Larisa Walega was appointed vice chair of the Worldwide Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee in February, which she describes as “literally a single of the honors so considerably of my occupation.”
Walega, who is vice president of internet marketing at vehicle treatment franchise Ziebart, admitted to becoming blown absent when Robin Gagnon, co-founder of We Promote Restaurants and chair of the committee, asked her to be a leader.
“I joined that committee for a precise goal it was to just encompass myself with incredibly favourable, pushed ladies,” said Walega, who acquired involved with WFC about 5 a long time ago.
“It’s this kind of a superb committee. We are focused to the plan of inspiration and encouraging women of all ages in franchising with a number of various networks and subcommittees, but it is all about strengthening their success in franchising.”
Headquartered in Michigan, Ziebart has about 400 locations—only 84 of which are in the U.S. The chain specializes in automotive aftermarket solutions, including auto detailing, paint security, window tinting and external system rust proofing. The corporation experienced $180 million in systemwide revenue in 2021, an raise of 5.9 % from the yr prior, according to Franchise Occasions Top rated 400 facts.
Walega characteristics this development partly because of to being deemed an “essential business” for the duration of the pandemic, and also due to the broader shift “within the automotive sector not long ago of not becoming ready to get new autos, which usually means individuals are keeping onto autos longer and are a lot more interested in the visual appearance and defense of their vehicles,” she claimed.
Walega is the only girl on the government management team at Ziebart, which is pretty common in the male-dominated sector. Even though women are nearly 50 % of the U.S. labor force, they symbolize just 26.1 p.c of the automotive workforce in 2020, in accordance to Catalyst—a fact that Walega states is “slowly altering.”
Walega appreciates remaining a aspect of the WFC not only for the comradery, but also for the prospect to “look from a various lens sometimes,” she mentioned.
“Whenever I’m searching at myself, no matter if it is from an specific or job standpoint, I’m often self-examining,” Walega noted. “Where are there chances to spherical myself out? What do I not know that I could discover extra about, or add diversity to the group of persons I look at my network and close group of friends to make myself even far more properly-rounded?”
In her new part as vice chair, Walega will assist generate additional involvement from the two dozen regional chapters of WFC identified as Women’s Franchise Community.
“That’s really significant to me,” she stated. “We want to carry all those major discussions taking place down to the neighborhood amount to preserve every person involved—franchisors and franchisees and suppliers as very well.”
Walega is also included in the recently introduced Women in Franchising Club on the Clubhouse app, which satisfies just about every Wednesday at midday Japanese time to explore all the things from labor and operations to progress and leadership and is open to females who are passionate about franchising, irrespective of IFA membership position.
“For us, it boils down to content which is suitable. How can we empower foreseeable future girls leaders in franchising and maintain them engaged, enthusiastic and just support them succeed like the committee has accomplished for us?” Walega claimed.
Walega is mother to two twin girls in higher faculty, so she attends their track and volleyball game titles and choir recitals in her free of charge time. “I consider to be the greatest position model as I can for them, displaying them that tricky function and devotion does shell out off,” Walega added. “I previously see that in the two of them.”
Glance for additional on how Walega will enable women franchise leaders in her new role in the June/July concern of Franchise Instances.