It’s been a good month or two for Matt Shay.
Many IFA presidents have influenced the national debate on small business, but Mr Shay came through in a big way for small business owners and those in the franchise industry last month when President Obama announced the details of his small business recovery plan.
The hard work of Mr Shay and others at the IFA was rewarded that day. But how did Matt ascend to the position he is in? The cover story of the newest issue of Franchise Times explains how, as well as providing some of Mr Shay’s insight on how the IFA is changing.
The story features a dramatic story about how Shay overcame a serious car accident where he went through a windshield, breaking every bone in his face and fracturing his two legs. Shay eventually recovered and began his work with the IFA, working in state capitals. He gradually climbed the ladder and found himself as IFA president at a time of critical economic importance.
I thought this paragraph in Nancy Weingartner’s story was very insightful into what makes Shay successful.
No one will ever admit this—at least not on the record—but it can’t be easy to lead a bunch of strong-willed, self-made entrepreneurs. In essence, Shay not only has a different “boss” every year, as the new chairperson moves into the top volunteer spot, but he’s accountable to an entire board of directors, plus membership.
It's a very tough job. But Shay has guided the IFA to a position where it is now 'punching above its weight'. “Five years ago board members didn’t realize how much ability we had to improve our regard,” Shay says in the story.
Shay has mobilized the IFA in recent years. If you’d like to watch more about Matt, here is below in an interview recorded at this year’s IFA convention.
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