Who We Are
The Alliance of Canadian Franchisees (ACF), formerly the Great White North Franchisee Association, is an independent advocacy and support organization representing dedicated Tim Hortons franchisees across Canada.
Our members represent the history, lifeblood and growth of one of Canada’s most treasured brands. Tim Hortons corporate ownership has changed several times over 50+ years, including the current foreign-controlled holding company. But one constant has remained at the heart of more than a half century of success and customer loyalty among Canadians – dedicated, community-based Tim Hortons franchisees.
Local franchisees have been the driving force behind the chain’s grassroots expansion from coast to coast to coast. They have operated Tim Hortons restaurants for 20, 30, more than 50 years in some cases. Generations of franchisees have grown up in their family’s restaurants and continued the tradition of serving customers and communities – every day, for decades. Demonstrating the values of co-founders Tim Horton and Ron Joyce, franchisees helped build the brand to be consistently ranked as one of the most respected, influential and beloved in Canada.
We formed the Great White North Franchisee Association (GWNFA). Our mission was to independently represent franchisees, including advocating for franchisee rights in the face of new corporate ownership evolution of our business model, managing supplier relations, and promoting brand reputation.
We rebranded our organization and now operate as the Alliance of Canadian Franchisees. We continue to follow in the footsteps of many other restaurant chains that have established active independent associations to represent their interests and ensure their voices are heard.
The Alliance of Canadian Franchisees is a member of the Coalition of Franchisees Association (CFA). The CFA is the largest franchisee-only association in North America, representing more than 40,000 franchisees.
The CFA brings best franchisee associations together (Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts and more) and leverages their collective strengths to share ideas and best practices for the benefit of the franchisee community.
In its short existence, the ACF has been instrumental in defending franchisees rights and interests.
We have helped reverse ill-advised initiatives, processes and decisions, helped modify and improve others and made significant progress in demonstrating that a fair and constructive relationship with franchisees benefits everyone – the corporate ownership, the franchisees and Canadians.
Our single most important accomplishment to date is the $37.4M negotiated legal settlement in 2019. Among the key terms:
$10 Million payment over the two years toward enhancing local marketing initiatives
$2 Million payment to cover the lawsuit’s legal and administrative costs
The ability for franchisees to negotiate their own insurance contracts and dairy supply contracts to assist with reducing costs
Amendments to the Franchisee Advisory Board Governance Handbook to increase the transparency of Ad Fund expenditures to franchisees
For the first time ever, franchisees have a system where they can engage directly with each other
Making a Difference
Tim Hortons franchisees are also proud of their accomplishments that have directly contributed to the economy, local communities and the restaurant staff:
Franchisees have been the driving force behind the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps. For years, franchisees have donated all their coffee proceeds of “Camp Day.” Together with other fundraising efforts, they have contributed nearly $200 million – the vast majority of fundraised dollars. That money has helped nearly 300,000 economically underprivileged children attend summer camps since the first camp opened in 1975.
Board of Directors
Edward (Ned) Levitt
Ned Levitt is one of Canada's leading authorities in franchising and distribution law. He has represented some of the world's foremost franchises and provides legal services to Canadian and international clients on all aspects of Canadian franchise law.
From 2000-2007, he was General Counsel to the Canadian Franchise Association and is currently a member of the International Committee of the International Franchise Association. Ned was a key contributor in legislative discussions in 2000 that led to the creation of the Arthur Wishart Act, an Ontario provincial statute that helps protect the integrity of the franchise business model.
Throughout his career, Ned has published numerous books, papers and articles on franchise and distribution law, including Canadian Franchise Legislation (2001, LexisNexis/Butterworths), and has contributed articles to numerous Canadian and international business publications. He is also a noted lecturer and speaker on franchising and distribution at major industry conferences, universities, and law schools. Ned has been a partner since 2013, at Dickinson Wright, one of North America’s leading law firms.
Elysabeth Angers is a global consultant, sought-after expert in supply chain management and a successful retail grocery owner, with experience in franchise business models. She is currently President of Les Enterprise McAngers Inc., a global consulting firm helping organizations transform and optimize their supply chains and supplier contracts.
Previously, she owned and operated four successful Loblaws and Sobeys grocery stores in Quebec, including two in Montreal, initiating innovative marketing programs, and increasing sales in a low-margin, high-growth environment.
Prior to her entrepreneurial turn, Elysabeth specialized in in worldwide strategic sourcing and materials planning/management. She led global procurement teams in Canada, U.S., and India for VSNL International, formerly Teleglobe Canada, one of the country’s largest technology companies. She brings deep experience in asset management, cost reduction, supply chain strategy and consolidation, and supplier contract negotiations.
Lou Schizas is a long-time equities analyst, investor, entrepreneur, professor, and broadcaster. He appeared as “the” business expert for decades on many of Canada’s top-rated radio shows. Between 1999 and 2007, Lou was the on-air Equities Analyst for Business News Network (BNN), Canada’s all-business TV network, as well as a daily contributor to CTV’s morning flagship program, Canada AM. He analyzed more than 16,000 stocks during his time with BNN.
Lou was also a Professor of Finance at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, Ontario.
Prior to his broadcast career, he spent many years as a financial advisor and wrote a finance column for the Calgary Sun and hosted the popular Calgary radio program “The Money Manager.”
Advisors to the Board
Ted Nolan is a philanthropist and leader in Canada’s Indigenous community. Ted is a former professional hockey player and coach at the junior, professional and Olympic levels. Ted was involved with the AHL players association during its formative years. He was named NHL Coach of the Year in 1997 with the Buffalo Sabres.
In 2004, Ted established the Ted Nolan Foundation which has awarded over 300 scholarships to First Nation women to pursue academic growth. In 2013, he founded the 3|Nolans First Nation Hockey School that helps young people develop hockey and leadership skills.
Ted’s involvement with Tim Hortons began in 2009 providing youth leadership training through his Seven Grandfather Teaching program. He co-led the development of Tims Hortons Indigenous franchise program and is a partner in an Ontario franchise. Ted is a sought-after speaker, delivering on his message of leadership, perseverance, and teamwork.
Marc Schonland is a coffee expert with three decades of experience in global coffee sourcing and trading and who has worked in senior positions for two of the world’s leading coffee retailers. A naturalized American citizen born in South Africa, Marc was Vice President of Green Coffee at Starbucks in Seattle and later Managing Director of Starbucks Coffee Trading Company in Switzerland.
He was Senior Director of Commodities for Dunkin’ Donuts in Massachusetts and a in-country regional coffee manager for Louis Dreyfus Commodities overseeing all sourcing operations in Eastern Africa.
Marc has served on the Board of World Coffee Research, the Specialty Coffee Association’s International Relations Committee, as a judge on the international panel for the Cup of Excellence program and has presented at many international coffee conferences including Sintercafe in Costa Rica.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, known as The Food Professor, is a global expert in food distribution, safety and safety. He is also an expert on the impact of the food service sector on the food supply chain. He is a professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, former dean of Dalhousie's Faculty of Management and co-founder of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph.
Sylvain is one of the world's most cited academics in the field of food supply chain management and traceability. He is the author of five books on global food systems and more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles He regularly comments on news in the media, has testified before parliamentary committees and has advised governments in North and South America, Asia and Europe on food and agricultural policies.
Nick Javor has a long history in franchising and two decades of experience with Tim Hortons, the majority in roles that involved working directly with franchisees. Nick held a series of senior leadership positions, including: construction, design & renovations, operations, branded partners, real estate, corporate affairs and training and standards.
He is past chairman of the Canadian Franchise Association and helped develop the regulations for the Arthur Wishart (Franchise) Act, as a member of the Ontario Government’s Franchise Sector Working Team. Currently, Nick is a board member of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations, the largest franchisee-only association in North America which represents more than 40,000 franchisees. Prior to Tims, Nick was the president of Mr. Lube Canada, driving franchisee growth over the company’s formative years.
Nick’s community contributions include several years as a board member of the Tim Hortons Foundation Camp. Today, he is board member of the Smilezone Foundation.