Amazing Race for Chairman
Galea elected new head of 7-Eleven national franchisee group; Maples is out after two terms
DANA POINT, Calif. -- Veteran 7-Eleven franchisee Joe Galea has been elected chairman of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF), defeating two-term incumbent Bruce Maples.
As reported in a Raymond James/CSP Daily News Flash, Galea, who ran unsuccessfully two years ago, has previously served as NCASEF executive vice chairman and is currently president of the San Francisco Monterey Bay 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association.
Neither Galea nor Maples could be reached Monday for comment.
"At the candidates' night on Oct. 24, Joe Galea delivered a speech promising to put franchisees first and made a commitment to the National Coalition and the franchise community to preserve and protect the independent contractor status of all 7-Eleven franchisees. This needed to be said," one franchisee in attendance told CSP Daily News on condition of anonymity. "This was the defining moment in the race for chairman of the national coalition."
Another franchisee speaking on condition of anonymity offered similar sentiments: "It's nothing against Bruce, but we felt we needed a change and for someone to speak up more on behalf of the franchisees."
Galea takes over in Jan. 2014 and assumes a franchise coalition stung by a federal immigration raid and internal investigations by 7-Eleven Inc. against a number of franchisees.
While both the 7-Eleven brand and the reputation of the overwhelming majority of 7-Eleven franchisees remain strong, many franchisees have privately complained about the national coalition's relative silence during this past summer during the height of the federal immigration investigation.
In June, the federal government indicted eight men and one woman from Long Island, N.Y., accusing them of conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and concealing and harboring illegal immigrants employed at 7-Eleven franchise stores throughout Long Island and Virginia. Law enforcement officials have told CSP Daily News that investigations remain ongoing and additional arrests remain possible.
Shortly after the charges were leveled, Maples issued a statement on behalf of the coalition, which represents approximately 4,700 owners with nearly 5,900 franchised-own stores. "Members of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees pledge to observe the highest standards of competency, fairness and integrity in the conduct of their relations as franchised owners of 7-Eleven stores," he said. "Every franchisee is an independent contractor, and solely controls the operation of their store(s). The national coalition expects every member of our organization to operate their stores in an ethical and honest manner, in accordance with all U.S. laws and consistent with the 7-Eleven franchise agreement."
Maples has since declined interviews regarding the investigation.
Maples succeeded franchisee Dennis Lane in 2009. Lane had replaced Tariq Kahn two years earlier after Khan served an unprecedented 10 years as national coalition chairman (see related coverage of Khan on CSPnet.com and in CSP Daily News).
Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,200 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven has some 51,400 stores in 16 countries. During 2012, 7-Eleven stores generated total worldwide sales of nearly $84.8 billion.