AAFD Announces Total Quality Awards For 2001

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San Diego-The American Association of Franchisees & Dealers (AAFD) has announced the year 2001 recipients of its annual Total Quality Franchising (TQF) Awards. Headlining the acknowledgment of distinguished service to the AAFD and the franchising community is the selection of Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's, as recipient of the TQF Lifetime Achievement Award. Meineke Discount Mufflers Inc. has been named the AAFD Franchisor of the Year.

Robert L. Purvin, chairman of the board of trustees for the AAFD, singled out the Lifetime Achievement Award to Thomas as indicative of the purpose for the award. "Dave Thomas is truly an icon within the franchising community," he says. "But as impressive as his success as a franchisor is the fact that his franchise owners have universally recognized his support for their individual success. Dave Thomas has continuously embodied the essence of the AAFD's concept of Total Quality Franchising."

"I'm a big believer in franchising, because it's an excellent way to grow a business," says Thomas. "I've learned a lot over the years from our great franchisees and consider them our partners in the truest sense of the word."

The selection of Meineke Discount Mufflers as the Franchisor of the Year is a testament to Kenneth D Walker, Meineke's president and CEO, who has already demonstrated that fair franchising is good business. Meineke is a leading competitor in the automotive services industry, but of recent years has fought many internal battles with a growing number of unhappy franchisees. Walker was trusted to empower Meineke franchisees to help his management team reinvent the franchise with a negotiated agreement.

"We want to place Meineke on a well deserved pedestal," says Purvin, "and let other companies know that respect for franchisees will be richly rewarded in the franchising marketplace."

"Meineke is very pleased and humbled to be recognized in this manner by the AAFD," Walker says. "With so many excellent franchise opportunities available today, it is extremely gratifying to be selected as the AAFD Franchisor of the Year. This accomplishment requires the mutual cooperation of dedicated and hardworking Meineke franchisees and gifted Meineke employees who share a common vision for success. Our chain is fortunate to have an abundance of both." -American Association of Franchisees & Dealers