Top five executives revealed in the 2021 Top 30 Franchise Executives report

By Sarah Stowe | 26 Mar 2021 View comments

CouriersPlease boss Mark McGinley has been named the top executive in the Top 30 Franchise Executives Report 2021. 

In its third year, the Top 30 report produced by Inside Franchise Business Executive profiles high-performing franchise professionals who have put franchisees at the heart of their work in 2020.

The report, sponsored by BlueRock, showcases how much franchising can deliver to its franchisees.

Bruce McFarlane, CEO of the BlueRock Group, praised the resilience and community spirit shown in the executive submissions.

Executives were judged on their leadership, franchise citizenship, innovation, positive franchising, and professional development.

Top five executives revealed

CEO Mark McGinley, this year’s number one executive, took swift action to support franchisees through the challenging times, while focusing on long term issues such as sustainability.

He has been instrumental in providing tools to help franchisees’ productivity while initiating measures to secure their health and safety and establishing a financial support structure for franchisees forced to self-isolate.

Judges commented: “Mark must be commended on his many achievements. He has made decisions with great foresight, used technology

Ben Flintoff, GM of Baskin-Robbins, took out the second spot in the Top 30 list.

He struck a positive mood throughout the pandemic, providing strategies and tools to help franchisees, delivering assistance with costings and campaigns to boost sales.

Ben has promoted the franchise sector through the media and through participation in wider industry conferences, invested in his own personal development, and championed solution-based thinking as a way to tackle challenges.

He says “The trust placed in us by our franchise partners, by our stakeholders and by our guests remains a continuous source of motivation.”

Ranked at number three, fitness chain founder and CEO Ben Fletcher, from Listen To Your Body.

Ben started out the year fighting to retain business in a hard-hit industry, and throughout 2020 continued to innovate to provide revenue opportunities for his franchisees, upgrading systems and focusing on tech solutions.

The judges praised Ben’s quick and decisive action in heading off the worst impact of the pandemic, and setting up the business foundations for future growth.

The founder and chief cultural officer of KX Pilates, Aaron Smith, was ranked at number four this year. 

Aaron was faced with a business brought to a near standstill by the pandemic and found new ways to work, and fresh sources of revenue.

What impressed the judges about this franchise professional was his attention to research and development, and smart use of technology to the betterment of the business.

He was also praised for his focus not only on the mental well-being of his franchisees, but his active contribution to the mental health of the wider community. 

Ranked number five is Zoe Farrell, head of product development at San Churro, a franchise professional whose strategic product leadership really stood out in a year when franchisees needed every tool available to boost business.

As a result of her initiatives, franchisee sales increased, and the franchisor’s service effectiveness improved.

Throughout the year this executive displayed a positive growth mindset, not only in the strategies she employed but by maintaining her personal and professional development and her morale-boosting support for team members.

For the first time an Up and Coming award for an executive showing great potential and sponsored by Op Central, was handed out.

Kerri Wane took the honours for her stirling work and impact in an interim executive role at Mad Mex.

She was responsible for improving margins, standards, and sales and network growth and believes that franchisors should ensure their networks contribute positively to society and are good corporate citizens.

The announcement of the top award winners and the release of the full print report, took place at an exclusive industry event sponsored by Op Central and Jepto.

Pictured above, from left, Ben Fletcher, Kerri Wane, Mark McGinley, Zoe Farrell and Ben Flintoff – Aaron Smith was absent.

The Top 30 Franchise Executives Report 2021 can be downloaded here: