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CFA Franchise Law Day Concurrent Session Spotlight: “Conscious Uncoupling”

CFA Franchise Law Day Concurrent Session Spotlight

The franchise relationship is unique, and in many ways like a marriage. At the outset, all parties are hopeful and excited for a long-term commitment. Unfortunately, however, many franchise relationships end.

Listen as Carly Cohen, from Cassels Brock & Blackwell, and Stephanie Sugar, from McCarthy Tetrault LLP, breakdown why their session, “Conscious Uncoupling”: Managing the Franchise Relationship from Beginning to End, is a must-attend for all franchisors. Register Now!

4 Reasons Why Franchise Law Day is a Must-Attend Event!

4 Reasons Why Franchise Law Day is a Must-Attend Event!

1. You’ll Protect Your Business – To ensure your business remains viable you must be compliant with laws and regulations. The CFA Franchise Law Day was designed to help businesses like yours, minimize legal risk to keep operations running smoothly.

2. You’re Business Will Stay Current – You’ll hear from and network with Canada’s top legal lawyers and experts, who will give you the inside scoop on the need-to-know legal topics and trends. Listen as Carly Cohen, from Cassels Brock & Blackwell, and Stephanie Sugar, from McCarthy Tetrault LLP, breakdown why their session, “Counscious Uncoupling”: Managing the Franchise Relationship from Beginnning to End, is a must-attend for all franchisors. 

3. It’s Convenient – In just one day you will get up to speed on all the latest legal requirements and still have plenty of time to connect with like-minded peers.

4. You’ll Find Business Solutions Easily – From legal challenges posed by the rise of technology to franchisee relations, every session will breakdown relevant business issues and provide practical solutions you can immediately implement into your system. 

Register Now!

Get the Most Out of Your Convention!

  1. Plan Ahead – With so much to experience at the National Convention – including first-class educational sessions, keynotes, networking events and celebrations – planning out your three days is a must! Click here to access the agenda. 


  1. Build Strong Relationships – With over 500 attendees at the biggest event in franchising, this is the perfect time to cultivate new connections. Expert tip: Make sure you attend the social hub of the Convention, the Marketplace. 


  1. Learn Something New – Don’t skip out on sessions just because you think you’ve mastered the information! Whether you’re brand new to franchising or you’re already established you can always learn something new.


  1. Growing Together – The beauty of the National Convention is that you’ve got plenty of opportunities to talk with like-minded peers. Lead by experienced facilitators, when you join one of the 25 roundtable discussions you’ll have the chance to hash out your big problems, discuss solutions and get the answers to your most pressing questions!


  1. Celeberate – Reaching your business goals is important but taking the time to celebrate is critical. Don’t miss the Gala Awards dinner where we’ll announce the winners of the Franchisee of the Year Award, Awards of Excellence, Recognition Awards and Franchisees’ Choice Designation, before heading over to the always- legendary After-Party.


  1. Make use of what you learned – Convention doesn’t end when it’s over. Take what you learned and apply it. Follow up with the connections that you’ve made to make the whole experience worthwhile!

You Should Attend a Franchise Your Business Seminar If…

The Canadian Franchise Association’s (CFA) renowned Franchise Your Business seminar returns this fall, making stops in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver!
Designed to help you expand your business using the franchise business model, the Franchise Your Business seminar is a must-attend event for any entrepreneur looking for long-term success. So, how do you know if you should attend a seminar? Read on for the answer and register for a seminar in a city near you!

  • You want to start your own business

The Franchise Your Business seminar isn’t just for established business owners. If you have a great idea and want to learn more about what next steps you should take, we’ve got you covered! Seminar speakers include consultants, lawyers, financial representatives, and experienced franchisors, all equipped with the information you’ll need to turn your idea into a reality.

  • You’re a new start up franchisor

If you’ve recently started franchising your business but are still looking for efficient and long-term growth strategies, the Franchise Your Business seminar is where you need to be. We’ll teach you franchising fundamentals, including how to structure a franchise deal, establish creative marketing tactics to attract quality franchisees, determine your franchise fees and investment costs, and more!

  • You have a business you want to grow

With an established and successful business already in place, there’s no better time than now to expand across the country and abroad! Franchising is a viable option for entrepreneurs looking to grow efficiently and cost-effectively. After attending this seminar, you’ll know if your business can be franchised, get first-hand advice from experienced franchisors who have seen it all, and learn how you can avoid potential pitfalls.

  • You have future expansion plans

Even if you’re not ready to grow your business just yet, attending the Franchise Your Business seminar is the first step you should take as you plan future expansion. Our speakers are pros in their fields and networking with them will come in handy when you do decide to make the leap into franchising.
Upcoming Seminars:
Monday, September 17
Thursday, October 18
Monday, November 5
Click here to learn more and to register.
Unable to attend a live seminar? The valuable content from our Franchise Your Business seminars is now available on-demand so you can learn how to franchise your business at any time! Click here to register.

Vous devez participer au séminaire Franchisez votre entreprise si…

Le reconnu séminaire Franchisez votre entreprise de l’Association canadienne de la franchise (ACF) revient cet automne, s’arrêtant à Montréal, Toronto et Vancouver!
Conçu afin d’aider l’expansion de votre entreprise grâce au modèle d’affaires de la franchise, le séminaire Franchisez votre entreprise est un événement incontournable pour tout entrepreneur recherchant le succès à long terme! Donc, comment savez-vous si vous devez participer au séminaire? Lisez la réponse ci-dessous et enregistrez-vous pour un séminaire dans une ville près de chez vous!

  • Vous désirez lancer votre propre entreprise

Le séminaire Franchisez votre entreprise n’est pas seulement pour les propriétaires d’entreprises établies. Si vous avez une belle idée et désirez en savoir plus sur les prochaines étapes à prendre, nous avons ce qu’il faut! Les conférenciers au séminaire comprennent des consultants, des avocats, des représentants financiers et des franchiseurs expérimentés. Ils sont tous équipés de l’information nécessaire afin de transformer votre idée en une réalité.

  • Vous êtes un nouveau franchiseur en démarrage 

Si vous avez récemment commencé à franchiser votre entreprise mais recherchez toujours des stratégies de croissance efficaces et à long terme, le séminaire Franchisez votre entreprise est où vous devez être. Nous vous enseignerons concernant les notions de base du franchisage, y compris comment structurer une offre de franchise, établir des tactiques créatives de marketing afin d’attirer des franchisés de qualité, déterminer vos frais de franchise et coûts d’investissement et plus encore!

  • Vous avez une entreprise à faire croître

Avec une entreprise établie et ayant du succès déjà en place, c’est le temps ou jamais de la faire croître à travers le pays et à l’étranger! Le franchisage est une option viable pour les entrepreneurs recherchant une croissance efficace et rentable. Après participation à ce séminaire, vous saurez si votre entreprise peut être franchisée, vous recevrez des conseils pratiques de franchiseurs expérimentés qui ont déjà passé par là, et vous apprendrez comment éviter les embûches potentielles.

  • Vous avez des plans futurs d’expansion

Même si vous n’êtes pas toujours prêt faire croître votre entreprise pour le moment, participer au séminaire Franchisez votre entreprise est la première étape à prendre alors que vous planifiez l’expansion future. Nos conférenciers sont des professionnels dans leurs champs de travail et faire du réseautage avec eux deviendra pratique lorsque vous décidez de faire le saut dans le monde du franchisage.
Séminaires à venir :

Lundi 17 septembre
Mardi 18 octobre
Lundi 5 novembre
Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire
Incapable de participer à un séminaire en personne? Le contenu de valeur de nos séminaires Franchisez votre entreprise est à présent disponible sur demande. Vous pouvez donc apprendre comment franchiser votre entreprise en tout moment! Cliquez ici pour plus d’informations.

2018 Golf Tournaments: Hit a Hole-In-One with these Top Networking Tips

Any good businessperson knows that networking is a key ingredient for success. Whether it’s forming partnerships with influential entrepreneurs, spreading your brand to target audiences, or learning effective business strategies from experts in the field, networking serves many purposes within the world of franchising.

Fortunately for you, the CFA’s upcoming Golf Tournaments are designed to connect you with franchise leaders across the country! Join us at one of three Golf Classics in BC, Ontario, and New Brunswick this June and come prepared with these hot networking tips.

Be On Time: Being late never looks good and never goes unnoticed. Show your reliability by arriving on time (registration opens at 9:00 for the Atlantic Golf Classic and 10:00 for the Pacific and Central Classics) and come early if you plan on meeting franchisees or clients.

Don’t Start The Day Talking Business: The Golf Classic is meant to be a fun, stress-free day in support of the CFA’s advocacy work! Acknowledge when business talk is and isn’t appropriate.

Put Your Guests First: If you’re inviting employees or clients, ask them what activities they want to participate in, and play to their comfort level. In addition to golf, additional sports and spa options are available at our Central Golf Classic.

Stay Engaged And Listen: It’s not all about you! Although you may be eager to talk about your business, make sure you listen to what others are offering. Engage, ask questions, and determine which systems would make for an ideal partnership.

Research: If you want to connect with a specific individual or franchise system, come prepared with questions you want to ask, and make sure you know their business inside and out. Trust us, they’ll be impressed!

Articulate Your Goals: Understand your business goals and be prepared to speak about where you are, where you’re headed, and what you hope to achieve in the future.

To learn more and to register, click on the links below:

Pacific Golf Classic
Thursday, June 7
Westwood Plateau Golf Club
Coquitlam, BC

Central Golf Classic
Thursday, June 12
Richmond Hill Golf Club
Richmond Hill, ON

Atlantic Golf Classic
Thursday, June 21
Royal Oaks Golf Course
Moncton, NB

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lou Gervasi, Events Manager, at or 416-695-2896 Ext. 243.

Highlights from the 2018 CFA National Convention

From April 22-24, the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) welcomed franchise experts, inspirational keynote speakers, new and emerging franchisors, and hundreds of delegates from across the country as we hosted our 27th annual National Convention in Ottawa, Ontario!

Held at the Westin in the heart of the nation’s capital, this year’s festivities brought together the best of the best in Canadian franchising for three days of non-stop networking events, educational learning opportunities, and engaging presentations covering a range of pertinent franchise topics.

Day 1 kicked off with a special FSS/Supplier Forum hosted by TruShield Insurance’s Tony O’Brien. Along with an expert panel, O’Brien shared with franchise suppliers and support services providers how they can maximize the benefits of their CFA membership and network with top franchisors to achieve their business goals.

Next up was our high-demand Power Sessions where world-class franchise experts shared insightful knowledge on sales, marketing, business development, and management. It was a full house later in the afternoon for the Essential Legal Update. Moderated by a panel of some of Canada’s leading lawyers, franchisors learned about the latest legislative updates in Canada, how these changes could impact their businesses moving forward, and what they could do to mitigate potential challenges.

Delegates attend the Essential Legal Update on Day

New CFA members and first time Convention delegates were then treated to a special networking cocktail reception before learning more about the new CFA branding, purpose, and mission statement. The CFA’s Chair of the Board of Directors, John Wissent, and the 1st Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, John DeHart, were on deck to share with delegates the CFA’s new brand, created in partnership with the CFA Branding Committee and branding agency, Pigeon Brands.

The exciting unveiling was followed by the first Keynote Presentation of the Convention. Charlwood Pacific Group’s CEO & Chairman, U. Gary Charlwood, shared with delegates the inspiring story of how he worked his way up the corporate ladder before purchasing and growing Century 21 into one of Canada’s largest and most respected real estate organizations.

CEO & Chairman of Charlwood Pacific Group, U. Gary Charlwood, during his Keynote Presentation

The day ended with an informative presentation by the CFA’s Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy, Ryan Eickmeier, and President & CEO, Lorraine McLachlan, on the release of the much-anticipated Economic Impact Study, followed by the Marketplace Opening Reception. Open throughout Convention, Marketplace exhibitors got to showcase their innovative franchise-related products and services with franchisors.

Sales expert Todd Cohen got the crowd laughing bright and early Monday morning with his engaging Keynote Presentation on how to build a sales culture in your organization. Using relatable anecdotes, Cohen used his own business experiences to keep delegates engaged and drive home the point that creating a “sales” culture is a must to find business success. Click here for a special thank you message from Todd!

Todd Cohen speaks to delegates during his Keynote Presentation

There were non-stop learning opportunities throughout the remainder of the afternoon as Roundtable Discussions, Concurrent Sessions, and a special Closed-Door CEO Session with Todd Cohen took place. Moderated by franchise experts from CFA’s membership, these sessions were a great way for delegates to learn more about a specialized topic, discuss challenges and opportunities they face in their businesses, and develop effective and efficient solutions with one another.

Convention attendees participate in Roundtable Discussions

The day ended with the most anticipated event of Convention…the Gala Awards Presentation Dinner! Co-hosted by’s Ken LeBlanc and Walter Melanson – who channeled Bob and Doug McKenzie from the “Great White North” – the night was filled with laughs and Canadian-themed jokes as attendees became true hosers for the evening.

Emcees Ken LeBlanc and Walter Melanson from

In-between the on-stage entertainment, franchising excellence was celebrated with the presentation of the 2018 Franchisees’ Choice Designation, Recognition Awards, and Awards of Excellence in Franchising.

Kumon Math and Reading Centres received the Hall of Fame Award in recognition of their outstanding business performance and unwavering commitment to educating children across the world.

The CFA’s Changing Workplaces Taskforce took home the Volunteer Leadership Excellence Award, while the Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award was presented to BioPed Footcare Centres for their work helping underprivileged communities through the Goodytwoshoes Foundation.

Former President & CEO of Mister Transmission, Randy Moore, took home the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 40-year career with the automotive franchise, while Ruthie Burd, founder of The Lunch Lady, took home the first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award.

From left to right: The team from BioPed, Peter Snell, John Wissent, Larry Weinberg, and Matthew Badrov of the CFA’s Changing Workplaces Taskforce, Hall of Fame winners Kumon, Ruthie Burd of The Lunch Lady, and Randy Moore

Next up, excellence in Canadian franchising was celebrated as Wise Cracks, Lice, Little Kickers, Symposium Café, Paul Davis Restoration, Triple O’s, and Pizza Nova took home Gold in their respective categories.

From left to right the teams from: Wise Cracks, Paul Davis Restoration, Pizza Nova, and Lice

Lorraine McLachlan took to the stage to present two of the Gold finalists with the coveted Grand Prize for Traditional and Non-Traditional Franchise Systems. For the second straight year, Symposium Café took home the Grand Prize for Traditional Franchise System, while Little Kickers won big for Non-Traditional Franchise System!

Traditional Grand Prize winner Symposium Café and Non-Traditional Grand Prize winner Little Kickers

The night wasn’t finished yet though, as the celebration continued at Lowertown Brewery in the ByWard Market for the After-Party.

The final day of Convention started with a buffet breakfast in the Marketplace followed by more Roundtable Discussions, Concurrent Sessions, and a Closed-Door CEO Session with Nurse Next Door and LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic co-founder, John DeHart.

DeHart was on stage later in the morning for the final Keynote Presentation where he shared with delegates how they could build a hyper growth brand from the inside out by developing a positive work culture.

John DeHart talks building a hyper growth brand the right way

The closing luncheon immediately followed the Keynote Presentation, followed by Franchise Awareness Day, where a group of Convention delegates headed over to Parliament Hill for a full day of meetings with Members of Parliament.

Thank you to all attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors for making this year’s Convention one to remember. We’ll see you next April in Niagara Falls!

Start your summer at the 2018 CFA Golf Tournaments


The CFA’s Golf Tournaments are back, and bigger and better than ever before! Join us this June for one of three golf classics in British Columbia, Ontario, and New Brunswick.

Exclusive to CFA-member and non-member franchisors and industry suppliers, each golf classic is designed to optimize your chances of making substantial business connections, connect with colleagues and industry leaders, and discover new ways to enhance the franchise business model.

All proceeds will go towards CFA’s advocacy efforts, which includes leading the fight against legislation that prohibits franchise systems from effectively executing their businesses, while simultaneously promoting excellence in Canadian franchising.

Golf competitions will be held throughout the day* in addition to the main 18-hole tournament where you and your team can compete to win the CFA’s Golf Cup and be fitted for Blue Jackets.

Registration for all three tournaments includes: green fees, a shared power cart, lunch, reception, and dinner.

Pacific Golf Classic
Westwood Plateau Golf Club
Coquitlam, BC
Register Here

Central Golf Classic
Richmond Hill Golf Club
Richmond Hill, ON
Register Here

Atlantic Golf Classic
Royal Oaks Golf Course
Moncton, NB
Register Here

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lou Gervasi at or 416-695-2896 ext. 243 

*Details coming soon

Get Ready for the Biggest Event in Canadian Franchising!

Click here to see who’s attending the 2018 CFA National Convention – it’s a who’s who of franchising!

Canada’s biggest franchise conference is just around the corner! Taking place April 22-24 in Ottawa, Ontario, the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) National Convention is the best place to network with the industry’s top executives and create influential business connections with esteemed franchise leaders. Click here to see who will be attending this year’s conference!

With Convention just around the corner, anticipation is running high! We asked our board members what they’re most looking forward to this year. From networking to learning to connecting with industry peers, here’s what they had to say:

“I am particularly excited and looking forward to the 2018 CFA Convention due to the stellar line up of speakers and topics. I look forward to facilitating a roundtable session on how to make the most of your CFA membership, a CEO break out session, and to hosting several guest speaker sessions. Most of all, I look forward to seeing friends and colleagues and to meeting new members and friends. Networking and learning at the CFA Convention is top tier and I always come away with new ideas and knowledge.”
– Dawn Mucci, Lice

“The CFA Convention is a great way to connect with the industry, explore new ideas, and discover opportunities.”
– Hadi Chahin, Mary Brown’s Inc.

“The CFA National Convention is about sharing ideas. I’m most looking forward to re-connecting with friends and colleagues from the franchising industry – and meeting a few new people, too!”
– Clark Harrop, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited

“As a member of the Board of Directors for the CFA, I can say that the CFA has been working hard to support our members, including making changes to the lead generation platforms and hosting the Toronto FranchiseCanada Show free of charge to visitors. I am hoping to get some feed back from members on their successes and where we can help more. Franchising is a big part of the Canadian economy, and I am looking forward to many more years of success.”
– Sebastian Fuschini, Pizza Pizza

“I cannot wait for the Convention this year! It looks like there will be some great speakers but I like the roundtable discussions the most, as you get to hear views from other franchisors and take home some good tips for your own franchise program. The networking is another plus, along with meeting with all the suppliers in the Marketplace. Will never miss the Convention and looking forward to another great one!”
– Joel Friedman, Pumpernickel’s

“It’s not just another convention – it’s a powerful meeting of the franchise business sector. Each member, whether a seasoned franchisor or a new member, has the opportunity to exchange information, to freely share ideas, experiences, and knowledge, and to learn from each other. I always come away thinking, ‘wow, that program or idea could work for us.'”
– Terry Hould, ServiceMaster of Canada Limited

Don’t miss out on all of the excitement! Click here for full details about this year’s education and social program and register today.

CFA National Convention Meet & Greet

Iconic Canadian Franchise Founders to Share Secrets for Success at the 2018 CFA National Convention

Over 500 franchise industry leaders expected to attend Canada’s premier franchise education and networking event from April 22-24 in Ottawa, Ontario

(Toronto, ON) March 28, 2018… Century 21 Founder U. Gary Charlwood and Nurse Next Door Co-Founder John DeHart – two of Canada’s greatest business success stories – are among the experts who will address franchise business leaders during the 27th annual Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) National Convention, to be held from April 22 to 24 at the Westin Ottawa.

More than 500 franchisors are expected to attend this year, representing Canada’s leading brands including McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada,, Dairy Queen, Boston Pizza, Kumon Canada, Mister Transmission, and A&W Food Services of Canada.

“As the premier event for franchising in Canada, the CFA National Convention offers unmatched learning and networking opportunities for all franchise professionals, from new and established franchisors to franchise industry suppliers,” says Lorraine McLachlan, the CFA’s President and CEO. “With a powerful lineup of Keynote Speakers and more than 40 educational sessions to choose from, the CFA National Convention provides a forum for franchise business leaders to network, share ideas and work together to shape the future of franchise excellence in Canada.”

Rounding out three days of in-depth educational programming, the CFA National Convention will feature three Keynote Speakers:

  • Gary Charlwood, Founder, Charlwood Pacific Group, will share his inspiring journey from an employee struggling to make ends meet, to an international franchising trailblazer.
  • Todd Cohen, Sales Expert and Bestselling Author, will offer up the secrets to increasing profits by building a sales culture
  • John DeHart, Co-Founder, Nurse Next Door and LIVE WELL Exercise Clinics, will highlight how to build a first-class company culture that will inspire employees and franchisees to live and breathe the brand

In addition to learning and networking, attendees will also celebrate their peers at the much anticipated Gala Awards Presentation on Monday, April 23, where the CFA will announce the winners of the Awards of Excellence in Franchising, Franchisees’ Choice Designation and Recognition Awards. These highly coveted awards celebrate excellence in franchising and the mutually-rewarding relationship between a franchise system and its franchisees.

For more information about the 27th annual CFA National Convention, visit

About the Canadian Franchise Association

The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) helps everyday Canadians realize the dream of building their own business through the power of franchising. CFA advocates on issues that impact this dream on behalf of more than 700 corporate members and over 40,000 franchisees from many of Canada’s best-known and emerging franchise brands. Beyond its role as the voice of the franchise industry, CFA strengthens and develops franchising by delivering best-practice education and creating rewarding connections between Canadians and the opportunities in franchising. Canadian franchises contribute over $96 billion per year to the Canadian economy and create jobs for more than 1.8 million Canadians. Learn more at or

# # #

For media accreditation, more information, and/or to arrange an interview with Lorraine McLachlan, CFA President & CEO, or any of the speakers or award winners, please contact:

Lisa Raffaele
PUNCH Canada

CFA National Convention Keynote Speaker Spotlight: John DeHart

Keynote Speaker Spotlight: John DeHart

 CFA National Convention | April 22-24, 2018 | Ottawa, Ontario | Register Now

Most people would consider it a fairly long – and risky – leap to move from the fast-paced high-tech scene to the more sedate, conservative field of health care services. Not John DeHart – he paid no heed to the risks, and jumped right in.

After making his mark as an entrepreneur in the heady New York tech scene in the ‘90s, helping launch five tech companies as a venture capitalist, DeHart did some soul searching and decided the tech world was not for him. While it was fast and fun, the industry lacked the “heart and soul” the young Cornell business grad was looking for.

“I spent five or six years building high-tech companies, until I woke up one morning and decided to quit. That was right before the 2000 tech collapse,” says DeHart, who eventually went on to co-found the successful home health care franchise brand, Nurse Next Door. “I didn’t really love what I was doing.”

Just shy of his 30th birthday, the Okanagan native joined his wife in Vancouver, where she was studying, and personal experience soon pointed him in the direction of health care. DeHart’s future business partner, Ken Sim, was trying to find a caregiver for his wife when she went on bed rest with their first child, and it was a real challenge. “I had had previous challenges with my grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s,” says DeHart. “The home care industry is unregulated, and it was like the Wild West. You never knew what you were getting.”

That spelled opportunity for the two, who decided to launch a business to fill what they saw as a vacuum in the marketplace. Their goal was to put their finely-honed business sense to use by building a completely different, aspirational health care model that would deliver more than just run-of-the-mill home care. That model was Nurse Next Door, which launched in 2001, and is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds.

“Our approach is different – we look at how we can bring a little bit of happiness into a senior’s life, and our service model revolves around that,” explains DeHart. “By focusing less on the clinical task and more on the personal experiences of the person, we deliver a very social model of care. It’s a radically different way to deliver health care and home care.”

At Nurse Next Door, the focus is on happier aging rather than just churning out a set of practical services. While the services are obviously provided, this is done within the framework of bringing happiness to the day-to-day lives of the company’s senior customers. A question asked of every client is: “What’s the one thing you love to do that you can no longer do?” Caregivers then try to help clients rediscover lost activities and interests.

Blazing a new trail

The idea of reinventing the wheel was not always welcomed in a sector that’s steeped in tradition and slow to change. More than one industry insider questioned DeHart’s modern take on health care, all the way down to the bright bubble-gum pink branding of the company cars.

But that did little to deter DeHart or Sim, who viewed each roadblock as an opportunity, and their lack of health care experience as a distinct advantage. “We could not do the work ourselves, so we had to hire well, which allowed us to focus on building the business instead of being a ‘technician,’” emphasizes DeHart. “The fact that we didn’t know anything about health care allowed us to build a radically different and unique organization. We weren’t mired in what was already being done, or stuck in the ‘old way.’”

The concept has worked extraordinarily well for the duo. Six years into their business, they started franchising, and today, Nurse Next Door has grown into a 150-franchise operation with locations across Canada and the United States. Plans are in place for 50 more locations this calendar year, and another 50 the next, and the company is also eyeing international markets like China, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The company is perfectly positioned to benefit from the “Silver Tsunami” hitting western societies, as Baby Boomers retire en masse and cope with the challenges that come with aging.

This brings us to DeHart’s newest business venture, LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic.

Dubbed the “anti-gym,” LIVE WELL is a medical fitness clinic that targets sedentary people who suffer from chronic diseases, most notably diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Far more than a regular workout gym, LIVE WELL aims to teach people the skills to build healthy habits, and get them moving through supervised, customized exercise programs.

Each location has an on-staff clinical exercise physiologist, and clinical outcomes – blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels, etc. – of every member are monitored as part of the program. About 50 per cent of business is generated through doctor referrals, with the balance coming from online marketing. “We’re a lifestyle change company,” explains DeHart. “If you have a chronic condition, the first thing a doctor will tell you is to change your lifestyle. The problem is that’s really hard to do. So we are that lifestyle ‘prescription.’ That’s our specialty, and that’s how we are different from a regular gym.”

A new “medical fitness” vision

DeHart tapped into the idea of “medical fitness” a few years back in, of all places, his office elevator. There was a LIVE WELL location in the same building, and he regularly bumped into gym members singing the praises of the life-changing program as he rode up the elevator.

His curiosity piqued, DeHart sought out the owner, Sara Hodson, who by then had two successful LIVE WELL locations on British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. DeHart started mentoring her, a third clinic soon followed, and in 2015, the two teamed up to start franchising the brand. “It was a perfect core values match,” says DeHart. “Hodson is a visionary of exercise as medicine, and I bring the business, franchise, and brand strategy to the table.”

Nurse Next Door had hired Cathy Thorpe as CEO the previous year, leaving DeHart to focus on his newest venture. In the fall of 2016, he and Hodson opened the first three LIVE WELL franchises, all on B.C.’s Lower Mainland. There are plans to bring that number up to 15 by the end of this year, and to move into Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto with another 15 openings in 2018.

Nurse Next Door is on an even more robust expansion trajectory, and both brands are actively looking for new franchisees to add to their teams. They are looking for people who are genuinely interested in helping others, and who are also energized about building a profitable, successful business. “You have to be passionate about what we do, and then you have to marry that with tenacity and perseverance,” says DeHart. “Everything else, we can handle.”

Extensive training is provided for both brands, and while health care experience isn’t necessary, there does need to be a registered nurse on staff managing clients at Nurse Next Door and a clinical exercise physiologist to oversee the exercise programs at LIVE WELL. If a franchisee has one of these skill sets, he or she can fulfill this role; otherwise, a person with the necessary expertise is hired. The starting investment for Nurse Next Door is around $150,000, and the business can be run from home to start. Around $300,000 is required for a LIVE WELL franchise, which requires a bricks-and-mortar location.

DeHart is sanguine about his future as he branches into his second health care venture, and is exhilarated at the prospect of building another strong national brand. But to him, it’s about far more than just business success; it’s about helping others live their optimal life. In other words, it’s a business with the “heart and soul” he was once yearning for as a young man.

“It’s about helping someone aspire to live a better life, but it’s also about building a daringly different, bold brand in health care. We did it with Nurse Next Door, and we’re doing it with LIVE WELL. For me, there is nothing better than building a radically different health care brand that inspires someone to lead a better life. That’s magic.”

To hear more of DeHart’s inspiring success story, attend his Keynote Presentation at CFA National Convention and learn how to optimize your chances for franchise success too. Register now!

By Roma Ihnatowycz 

CFA National Convention Keynote Speaker Spotlight: U. Gary Charlwood

Keynote Speaker Spotlight: U. Gary Charlwood

 CFA National Convention | April 22-24, 2018 | Ottawa, Ontario | Register Now

In November 1966, a young man arrived in Canada from post-war Europe with a dream of building a better life for himself and his young family.

Fifty years later, U. Gary Charlwood and his sons Martin and Christopher head an international franchise company with more than 1,800 locations in 67 countries. The story of Charlwood Pacific Group is one of Canada’s most inspiring home-grown success stories, and is a true testament to the power of franchising.

Born in Germany in 1941, Gary Charlwood grew up in England after his father was killed in World War II and his mother remarried to a British soldier. He spent his childhood between Germany and England, becoming fluent in both languages.

As a youth, he travelled across Europe, working as a musician and tour guide. “That was an important lesson early in life about how to generate income for yourself,” says Charlwood of his introduction to entrepreneurship. “Tips were a major part of my income as a tour guide. The better the job, the bigger the tip!”

The ambitious young Charlwood always dreamed of leaving Europe for the “new world” and almost chose Australia as his new home (“I thought Canada would be too cold,” he recalls). His plans changed when a friend from the Canadian embassy in Vienna, where Charlwood was active in the travel agency community, convinced him to move to Vancouver. So, in 1966, 24-year-old Charlwood set sail for Canada.

Charlwood spent his first few nights in Vancouver at the local YMCA, but quickly found a house to rent and secured work as an airline reservations agent. Within four weeks, he was able to bring his wife – now pregnant with their second child – and son Christopher to join him in Vancouver.

Money was tight for the young family. “We had to have coffee cups with money for gas, food, and rent,” he says. He earned extra money by playing in a musical ensemble, which eventually became the house band at the legendary Commodore Ballroom in downtown Vancouver.

Over time, Charlwood worked his way up the corporate airline ladder, but was unhappy with his income. “One day, I looked at my paycheque and I looked at my title, and the two didn’t really jive,” he says. “I thought to myself ‘you emigrated all the way from Europe for a better life. This is your one shot. You’re about to turn 30. How can you make a better life for yourself?’”

Adding to his sense of urgency was the threat of being laid off as a result of a potential airline takeover of his company. “I realized then that the biggest security in life is to rely on yourself – so I went into business for myself.”

To hear more of Gary’s incredible success story, attend his Keynote Presentation at CFA National Convention and discover how to build a successful sales culture in your organization. Register now!

Top 5 Ways to Stand Out at the FranchiseCanada Show

When it comes to investing in franchising, entrepreneurs have their work cut out for them. But, with so many options to choose from, how can you get your franchise to stand out from the rest? Luckily, the FranchiseCanada Shows offer an opportunity for franchises to meet and interact face-to-face with potential Canadian investors. To help get the most out of show time, the Canadian Franchise Association has compiled a few simple tips on how to put the FUN back into franchising and get your brand noticed in the crowd:


  1. Make your space memorable

When it comes to driving attention and engagement with your booth, go big or go home. A creative stunt not only immediately gets you noticed by passersby walking the aisles, but also makes your booth and brand that much more memorable for attendees. There are infinite ways to get creative within your booth space, from something as simple as handing out food samples to something outside-of-the-box like having penguins come by to “chill.” A word of advice — while an activation is fun and will bring attention to your booth, make sure it’s clever and aligns with your brand in a meaningful way. These types of activations are much more effective at making your company stand out (and be remembered for the right reasons).


  1. Invest in a great display

Eye-catching designs and booth displays are the easiest way to entice show attendees to your space. If you have something exciting to share, why hide it under a drab black curtain? Not only will a lighter and brighter open concept display draw visitor attention, it’ll make your brand look sleeker, more established and interested in investing in its own future—a key consideration for entrepreneurs looking for a long-term investment. From pop-up banners to custom furniture, a great display is a perfect investment for your brand, as it can be used for future events as well.


  1. An experience is worth a thousand words

Instead of channeling your inner Shakespeare and handing out pamphlets of carefully-worded information, why not let your product or service speak for itself? Most food franchises have this in the bag, handing out smoothies or pizza slices to entice hungry passersby, but services can do the exact same thing. Giving mini massages, creating digital imaging prints of your guests they can then share on social, or even an interactive yoga lesson are all great ways to let visitors know that you’re proud of what your company does, and are willing to show vs tell them.


  1. Give away something unusual

Pens, notepads and magnets (although useful) are expected branded corporate swag and won’t help your brand stand apart from your competitors. Try mixing up your swag items with something a bit more fun and memorable. A stress ball in the shape of your product, branded T-shirts, a Rubik’s cube with your logo on it, USB chargers or the latest smart phone accessories are fun items that your visitors will actually want to use.

Better yet, make your giveaway something grand, and invite your attendees to “play to win,” or submit their info for a chance to win a larger ticket item (this is also a great way to build your prospective database).


  1. Have fun with it!

If you’re having fun at your booth, your guests will be too, and it shows that your company isn’t all work and no play. Try greeting guests with an ice-breaker joke, hosting an impromptu dance party with the people at your booth, or teaching visitors a secret franchisee handshake if they indicate they’re interested in signing up for more information, because every small win is worth celebrating!


Do you already have an exciting idea on how to attract attendees to your booth? Tell us what it is and we’ll promote your franchise opportunity to prospective FranchiseCanada Show attendees!

Contact Kristin Di Tommaso at

CFA National Convention Keynote Speaker Spotlight: Todd Cohen

Keynote Speaker Spotlight: Todd Cohen

 CFA National Convention | April 22-24, 2018 | Ottawa, Ontario | Register Now

Customer engagement is key to any organization’s profitability. This is the inspiring message from Todd Cohen, a leading expert on building a successful sales culture who motivates audiences to see every interaction as a selling opportunity. Using a blend of humor, memorable anecdotes, and unique insights, Todd demystifies and revitalizes sales culture by demonstrating how every individual has a role in customer retention and profitability.

To get an idea of what Todd’s Keynote Presentation at the 2018 CFA National Convention will cover, watch the video below from his speech at the SJCC Women’s Gala, where he leads his audience through the fundamentals on how to sell ourselves and rally others to join our Virtual Team™.

This video will give you a sneak peek at some of the insights Todd will share at the convention that are imperative for any organization looking to optimize their selling effectiveness.

To hear more from Todd, attend his Keynote Presentation at CFA National Convention and discover how to build a successful sales culture in your organization. Register now!

The FranchiseCanada Show Returns to Montreal

If you’re looking for a rewarding career in the franchise industry, the FranchiseCanada Show (formerly The Franchise Show) is your one-stop shop to turn your dreams of business ownership in to reality!

This January, join the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) and the Conseil Québécois de la Franchise (CQF) to explore franchise opportunities at all investment levels, connect with credible and accomplished franchisors, and attend free seminars led by franchise experts!

The FranchiseCanada Show is designed to help Canadian entrepreneurs get in business for themselves, but not by themselves by joining a trusted franchise system with a proven and successful business model already in place.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to invest in your future!

The FranchiseCanada Show returns to Montreal January 13 and 14 at Place Bonaventure. For more information and to pre-register and save 20%, click here.

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