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  • History


Working Together

George and Mary Harris and Bob and Rose Marie Schiesel attended the AFA Legal Symposium Meeting by the American Franchisee Association in May 1999 while facing a contract renewal with Jackson Hewitt and knowing there had to be a better way for franchisees to communicate with each other and share ideas. Having the opportunity to listen to other Independent Associations speak of the quality it brought to their Organization, the four decided it was time to open up a new avenue of communication for Jackson Hewitt Franchisees. Shortly thereafter the Independent Association of Jackson Hewitt Franchisees was formed.

At the inception of the IAJHF George Harris said, "Our Association is not intended to, nor will it ever be, a "fix all". As an Independent Association, we will be an organization that is traveling a different path toward a common goal. Most importantly, we will seek ways to add value to our franchise and make us individually and collectively more profitable. When this happens, our franchisor too, becomes more profitable as we draw upon each others strengths."

Leadership Appointed

The first Board of Directors was appointed in June 1999. By July of that year membership count was 110 and our web site up and running. The Association held it's first convention in June of 2000 in Las Vegas with 253 members. Exhibiting his usual kind and insightful leadership, Bob Schiesel was the organization's President during its first two formative years. Over the next decade, the Association benefited from the dedicated and visionary leadership of many different officers and board members.

Association Evolves

Discussion about the unification of the Association with the JH National Advisory Council (NAC) began in early spring 2008. A committee, made up of members from both the IAJHF and NAC, was formed to develop the idea of unification, discuss possible hurdles with an attorney and come up with a proposal. After many months of meetings and conference calls, the proposed By Laws for the new independent association were submitted to all members of both the IAJHF and the NAC. On October 21, 2008, a special meeting was held to vote on the proposed unification. Proxy ballots were received from 87% of the membership and unification passed by an overwhelming majority. Although a great change took place, the mission of the Organization remained "to assist our member Jackson Hewitt Tax Service franchisees in achieving exceptional profitability and building net worth by addressing our common needs and interests; and further, to advance our business interests by developing and nurturing a balanced, constructive and mutually respective relationship with our franchisor."

One Voice

Two critical common causes launched both the IAJHF and the merged ICJHF, those being, pending Franchise Agreement renewals and the right to have "a seat at the table" when discussing important issues with Jackson Hewitt. More than ever before franchisees now have a greater voice in these important matters and we now have one voice when we speak with our franchisor. Even beyond that is the value of the unselfish sharing of ideas, concerns and answers to common questions that members offer by way of our very popular message board, member downloads and vendor discounts sections of our website.

The ICJHF Mission Statement says it all. We are "Members Helping Members".

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