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Cresanti Takes CEO Spot at IFA, Replacing Caldeira


Robert Cresanti is the new president and CEO of the International Franchise Association.

Robert Cresanti, the International Franchise Association’s top lobbyist, is now its new president and CEO and is expected to continue the trade association’s aggressive fight against what it calls attacks on the franchise business model. Cresanti replaces Steve Caldeira, who resigned after failing to reach terms on a new contract. Caldeira’s tenure began in 2010.

Cresanti is “humbled and honored by the board’s trust in me and looking forward to continuing the great work the IFA team has done in protecting, promoting and enhancing franchising,” he said in a statement.

In a January interview, Cresanti told Franchise Times “the industry is under horrific threat. You’ve got minimum wage” legislation, “30-hour work weeks, Obamacare—you’re talking about the death by a thousand cuts.”

He particularly cited joint employer agitation, after the National Labor Relations Board in August 2014 said it would hold McDonald’s accountable as a joint employer along with its franchisees in alleged labor law violations.

The joint employer issue  “is an existential threat to this industry. If the NLRB gets its way and wins cases in the long term, franchising goes away and ceases to exist in any semblance of the form in which we know it today. It’s not hyperbole,” he told Franchise Times.

Cresanti joined IFA in 2014 from SAP America Inc., where he was vice president of corporate affairs and government relations. He was confirmed in 2006 as Under Secretary for Technology for the U.S. Department of Commerce, charged with advocating for the U.S. high-tech industry globally.

In his nearly decade-long service on Capitol Hill, he handled legislation before the banking, judiciary, commerce, government affairs and finance committees, according to the IFA.


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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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