The International Franchise Association (IFA) today named Carl Williams, Russel Thomas, and Mark McCain, owners of Athletic Republic Capitol Region, as 2023 Franchisee of the Year. Williams, Thomas, and McCain were honored at the 63rd IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, for being outstanding franchise establishment owner-operators.


“Franchisee of the Year recipients represent the best in franchising,” said Matthew Haller, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “This is the highest honor IFA awards to individual franchisees, and local business owners like Carl Williams, Russel Thomas, and Mark McCain, exemplify the power of franchising and its positive contributions to communities around the world.”


The Franchisee of the Year Award, sponsored by IFA’s partner Paychex, recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance, and promote the franchise business model. Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their service to their communities, fostering a strong and vibrant workforce, opening the doors for career growth and entrepreneurship, and supporting their fellow franchisees. This is Athletic Republic’s first Franchisee of the Year win and is the only performance fitness franchise to win the award.


“I am beyond proud of Carl Williams, Russel Thomas, and Mark McCain for their amazing accomplishment,” said Charlie Graves, Chief Executive Officer of Athletic Republic. “These three gentlemen embody everything that Athletic Republic stands for and our commitment to providing world-class training to youth athletes and are changing lives.”