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Meet the leading ladies of the bfa for International Women’s Day

The British Franchise Association is the UK’s trade body for the franchise industry; setting standards, providing a collaborative and educational platform and most importantly educating franchisees, franchisors and people looking to take their next steps into franchising.

The past two years have seen significant change under the direction of bfa’s CEO Pip Wilkins, she has restructured a team that will see the bfa become a more innovative and engaging environment. What better way to celebrate International Women’s day than to meet the ladies making it all happen.

Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO

Pip is proud to hold the role as Chief Executive of the British Franchise Association. Her journey into franchising started at the ripe age of 19 years old, not quite straight from school, but after college, when she realised that neither computer programming or lifeguarding were really for her!

For the past 18 years she has worked her way up within the Association doing everything from admin and events to business development management and operations. Her time working at the bfa has provided a unique opportunity to gain insight from all areas of business and the franchise industry.

Pip believes the thriving franchise community is one with representing diversity and a collective passion that is rarely witnessed in business. It is for that very reason that without a doubt her proudest achievement, both personally and professionally, was being appointed the CEO of the bfa in April 2016. Pip states “To be trusted to lead the Association in its next phase of development is an absolute honour. Not everyone gets to do a job they love and live their dream. I’m lucky enough to have that opportunity and build a fantastic team of people to live it with me.”

Emily Price QFP, Head of Operations

Emily started her journey with the bfa in 2012 after gaining significant experience within HR at Barclaycard where she worked alongside the Senior Leadership team and managed global transformation projects for the business.

Emily has an interest in leadership psychology and is passionate about people development. Currently in the final stages of her Graduate Diploma in Applied Management at Warwick Business School she is already working hard with her team to enable an innovative environment where trust and transparency are key ingredients for success. She’s extremely proud of the team and their delivery, with key projects being the implementation of the annual franchise awards and launch of the bfa’s website, which will continue to develop over the coming months.

Emily’s job doesn’t stop there, she has two daughters, two dogs and loves to cook up a storm in the kitchen. Learning never stops, she’s quite the bookworm when it comes to business orientated content.

Emily shared her thoughts on the Association ‘The bfa is at the centre of an inspiring community, and it is this community that I’m proud to represent. The business has significant plans for the future, and I’m excited to be working alongside Pip and the team to deliver change that will revolutionise the opportunities that the bfa brings to its members.

Carly Liaromatis QFP, Compliance & Training Manager

Carly holds a senior position, critical to the delivery of, and adherence to the Association’s vital work on ethics, rules and best practice in franchising. She works closely with businesses of all sizes and sectors to help them understand and more importantly meet the standards required to strengthen their frameworks and obtain bfa membership.

Carly is proud to be the guardian of those standards, which are respected globally in franchising, and of the community that the bfa represents, all of which have worked with Carly and her team to achieve their well-earned membership status.

In the last 12 months the bfa has developed the online Prospect Franchisor and Franchisee Certificates to enable more people to understand and access franchising and the journey into it. The transition to move the bfa’s qualified franchise professional programme (QFP) has also been a key project which is valuable enable continual learning throughout the sector. Carly has been at the heart of this project ensuring the content is consistent, high quality and compliant with industry standards.

Carly shared her thoughts on the project,“The programmes are vital in ensuring the franchisors and franchisees of the future are properly educated in franchising, committed to the standards that will lead them to business success. Education and influence are key to maintain a thriving industry.”

Carys Jukes, Business Services Manager

Following 15 years in the Motor Trade heading up Marketing for a privately owned organisation, Carys stepped into the wonderful world of Franchising and has never looked back!

Previously working within the Children’s Activities sector of Franchising, she has been responsible for network management, support, engagement, business coaching and have had the privilege of working with some truly inspirational people.

Carys is passionate about the world of franchising and the opportunities open to women in business. She believes franchising truly is a sector full of possibilities and exciting opportunities. Working with people to engage, helping to educate and providing a structure so that others can fly is what drives her.

As the bfa’s newest addition, Carys shared her thoughts on joining the team, “To experience shared success and growth in an environment such as the bfa is a privilege. Knowing that I can help make a difference to those around me and to help my peers flourish is a big part of my leadership role, one which I will never take for granted and am truly grateful for. That combined with my wider role to develop membership and events means I am ridiculously excited about what the future will bring!”

Sam Roberts, Business Development Manager

Sam works side by side with the dedicated bfa team to ensure that the membership are supported and engaged. She is responsible for new business development, working with franchisors to review membership documentation and to support franchise businesses through the accreditation process and into membership.

Sam is passionate about her position at the bfa, “My role allows me to do exactly what I love, which is to work with and get to know many different people and businesses, learning about their individual successes and pitfalls and how we can support them in celebrating the highs and overcoming the lows.”

Sam has been able to draw upon experiences gained from my past roles, which vary from Cabin Crew,  Financial Advisor, to Business Support Manager which allow her to guide new members in the early stages of their relationship with the bfa. To energise and encourage established members to maximise their benefits is just as much a focus as well as reaching out to prospective franchisors to educate them on the fantastic industry that she feels lucky enough to work with.

Over the last 12 years Sam has developed her career, achieving financial advisor status, having two children and establishing herself in a key role at the bfa. Sam is extremely proud of her achievements and prides herself on setting a fabulous example for her children whist proving you can have a successful career and a fantastic family combined.

Helen Bodiam ACMA CGMA, Finance Manager

Helen sees herself as extremely fortunate to have gained her experience over the past 15 years as an accountant in a succession of prestigious not-for-profit companies and charities based in Central London including the Royal Academy of Music, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, the Prince’s Trust, and the Royal Institute of British Architects where after many long years of home study, largely self-financed and as a result of much grit and determination finally gained her CIMA qualification in 2013. Moving out of London in 2015 and wondering what could possible top this, Helen chanced upon a maternity cover at the bfa as Financial Controller in May 2016. Having fulfilled the contract, Helen moved on and accepted a position at another institution. But on her second day in her new role, Helen received a phone call from Pip Wilkins, CEO inviting her back to return to the bfa, this time in the role of Finance Manager.

Helen advised, “I was thrilled to be invited back to work at the bfa. It was a dream come true. In my short time as a maternity cover I had grown extremely fond of the organisation, and learnt what a great industry the world of franchising is to be a part of. I was, and remain excited by the prospect of drawing upon the valuable experience I have gained and putting this to good use for the benefit of the organisation and the wider franchising industry as a whole.”

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