the title of Best Franchisee of the World at a gala event in Florence, Italy. The Warechowskis pursued franchising for freedom and flexibility in their careers so they could spend more time together as a family with their terminally ill son, while also helping people lead healthier lives.
- Katie and Mike Warechowski, franchisees of Fitness Together – Atlanta, GA. (Winners)
- Maggie and Brian Harlow, franchisees of Signarama – Louisville, KY, who operate a nearly $4-million-dollar business while generously giving back to their community each year. (Finalists)
- Patricia and Robb Winiecki, franchisees of Assisting Hands – Southwest Florida, who have employed more than 200 people, organized dozens of fundraisers, and truly view their franchise as an opportunity to give back and provide social good. (Finalists)
- Raquel Hernandez, franchisee of Amazing Lash Studio – Los Angeles, CA, who merged her first passion – teaching – into a business that focuses on empowering and coaching people to become great leaders. (Finalist)
- Amy Renzulli, franchisee of School of Rock – Chicago, IL, who took a risk leaving her corporate job to pursue her passion for entrepreneurship, and is now helping inspire young children to achieve their dreams. (Finalists)
"Mike and I are so grateful for the Fitness Together team. It means the world that they saw what we've done and thought to nominate us for such a prestigious award," shared Katie Warechowski, who is now preparing to travel to Florence for the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 global event. "Franchising has done so much for our family. While our son is still terminal, he's now very close to celebrating his 10th birthday – something we honestly didn't think would come. And, that's only the case because we were able to work hard to set up our business so we could be present for him and prioritize his care. We're honored to be recognized with this award and to have had the opportunity to own a franchise – the industry has truly changed our lives for the better."
Franchisors had the opportunity to nominate up to five franchisees for the competition. There were two criteria: Franchisees had to be in business for at least two years and they had to have used franchising to better their personal lives and/or lives in their community. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges including Amy Cheng, Partner of Cheng Cohen, LLC; Eric Stites, CEO and Managing Director of Franchise Business Review; Dr. John Hayes of Titus Center for Franchising at Palm Beach Atlantic University; Stan Friedman, President of FRM Solutions and Therese Thilgen, President and Chief Content Officer of Franchise Update Media Group.
"Having such talented and inspiring finalists made it incredibly difficult to determine a winner. It was such a rewarding experience to review all the nominations which told the stories of so many entrepreneurs – and, not only of their journey in franchising but also the tale of how the industry impacted their lives for the better," said Tom Portesy, President and CEO of MFV Expositions. "So often we hear only the stories of the extraordinary franchisors along with their best business insight to attracting impeccable franchisees. 'Best Franchisee of the U.S.A.' allows us to spotlight the most valuable and successful franchisees in the industry. We look forward to the Best Franchisee of the World Gala and wish Katie and Mike Warechowski the best of luck as they compete for the global title."
For more information on The Best Franchisee of the World, please visit https://www.bestfranchiseeoftheworld.com/.
About MFV Expositions
MFV Expositions/Comexposium is the world's largest producers of franchise expos. Known for its highly successful U.S.-based franchise events and overseas shows, the company offers high-quality face-to-face opportunities for franchisees and franchisors looking to grow the industry. Each franchise expo features franchise concepts from every industry and every investment level. Today, MFV utilizes its global online franchise directory BeTheBoss.com, the latest technology and search metrics to provide a cost-effective way to market franchise businesses. For more information about MFV Expositions, please visit www.mfvexpo.com.
Media Contact: Kelly McNamara, firstname.lastname@example.org, (847) 945-1300
SOURCE MFV Expositions