Message From The President
By Meg MairnIn November a handful of GHCFA members were facing agreement renewals which they felt put them in unfair contracts with GHC Intl. By standing together and pooling together the funds of the GHCFA legal fund trust they were able to bring a nationally recognized author and legal counsel to the table. With the help of Attorney Michael Garner and the legal arguments he composed, these members were able to extend their current agreements and bring the Corporate Office to the table to hammer out terms of a revised renewal agreement.
I would like to thank Tom Monaghan for his work putting together the Franchise Collaboration Committee. While we were told at the start that no
one was representing any groups- the vast majority of committee members were members of the GHCFA. Tom, along with Joe Ross, showed a real spirit of partnership in the process. They were more than willing to listen to our concerns and work together to find solutions that work for all involved. In the end I feel we came up with a document which addresses everyone's needs and I am proud of the effort put in by everyone involved. Some of the gains which we made include:
** The positive affirmation that you own the local
goodwill in your business.
** Ownership of all your contacts if you choose to sell or close your office (as long as you remain in compliance with your non-compete).
** An obligation on behalf of GHC Intl to provide legal and regulatory support to all offices.
** Terms were changed so all franchisees who are in compliance with the agreement must be allowed to renew their franchise.
** If you choose not to renew your agreement after receiving the FDD, or if you receive 3 defaults and are facing termination GHC will now allow a 6 month grace period in which you may find a buyer for your office. This means franchises no longer must feel they pressure to renew or walk away from their investment.
** Clarification of the internal dispute process.
** Allowing franchisees to keep their own software system and websites until the GHC alternatives are up to par and ready to go (at which time we will be required to switch, which the committee felt was reasonable).
There were many changes made and these are just a few highlights. Overall I believe that this is the most fair agreement in the history of Griswold Home (or Special) Care. Tom made a verbal commitment to continue with the committee to review changes to the agreement in the future. Everyone involved was committed to reasonable talks and showed a willingness to see the other side on each issue. Please thank Tom, Joe, Mike, Maryanne Murray, Greg Gorman, Elaine Gordon, Cathy Howard, Tim Walrich, Karen Rue and Marcia Peters for their time and efforts. A thanks is also owed to Robert Purvin and the staff of the AAFD for their time, guidance and support through the entire process- from the formation of the GHCFA to today, their assistance has been invaluable.
I would like to extend a special thank you on behalf of all Griswold Home Care franchisees to the members of the GHCFA Legal Trust. Through their funding Michael Garner was able to represent the owners who stood up for all of us at their renewals. He also reviewed every change made to the agreement and offered language changes several times. The total cost from the time he was retained until the final draft of the addendum was $17,150.12. Could any of us have spent that much to negotiate our own renewals? Working together we made what might have been an insurmountable fee affordable. If you are not a member of the association or the trust please consider joining. If you are looking for value it has been shown right here. We all owe the trust members a huge debt of gratitude (and maybe a drink at the next Expo!).
I am proud to be a member of the GHCFA and I invite you all to join or renew your membership today.