Robert Purvin, founder and original CEO of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD), has announced his decision to step down as the chief executive officer. In conjunction with Purvin’s announcement, the AAFD’s Board of Trustees, chaired by Purvin, announces the promotion of Richard (Rich) Stroiney, currently the AAFD’s executive director and chief operating officer, to be the Association’s CEO. Purvin will remain actively involved with the AAFD and continue to serve as the chairman of the AAFD’s Board of Trustees and chief legal counsel.

The AAFD is a national trade association advocating for franchisees and independent dealers. Purvin has held the position since its inception in May of 1992. Over the past 31 years, the AAFD has grown to represent hundreds of brand specific franchisee associations, and thousands of owners of franchised businesses and independent dealer networks. The AAFD is recognized as a leading voice advocating to protect the rights and interests of franchisees in the US, and abroad.

“Stepping down as CEO has been a hard decision as the AAFD has been a huge part of my life for more than three decades. Having a successor with the talents and credentials of Rich has made the decision and the transition far easier,” says Purvin in making his announcement. Purvin emphasized that he isn’t going away and remains actively involved. “But the torch is being passed, and Rich is now fully empowered to lead the AAFD going forward.” 

Purvin also noted that this transition has been ongoing for many months but has been essentially complete since May 1, the official start of the AAFD’s fiscal year. Since his appointment last year as executive director and chief operating officer, Rich has been instrumental in creating new business lines, adding to our membership association portfolio, and collaboratively working with Purvin and Keith Miller, the AAFD’s director of public affairs and engagement, to educate and advocate to policymakers and the general public as to the plight of the franchise industry. 

“My decision to step aside is much easier knowing that Keith and Rich bring significant experience and talent to the AAFD,” adds Purvin. “I believe the three of us make a great team, and our growth and growing influence are a reflection of our collaboration.”

“I’m honored and excited to be stepping into the role as CEO of the AAFD and continue Bob’s mission to promote fair and equitable says and dealer practices through empowering effective independent franchise associations,” said Stroiney. “My own multiple franchise ownership experiences and working side-by-side with Bob and Keith, including Bob’s invaluable mentorship, has reinforced and will continue to motivate my commitment to the franchisee members that the AAFD serves.”

“AAFD has grown tremendously with Bob laying the foundation and leading the way. We have made great progress in having franchisee voices heard in our legislative and regulatory bodies. The entire AAFD team with Rich assuming the CEO role looks forward to strengthening those voices and seeing the results of our advocacy,” states Miller.

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