Pam Bader OBE and Brian Lewis awarded bfa Companionship

At the British Franchise Association (bfa) end of year Chairman’s Dinner on December 11, two of franchising’s most dedicated and long-serving professionals were awarded the highest honour that can be bestowed to individuals by the Association as Pam Bader OBE and Brian Lewis were made Companions to the bfa.

Since its formation in 1977, the bfa has awarded only 18 Companionships, reserved for those held in the highest regard for their tireless work on behalf of the franchise sector.

Bader, CEO of Molly Maid, has built the domestic cleaning company from a standing start to a national business since bringing the brand to the UK with her partner in 1985, today boasting almost 70 franchise owners and a £16.5m turnover. During a pioneering, near 30-year career in franchising, she has been recognised several times for her dedication and commitment, both within and outside the sector.

In 1995, Bader was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to training as a Board Director of Thames Valley Enterprise. The same year she broke new ground in the franchise sector by becoming the first, and so far only, woman to serve as Chair of the bfa, having been on its Board of Directors since the early 1990s. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors for Government-related businesses, as well as private enterprises, and this year completed her second term as a bfa Director.

Lewis started working for himself aged just 21, before first entering franchising as a multi-unit franchisee with a pizza chain. In the 1990s, he founded Cash Generator, launching its franchise opportunity in 1997 and going on to oversee its growth into a nationally-recognised brand across the UK. In 2010, he sold his remaining equity in the then-130 store network, the ninth business sale of his career.

From 2001 until 2010, Lewis worked with great diligence on the bfa Board of Directors, and was the Association’s Chair from 2003 to 2005. More recently, he became a trustee of the bfa’s Franchise Trust, continuing his outstanding dedication to franchising in the UK over many years.

Simon Bartholomew, bfa Chair, presented Bader and Lewis with their companionships. He said: “It’s a real privilege for me to have recognised two exceptional people for their long-term dedication to franchising. Pam Bader has demonstrated incredible ability and agility in building her business alongside substantial commitments to franchising generally and to the bfa, and she rightly enjoys the utmost respect across the sector for the pioneering work she’s carried out for so many years. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on the board for the last two years and her input will be greatly missed.

“Brian used his experiences as a franchise owner to create and build a nationwide brand that has helped many, many people realise their self-employment dreams. On the bfa board and as its Chair, he showed time and again an unerring commitment to promote and further the franchise sector. We’re delighted that his commitment continues with the Franchise Trust.”