CFA Announces Winners of 2017 Recognition Awards


McDonald’s Canada Founder to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

(Toronto, ON) March 20, 2017… The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 CFA Recognition Awards. The awards will be presented during a gala awards presentation dinner on Monday, April 3 at the 26th annual CFA National Convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

CFA Recognition Awards pay tribute to individuals and franchise systems for their achievements and contributions to the Canadian franchise community and for their commitment and contributions to philanthropic endeavours. Nominations are solicited from CFA members across Canada and winners are selected by committee based on merit.

“The CFA Recognition Awards are about excellence in the franchise community,” says CFA President and Chief Executive Officer, Lorraine McLachlan. “Franchising is a significant business sector in Canada making positive contributions to the Canadian economy and the community-at-large. Our prestigious CFA Recognition Awards celebrate these contributions – whether corporately through the CFA Hall of Fame Award, individually through the CFA Lifetime Achievement Award and Volunteer Leadership Excellence Award, or socially through the CFA Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award. We congratulate all the winners on their achievements.”

The recipients of the 2017 CFA Recognition Awards are:

Category: CFA Lifetime Achievement Award
Recipient: George A. Cohon, McDonald’s Canada
George A. Cohon’s extensive career in franchising dates back to 1967, when he moved to Toronto to become the Licensee of McDonald’s Corporation for Eastern Canada. After witnessing the success of the fast-food burger chain in the United States, Cohon saw an opportunity to expand the company north of the border.

In 1971, McDonald’s experienced rapid growth in the Canadian market and Cohon was promoted to Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, a position he held for 21 years. An esteemed leader in Canadian franchising, Cohon would go on to expand McDonald’s to the Russian market and is the Founder of Ronald McDonald House Charities in both Canada and Russia.

Category: CFA Hall of Fame Award
Recipient: CARA Operations Limited
Before becoming one of Canada’s most well-known restaurant companies, CARA’s roots began small in the travel food sector. Founded by the Phelan Family in 1883, the company first made a name for itself in the 1850s, selling apples and newspapers to passengers on the Niagara Steamboats as The Canada Railway News Company.

By 1941, the Phelans had ventured into the airport restaurant business, opening The Tea Wing restaurant in Montreal’s Dorval Airport. Over the next twenty years, the family continued to develop their food brand, eventually becoming CARA Operations Limited in 1961. Since its inception, CARA has opened over 1,000 franchised restaurant locations across 14 brand names including East Side Mario’s, Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, Fionn MacCool’s, Milestones, and more.

Category: CFA Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award
Recipient: Dairy Queen Canada
For the past 33 years, Dairy Queen has been a proud partner and supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). Founded in 1983, CMN’s mission is to save and improve the lives of children through healthcare, research, and education by raising funds and awareness for children’s hospitals across North America.

The Dairy Queen team supports CMN’s mission through a variety of regional and national initiatives, including their annual Miracle Treat Day, whereby net proceeds of every Blizzard Treat sold are donated to CMN. With over $3 million raised in 2016, Dairy Queen hopes to increase funds through their fundraising initiatives throughout 2017, bringing joy to customers and children at CMN hospitals across the country.

Category: CFA Volunteer Leadership Excellence Award
Recipient: Michael Sherrard, Partner, Sherrard Kuzz LLP
With potential changes to Ontario’s labour laws posing a critical threat to franchising in the province, CFA’s ability to advocate for franchisors and franchisees on this issue would not be possible without the guidance and expertise shared by Michael Sherrard, a Managing Partner at leading employment law firm Sherrard Kuzz LLP.

Over the years, Michael has shown an unwavering commitment to helping CFA lobby against a joint employer designation for franchisors. He has contributed his extensive knowledge to help CFA prepare a written submission to government on this issue, and has volunteered his time to meet with government to educate them about the importance of franchising in Canada.

For more information about the CFA Recognition Awards, please visit: www.cfa.ca.


About the Canadian Franchise Association
The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) has been the recognized authority on franchising in Canada for 50 years. With over 600 corporate members nation-wide, CFA represents many of Canada’s best- and lesser-known franchise brands and over 40,000 franchisees. CFA is the indispensable resource for the franchise community and advocates on behalf of franchisors and franchisees in Canada to enhance and protect the franchise business model. CFA promotes excellence in franchising and educates Canadians about franchising, specific franchise opportunities and proper due diligence through its many events, programs, publications, and websites (www.cfa.ca, www.LookforaFranchise.ca, and www.FranchiseAwareness.ca)

Media Contact
Lisa Raffaele | (647) 837-1265 | lisa@punchcanada.com

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