Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announces new Mayor’s Franchise Initiative advisory board members

DALLAS — Mayor Eric Johnson and his Franchise Impact Ambassador Carlos White on Tuesday announced that they have appointed a new advisory board of top private-sector and community leaders to support the Mayor’s Franchise Initiative.

The mayor launched the Franchise Initiative in August to solidify Dallas as a global leader in franchising and help small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs — especially in southern Dallas — utilize franchising, a proven business and distribution model, to expand their businesses.

To lead the effort, Mayor Johnson tapped White, a top Dallas lawyer. White went to work identifying experienced, Southern Dallas-centric candidates to help lead and support the effort.

Along with White, the inaugural advisory board members for the Mayor’s Franchise Initiative are:

  • Shari Hicks — Executive Director, Community Impact, at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Vice Chair of Harmony Community Development Corporation.
  • Lynn McBee — Mayor Johnson’s Workforce Development Czar and the CEO of Young Women’s Prep Network, a series of Texas college-prep schools for girls.
  • Roland Parrish — CEO and owner of Parrish Restaurants, Ltd., which owns and operates 25+ McDonald’s restaurants in and outside of southern Dallas and former Chair and CEO of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association.
  • Veronica-Torres Hazley — CEO of Torres Hazley Enterprise, LLC, and founder of Hey Chica! by Healthy Latina Lifestyle.
  • Tim Williams, CFE — Chief Franchise Officer of Williams Licensing, Inc., Director of Operations for Williams Fried Chicken Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors for the International Franchise Association, the largest franchise trade organization in the world.

White will serve as chair of the advisory board.

“These outstanding advisory board members understand that if we truly want to grow southern Dallas, we cannot afford to treat half of our city solely as a real-estate play,” Mayor Johnson said. “We must invest in the people of southern Dallas and strive to increase economic activity and entrepreneurship in every part of our city. Together, through our relentless approach to strengthening our city, we will make all Dallas communities more vibrant and more equitable.”

“This advisory board’s expertise and experience will be invaluable to our exciting efforts to increase franchise business activity in Dallas, and having southern Dallas as the epicenter for the Mayor’s Franchise Initiative further underscores the fact that Dallas is a global leader in franchising and economic inclusiveness” said White. “I look forward to working closely with the mayor and advisory board to help grow our city and its people.”

Starting next spring, the Mayor’s Franchise Initiative plans to launch Franchisor and Franchisee Accelerator training programs. The advisory board is also working with “Friends of the Initiative” and other organizations to host free educational workshops and networking events throughout 2023.

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