Schlotzsky’s Franchising Executives Achieve Industry Leadership Designation

Austin-based Schlotzsky’sannounced today that three members of the franchise’s team were recognized as Certified Franchise Executives (CFE) by the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Institute of Certified Franchise Executives (ICFE). George Schaefer, vice president of restaurant operations & training; John Geyerman, regional vice president; and Debbie Gardner, senior director of PR and communications all completed a comprehensive course of study in franchise management offered by the Institute, which is the academic branch of the IFA’s Educational Foundation.

The world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide, the IFA recognized the accomplishments of Schaefer, Geyerman, and Gardner during its annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Altogether, the three executives bring nearly 70 years of experience in franchising, marketing, retail and restaurant operations to Schlotzsky’s.

“A key component to Schlotzsky’s success is the team of franchisees and executives supporting the brand,” said Kelly Roddy, president of Schlotzsky’s. “The IFA’s certification offers a great opportunity for even the most experienced executives to learn best practices from others in the franchising industry and share that knowledge with the rest of the franchise network. We’re proud of George, John, and Debbie’s accomplishment and commitment to enhancing our franchise system.”

Nearly 1,400 franchise executives are currently enrolled or have received the certification. Meanwhile, more than 300 IFA-member companies currently have one or more executives enrolled in the program who provide benefits such as specialized knowledge, industry recognition, peer-level networking and professional standing.

Candidates are required to complete a rigorous course of study to earn the CFE designation, which includes attending institute-sponsored educational seminars and workshops. The program enhances franchising professionals’ understanding of both the industry’s fundamental and complex aspects.

Home of The Original toasted sandwich, Schlotzsky’s has been the fast-casual choice for a quick, healthful, and fresh dining experience for more than four decades. The menu offers more than 15 different sandwiches on its famous unique round freshly-baked buns, as well as gourmet pizzas made with Fresh-from-Scratch crusts, freshly made-to-order tossed salads, a variety of soups and delectable desserts. With more than 350 locations worldwide, Schlotzsky’s is enjoyed in the United States, Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Costa Rica, Jordan and Kuwait. The company’s aggressive growth plans call for upwards of 700 locations by 2015.

For more information about the CFE program, visit or contact IFA Media Relations at 202-628-8000.

For more information about Schlotzsky’s, visit