Aaron Carpenter and Joanne Oh of Grand Welcome Bend and Central Oregon Awarded Franchisee of the Year by International Franchise AssociationPHOENIX, Feb. 18, 2024 – The International Franchise Association (IFA) today named Aaron Carpenter and Joanne Oh, owners of Grand Welcome Bend & Central Oregon in Bend, OR as a 2023 Franchisee of the Year. Carpenter and Oh were honored at the 64th IFA Annual Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., for being outstanding franchise establishment owner-operators.

For the third consecutive year, Grand Welcome franchisees have proudly secured the Franchisee of the Year award. In 2023, our exceptional team in Branson and the Ozarks clinched this honor, following the success of our Nashville, Austin, and Smoky Mountains team in 2022.

“Franchisees of the Year exemplify what franchising is all about – providing opportunity, serving others, and fulfilling the American Dream,” said Matthew Haller, President and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “We are proud to recognize Aaron and Joanne with the highest honor IFA awards to individual franchisees, and I have no doubt their work is changing lives and making a lasting community impact.”

The Franchisee of the Year Award recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance, and promote the franchise business model. Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their involvement in their communities, embodying the entrepreneurial spirit, fostering a strong and healthy culture with their workforce, and assisting their fellow franchisees when called upon.

Grand Welcome is a leading short-term vacation rental franchise offering full-service property management to property owners and great lodging options for traveling guests in destinations across the US. Founded in 2009, the company offers full training and ongoing support to streamline operations.

Grand Welcome is part of a rapidly expanding industry – short-term rentals are replacing hotels for travelers. In fact, short-term rentals represent the fastest-growing segment of the multi-billion-dollar travel industry. Since launching their franchise opportunity in 2019, Grand Welcome has grown to over 75 locations across 24 states.

Grand Welcome was also ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2023 as a Top Franchise under 50,000 and a Top New & Emerging Franchise. The company has been recognized for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as its innovative business model and strong franchisee support.

Aaron Carpenter and Joanne Oh of Grand Welcome Bend and Central Oregon Awarded Franchisee of the Year by International Franchise AssociationGrand Welcome Bend and Central Oregon officially began their operation in March 2023. Both Army Veterans, Aaron and Joanne had the unique opportunity to travel to multiple countries and experience diverse cultures, which set the foundation for their pursuit of entrepreneurship. During their travel experiences, they realized the quality of your lodgings directly impacted the quality of your experience in that particular place. This discovery inspired them to look into the business of short-term vacation rentals and property management. That prompted them to bring Grand Welcome to their corner of Oregon.

“We are delighted to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Aaron Carpenter and Joanne Oh for being recognized as a Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association. Their exceptional achievements and exemplary leadership not only reflect their dedication but also highlight the outstanding caliber of franchisees within our community. This prestigious award from the IFA emphasizes Aaron and Joanne’s commitment to excellence and their invaluable contributions to our brand’s success.

Their outstanding achievements and remarkable leadership serve as an inspiration to us all. This award is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment to our brand’s values,” said CEO, Brandon Ezra.

There are approximately 806,000 franchised businesses across the U.S., providing over 8.7 million direct jobs and generating over $858 billion in economic output. According to Oxford Economics, franchising on average provides higher wages and better benefits than non-franchised businesses, as well as greater entrepreneurial opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, and other underrepresented communities.

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About the International Franchise Association:

Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the approximately 806,270 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.7 million direct jobs, $858.5 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.