Winners revealed at FCA national awards

Franchising’s top performers have been recognised at the FCA’s star-studded annual gala event, with the awards showcasing the strength and dynamism of the services sector and three brands going home with multiple trophies: G.J. Gardner Homes, Hire A Hubby and Finn Franchise Brokers.

The house building business GJ Gardner Homes took out the coveted award, Australian Established Franchisor of the Year, fighting off competition from a line-up of service based franchise finalists: Hire A Hubby, The Leather Doctor, MBCM Strata Specialists and Mister Mint.

The award came after G.J. Gardner scooped up two other gongs: it was named the national winner for both Excellence in International Franchising and for Franchisor Social Responsibility.

“We’ve been so fortunate to take out three awards tonight and it’s really thanks to the team – our franchisees, our master franchisees and our strategic partners,” said G. J. Gardner Homes’ CEO and managing director, Darren Wallis.

‘It’s a massive recognition of the effort our team has put in over the years we’ve been franchising. It’s just so good to be recognised by our peers and by the franchising industry.”

“Winning a Franchise Council of Australia award is just great for business,” added Lee Moore, general manager of G.J. Gardner Homes.

“From an international perspective it’ll mean that new franchisees will see us as a leading franchisor in the business. Certainly, from a social and community responsibility perspective, it’s great for our customers to see we are really involved in the community.”

Handyman network Hire A Hubby was rewarded for its Excellence in Marketing, and named national winner for Franchise Innovation, a hotly contested category with fellow service business Fastwway Couriers and food brands Jamaica Blue, Spudbar and Zambrero the national finalists.

Healthy fast food chain Soul Origin was named Australian Emerging Franchisor of the Year – the franchise has opened 80 stores in three years. Other finalists in the category were Bonbons Bakery, Bookwiz Bookkeeping, KX Pilates and Shoebox Bookkeeping.

“I’m a little bit overwhelmed at the moment because we didn’t expect to win this award tonight,” said Chris Mavris, CEO of Soul Origin.

“To be recognised by our peers in such a way gives us real credibility in the industry and for them to say ‘guys you’ve done a great job’ means more to me than anything we’ve ever achieved so far.”

Fastway Couriers celebrated its 25th anniversary of operating in Australia by taking home the award for the International Franchisor of the Year for the second time in three years.

“The award really recognises all the hard work that goes on not only in our franchise support office but in our 27 regional franchise locations across the country,” said Richard Thame, CEO of Fastway Couriers in Australia.

Finn Franchise Broker’s Ryan Willsher had a double celebration. He was the first winner of the night, taking out the Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution award, and went on to win the Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year category.

Career banker turned franchisee Nellie Dicks, joined Bank of Queensland in 2004, and this year was awarded for her stellar performance, and named Single-Unit Franchisee of the Year, Two or More Staff.

The Single-Unit Franchisee of the Year, Less than Two Staff award went to ex-pat Brit Beverley Taylor of InXpress.

Aaron Smith, founder and CEO of KX Pilates was named the winner of the 2017 NextGen in Franchising FranShark competition.

The contest is designed to assist young entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their businesses by franchising, and is powered by Octomedia (parent company of and supported and judged by the FCA Hall of Fame.

The awards also included the induction of a new member into the Franchise Hall of Fame – Rod Young. Considered one of the worlds’ foremost franchising consultants Young is the current chairman and global CEO of the $250 million Cartridge World group.

MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards 2017 Winners

  • Australian Established Franchisor of the Year – G.J. Gardner Homes
  • Australian Emerging Franchisor of the Year – Soul Origin
  • International Franchisor of the Year – Fastway Couriers
  • Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year –  Ryan Willsher, Finn Franchise Brokers, North Perth and Regional WA
  • Single Unit Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff – Nellie Dicks, Bank of Queensland, Richmond
  • Single Unit Franchisee of the Year, less than two staff – Beverley Taylor, InXpress, Bondi
  • Franchise Woman of the Year – Sandra Carrington, FAD Cheer and Dance
  • Field Manager of the Year – Eric Celik, Pack & Send
  • Supplier of the Year – MST Lawyers
  • Excellence in Marketing – Hire A Hubby
  • Excellence in International Franchising – G.J. Gardner Homes
  • Franchise Innovation – Hire A Hubby
  • Franchisor Social Responsibility – G.J. Gardner Homes
  • Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution – Ryan Willsher, Finn Franchise Brokers, North Perth and Regional WA
  • Franchise Hall of Fame Inductee 2017 – Rod Young
  • NextGen in Franchising, FranShark Competition winner – Aaron Smith, KX Pilates