Business, Paul Eckert

IFA Honors Matthew Shay With Dennis Wieczorek Free Enterprise Award


IFA pic

An executive in the franchise industry for more than 25 years, Paul Eckert serves as president and chief executive officer of Family Financial Centers, LLC, based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In addition to his day-to-day work, Paul Eckert also maintains an active membership in the International Franchise Association.

During its annual convention at the end of last January, the International Franchise Association awarded National Retail Federation (NRF) president and CEO Matthew Shay with the IFA Dennis Wieczorek Free Enterprise Award. The award was brought back into service in 2015 by the IFA board, renamed for the late IFA general counsel Dennis Wieczorek as a way to commemorate his service to the organization and recognize others who share a similar commitment to the health and economic vitality of the franchise industry.

Shay has been at his post with the NRF since 2010, where he has leveraged the organization as a leading voice lobbying on behalf of the retail sector. Under his leadership, the organization’s membership and revenue have more than doubled, and its lobbying efforts have significantly increased. Shay also has received recognition by CEO Update as a top-50 nonprofit chief executive in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Business, Paul Eckert

Tax Scams Top Better Business Bureau List for 2016


Better Business Bureau pic
Better Business Bureau

Based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Paul Eckert is the founder and owner of the Eckert Group and serves as president and chief executive officer of Family Financial Centers, LLC. Throughout his career, Paul Eckert has maintained membership in several professional organizations, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The BBB recently released its top-10 list of scams reported in the 2016 calendar year. In a surprising result, tax scams still topped the list, even though the number of reports decreased after an India-based perpetrator was apprehended by international police last September.

The BBB compiled the list based on more than 30,000 reported incidents throughout the year, which were recorded via the online report tool at Following tax scams, the rest of the top five on the list were debt collection scams, sweepstakes scams, online purchase scams, and employment scams, which include work-from-home scams.

To view the full list of the most common scams, visit For information on how to avoid falling for scams, visit

Business, Paul Eckert

Family Financial Centers – Benefitting From Banking Fee Increases


Family Financial Centers pic
Family Financial Centers

Based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Paul Eckert serves as founder and CEO of Family Financial Centers and maintains a preeminent reputation in the franchise industry. In a 2010 profile, Paul Eckert described the way in which the Great Recession and related Consumer Protection Act and Dodd-Frank Wall Street government reforms benefitted his Doylestown team.

He described a situation in which many people lived beyond their means during boom years through refinancing, taking out secondary mortgages, and other strategies of deriving equity from their residences. This ended abruptly with the near collapse of many banks and tightened lending standards. Many people now found themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck and focused on avoiding extraneous costs such as rising banking fees.

A side effect of this movement away from banks was a distinct uptick in Family Financial Centers business, with customers taking advantage of ancillary services that went beyond check cashing and met unmet banking needs. These included money transfer, bill payment, tax preparation, and savings and direct deposit programs.

Mr. Eckert described himself as a strong believer in the “customer-for-life” concept and felt that the relative affordability of his company’s services compared with traditional financial institutions poised it for sustained future growth.

Business, Paul Eckert

BBB Names International Torch Award for Ethics Finalists and Winners


International Torch Award pic
International Torch Award

As the founder and CEO of Family Financial Centers, Paul Eckert of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, paved the way for more than 40 locations of his franchise. Throughout the scope of his work, Paul Eckert has maintained membership in several professional organizations, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

In a recent announcement, the BBB unveiled the winners of its 2016 International Torch Award for Ethics (ITAE), which are Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Jon Wayne Service Company, Victory Auto Service & Glass and Merry Maids of Metro. These companies are recognized for demonstrably high-level leadership and ethics practices.

Six other companies were named as finalists. They include:

Albert Moving & Storage, Wichita Falls, Texas
North Star Resource Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Secure Destruction Service, Huntsville, Alabama
Main Street Service Center, Harrison, Arkansas
JNBA Financial Advisors, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Business Backer, Cincinnati, Ohio

Both the winners and the finalists received honors at a September ceremony in Indianapolis, Indiana, in conjunction with the International Assembly of Better Business Bureaus.

Business, Paul Eckert

Demographic Trends in Franchising


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Paul Eckert established Family Financial Centers in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, over 10 years ago. In his role as the company’s CEO, Paul Eckert works toward offering franchise opportunities within the financial services industry.

The shifting demographics of the United States are impacting not only consumer markets, but also the labor pool. It is important for both franchisors and franchisees to keep up with these trends and adapt their strategies accordingly. Here are two concepts that relate to the discussion regarding millennials and baby boomers.

Millennials are emerging as a significant economic force in the market, as their numbers exceed the baby boomers’ in terms of total population, coming in at more than 70 million. On both the labor and consumer end, this is a highly sought-after demographic that those involved in the franchise industry would do well to target.

As baby boomers continue to age, more opportunities for services catering to their needs have arisen. Whether these are health or financial franchises, the market for businesses targeted specifically at this age group is ripening.

Business, Paul Eckert

International Franchise Association Hosts 57th Annual Convention


International Franchise Association  pic
International Franchise Association

As a senior executive in the franchise industry for more than 25 years, Paul Eckert is founder and owner of the Eckert Group as well as president and chief executive officer of Family Financial Centers, LLC, both based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He recently opened a third firm, Family Partners Insurance. Paul Eckert maintains membership with the International Franchise Association (IFA), where he is part of the Finance Relations Committee.

Founded more than 55 years ago, the IFA is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to worldwide franchising. The organization supports, protects, and promotes franchising, which accounts for more than 9.1 million jobs and $994 billion for the U.S. economy. Members of the IFA are found in more than 300 different types of businesses.

To reach out to its members, the IFA hosts an annual convention. The 2017 event is scheduled for January 29 through February 1 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Typically bringing together more than 4,000 franchise executives, this conference features a variety of committee meetings, networking opportunities, and workshops. Attendees also have an opportunity to meet with numerous exhibitors at the 57th annual convention.