The well-known phrase, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” does not apply to two of McAlister’s top executives. Patrick Walls, chief development and administrative officer and general counsel and Michael Kutcher, director of franchising and licensing, were recognized as Certified Franchise Executives by the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives.

The pair received their awards during the International Franchise Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas February 27 after completing a comprehensive course of study in franchise management. The institute is the academic branch of the IFA’s Educational Foundation. The IFA is the world’s largest and oldest trade organization representing the franchising sector, counting more than 1,100 franchise systems, 8,000 franchisees, and 400 suppliers among its members.

More than 500 candidates are enrolled in the CFE program. Certified Franchise Executives benefit from acquiring specialized knowledge, sector recognition, peer-level networking, and professional standing. In order to earn the CFE designation, candidates must complete a rigorous course of study, which includes attending institute-sponsored educational seminars and workshops. The program is designed to enhance franchising professionals’ understanding of the sector’s fundamental and complex aspects.

McAlister’s Deli is a quick-casual restaurant featuring counter ordering, table service, and deli-style foods. There are more than 220 restaurants operating in the U.S.