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Franchise Association Orders Up Dunkin’ Donuts Executive as New CEO

The International Franchise Association has brought on Stephen Caldeira, former senior executive for Dunkin’ Brands Inc., as its new president and chief executive officer.

The group has been looking to fill the top slot vacated in March by its former president and CEO, Matthew Shay, who left the IFA to run the National Retail Federation.

Caldeira said he doesn’t envision making major structural changes to the IFA in the near future.

“I think there’s already a great staff in place,” Caldeira said. “As any leader will do, I will assess what the current challenges are and make sure we’re well-equipped, which I think we are.”

The IFA spent $600,000 on lobbying last year, according to Senate lobbying disclosure reports. The trade group spent $150,000 during the first quarter of 2010 and has one outside firm, Prime Policy Group, on retainer.

Caldeira, who worked as an aide to former Sen. Al D’Amato (R-N.Y.), said he is focused on bringing the message that the franchise industry is an economic force.

“It’s a time where we and the small-business community and the business community at large needs to stand up and really shout loud how we create jobs and build jobs and grow the economy, not just domestically, but internationally,” Caldeira said.

Prior to working as executive vice president of global communications and chief public affairs officer for Dunkin’ Brands, where he was responsible for internal and external communications, government affairs, corporate social responsibility, customer relations and the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation, Caldeira was co-founder of the Elliot Leadership Institute. He has also worked at PepsiCo Inc., Burson-Marsteller and the National Restaurant Association.

“As the franchising industry continues to work through a challenging economic and political climate, the search committee recognized that IFA was going to need a passionate leader that had the strategic and tactical abilities to bridge the critical areas of public policy, communications and member services,” IFA Chairman Ken Walker said in a statement. “Clearly Steve is that leader and we are thrilled that he will guide the IFA for many years to come. His unique blend of political, corporate, franchising, trade association and fundraising experience will further strengthen and facilitate IFA’s mission to protect, enhance and promote franchising.”

Caldeira, who spent the past year as a solo public affairs and media consultant to trade associations, universities and corporations, will assume the IFA position June 15. He will be relocating to Washington, D.C., from Wellesley, Mass.

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