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International Franchise Association

CFE candidates must complete at least 2,500 education credits.
No more than 1,500 of these credits may be complete via online courses, video programs, etc.


Individual Viewer *

Moving from Conflict to Collaboration

Length: 4 hours

This session is designed to educate franchise executives on thought-provoking strategies for identifying and managing conflicts that arise in the franchise relationship.  Participants will learn techniques and best practices to navigate negotiations while creating a collaborative environment for the long-term success of all the stakeholders in the franchise system.   Course takeaways include:

  • Understanding how to differentiate between the 3 C’s in franchise relationships and disputes:  common interests, complementary interests and conflicting interests
  • Creating a stakeholder map that identifies the interests and concerns of all parties (franchisees, franchisor, vendors, brand customers)
  • Identifying one’s personal negotiating style to understand how natural tendencies can influence outcomes
  • Detecting everyday situations that could potentially end up in dispute
  • Acquiring communication best practices that could potentially keep a franchise dispute from escalating
  • Developing strategies and tactics in today’s competitive environment for:
    • Recognizing emotions
    • Building rapport
    • Managing expectations
    • Inventing solutions
    • Gaining consensus
    • Repairing trust

Attendees will participate in facilitated problem-solving exercises, role plays and group discussions. These “real-world” best practices can be used immediately to make a difference in the franchisee-franchisor relationship and improve the franchisors and franchisees bottom lines.


Denise Cumberland, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor - University of Louisville

Organizational Leadership & Learning/College of Education and Human Development

Denise is an Assistant Professor in the Organizational Leadership and Learning program at the University of Louisville. Before joining academia Denise spent 20 years working in franchise organizations. At Yum! Brands she led the new product development team as the Director of Innovation and Consumer Insights. Denise’s current research is focused on franchising and entrepreneurship.  Her expertise is group dynamics and she assists franchise organizations, nonprofits, and small businesses with team building, conflict resolution, and the establishment of advisory councils to engender greater collaboration with stakeholders. 

Traci Tufts, CFE

Director of Learning Performance, American Poolplayers Association

Traci Tufts is American Poolplayers Association’s (APA) Director of Learning and Performance. She instructs and oversees the training of APA franchisees.  Ms. Tuft’s qualifications include a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education as well as being recognized as a Certified Franchise Executive, having completed the multi-year franchise program offered by the International Franchise Association.  Ms. Tufts has over 15 years of experience with training franchisees.

Brian Schnell, CFE
Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

With more than 25 years of experience in franchising and product distribution, Brian Schnell is the chair of the franchise practice at Faegre Baker Daniels and is located in the firm’s Minneapolis office.   Brian represents franchisors with headquarters based across the United States and abroad.

Brian's experience uniquely includes serving as the COO and Chief Legal Officer during 2012 for one of the country's leading health care franchisors.  In the role, he led the company's field operations team and the franchise administration and legal groups.  With this unique legal and business experience, Brian counsels both emerging and mature franchisors in a variety of industries, ranging from companies with thousands of locations worldwide to companies in the initial stages of building franchise systems. His clients operate in dozens of industries where franchising plays a key role in the U.S. and global economies.

Brian combines his experience with a passion for — and keen understanding of — franchising to find practical solutions for clients.  Like the rest of the Faegre Baker Daniels franchise team, he is committed to focusing on what matters most and making a difference in working with franchisors on their challenges and opportunities.  His expertise is based on years of working closely with clients — getting to know them and their businesses, goals and objectives.  He listens, asks questions and works diligently to find solutions and approaches that work for franchisors.

Brian is a past chair of the International Franchise Association (IFA) Supplier Forum and a member of its Legal/Legislative, Awards and Membership Committees.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the IFA Educational Foundation, and is on the Law360 Hospitality Editorial Advisory Board.  Brian is a frequent (and well-respected) speaker and author on franchising.

As the first male to receive the IFA Women's Franchise Committee Crystal Compass, Brian earned distinction for the 2009 honor based on his leadership in franchising.  He also is one of only 18 franchise lawyers recognized worldwide by Chambers Global.

Produced By:

IFA Educational Foundation

CFE Education Credits: 200

Course Materials

  • Conflict Style Questionaire (1 page)
  • HEAR Worksheet (1 page)
  • Stakeholder Map Handout
  • Summary Sheet

International Franchise Association