SOURCE: Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)

Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)

April 07, 2015 11:00 ET

Canadian Franchise Association Announces Winners of the 2015 CFA Recognition Awards

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 07, 2015) - The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 CFA Recognition Awards. The awards will be presented during a gala awards presentation dinner on Monday, April 13 at the 24th annual CFA National Convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

CFA Recognition Awards pay tribute to individuals and franchise systems for their achievements and contributions to the Canadian franchise community and for their commitment and contributions to philanthropic endeavours. Nominations are solicited from CFA members across Canada and winners are selected by committee based on merit.

"The CFA Recognition Awards are about excellence in the franchise community," says CFA President and Chief Executive Officer, Lorraine McLachlan. "Franchising is a significant and growing business sector in Canada making positive contributions to the Canadian economy and the community-at-large. Our prestigious CFA Recognition Awards celebrate these contributions -- whether corporately through the CFA Hall of Fame Award, individually through the CFA Lifetime Achievement Award and Vince Nichols Memorial Award, or socially through the CFA Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award. We congratulate all the winners on their achievements."

The recipients of the 2015 CFA Recognition Awards are:

Category: CFA Hall of Fame Award
Recipient: Pizza Pizza

In 1967, Pizza Pizza opened its first location at the corner of Wellesley and Parliament Streets in Toronto. The company began franchising in 1974 and has since expanded to over 720 locations, making it the largest pizza chain in Canada.

Today, Pizza Pizza is one of Canada's most iconic brands, so much so that you'd be hard pressed to find a Canadian who doesn't know the company's famous phone number and accompanying jingle. In fact, developing a centralized call centre for all of its franchised locations is just one of the many innovations that have made Pizza Pizza an industry leader.

In recent years, Pizza Pizza has placed greater emphasis on establishing a national presence by expanding into eastern and western Canada and Quebec, making it a truly national brand. Throughout its growth, Pizza Pizza has been committed to giving back to the communities it serves through donations, sponsorships and numerous system-wide fundraising initiatives, including the Slices for Smiles Foundation, which has raised over $1.8 million in support of Children's Miracle Network since 2007. 

The CFA Hall of Fame Award is presented in recognition of outstanding performance by a franchise system over a significant period of time. Winners have high brand recognition (on either a regional or national scope) and are recognized for their solid business performance. They exhibit leadership in the franchise community in many ways including: encouraging excellence through sharing best practices; participating in speaking engagements; exhibiting a willingness to mentor new franchisors, and raising the profile of the franchise business model.

Category: CFA Lifetime Achievement Award
Ralph Chiodo, Active Green + Ross

As a young boy growing up in southern Italy, Ralph Chiodo knew what he wanted to do when he grew up: he wanted to fix cars. Eventually, after a trip across the Atlantic to his new home in Canada, Chiodo realized his dream -- and so much more. Today, the once-aspiring mechanic is better known as a prosperous businessman, a generous philanthropist and president of Active Green + Ross, the car repair franchise he founded in 1983.

Having grown his franchise to over 70 locations across Ontario, Chiodo has turned his focus to his significant community and philanthropic work. Chiodo serves on a number of boards and committees and has received numerous awards for his community work, including the Ontario Volunteer Service Award, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and the City of Toronto Volunteer Medal Award. Recently, Chiodo has turned his fundraising initiatives towards the University of Toronto's Otoscopy department, allowing them to purchase 66 OtoSim simulation units to allow interactive learning.

With all of his success, Chiodo has never forgotten his roots. One place that is of particular importance to him is the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he first arrived in Canada at the age of 14. He is a member of the Pier 21 Society Board of Directors and serves as the organization's Fundraising Co-Chair. In recognition of his and his wife's contributions to Pier 21, a gallery at the museum has been named in their honour.

The CFA Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes exceptional achievement and contribution to Canadian franchising and the community-at-large through demonstrated excellence throughout one's lifetime and career in franchising. This award typically honours an individual who may be a franchisor, franchisee, or a support services provider. Hallmarks of excellence include a high profile and leadership recognition in the franchise community, speaking engagements, published articles, mentorship and being an ambassador for franchising.

Category: CFA Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award
Recipient: Royal LePage Real Estate Services 

A house is more than four walls and a roof -- it's a home, and home is where you should feel comfortable, happy and secure. It was based on this belief that Royal LePage established the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation in 1998.

Since then, Royal LePage has raised $20 million for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, making it the largest foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to supporting women's shelters and putting an end to domestic violence. One hundred percent of all funds raised are directed to the cause because Royal LePage covers the Foundation's operating costs. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation also provides an annual donation to the Canadian Women's Foundation to fund violence prevention programs in every province, healthy relationships programs for youth, and support to help women and children rebuild their lives after violence. 

Not content to simply donate funds at the corporate level, Royal LePage set out to embed a philanthropic culture within its network of over 600 brokerage locations across Canada, engaging franchisees and agents to support women's shelters within the communities in which they live and work by hosting local fundraising events throughout the year and donating a portion of their commissions. Today, Royal LePage franchisees and agents support over 200 women's shelters across Canada so that their impact is felt in every community where Royal LePage operates.

The CFA Corporate Citizen Award is given to a franchise system that has demonstrated genuine and ongoing concern and support for a community or social service group(s). Award recipients are selected based on their philanthropic innovation, support and impact to the community whether on a local, regional, national or global scale. Elements taken into consideration include involvement throughout the franchise system and integration into the corporate culture, profile given to the support recipient organization(s), sustainability, innovation in how funds are raised, demonstrated benefit to the community, and amount of funds raised.

Category: Vince Nichols Memorial Award
Recipient: Graham Cooke, A&W

For over 20 years, Graham Cooke has donated his time, energy and expertise to CFA through his volunteer work with various committees, programs and the CFA Board of Directors.

As Chair and Past Chair of the CFA Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Committee, Cooke played an instrumental role in shaping CFA's new strategic vision and mission and increasing support for CFA's advocacy work on behalf of Canada's franchise industry.

When CFA launched its mentoring program last year, Cooke was one of the first CFA members to volunteer as a mentor to share his extensive knowledge and experience with newer CFA members in need of guidance. He has always been a strong ambassador of CFA and of franchising and is passionate to build a foundation for CFA that will support a strong organization for years to come.

Presented in memory of Vince Nichols, this award is given to an individual who, through their volunteer activities and work as an ambassador for franchising, helps the CFA grow, evolve, and deliver on its mission and vision. Vince Nichols was the Director of Franchising for Maple Leaf Mills and was a dedicated volunteer with CFA. His entrepreneurial spirit and dedication as a volunteer opened new opportunities for CFA to better serve the franchise community.

For more information about the CFA Recognition Awards, please visit:

About the Canadian Franchise Association
The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is the recognized authority on franchising in Canada. With over 600 corporate members nation-wide, representing many of Canada's best-known brands, CFA is the indispensable resource for the franchise community and advocates on behalf of franchisors and franchisees in Canada to enhance and protect the franchise business model. CFA promotes excellence in franchising and educates Canadians about franchising, specific franchise opportunities and proper due diligence through its many events, programs, publications, and websites ( and

Contact Information

  • For media accreditation, more information, and/or to arrange an interview with Lorraine McLachlan, CFA President & CEO, or any of the award winners, please contact:

    Christine Elstub
    Assistant Manager, Communications
    Canadian Franchise Association
    Tel: 800-665-4232 ext. 251

    Kenny Chan
    Director, Communications
    Canadian Franchise Association
    Tel: 800-665-4232 ext. 232