WACO, TX  – At its 53rd Annual Convention in Las Vegas, NV., the International Franchise Association (IFA) awarded Mr. Rooter President, Mary Kennedy Thompson, the prestigious Bonnie LeVine award for women in franchising. The award recognizes women who serve as industry role models, especially women, through their business and professional accomplishments.
Kennedy Thompson has served as president of plumbing franchise company, Mr. Rooter, since October 2006. During her six-year tenure, the company’s number of franchise units have increased by 39%, and the franchise has been distinguished with numerous national awards, including Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500, Plumbing & Mechanical’s Pipe Trades Giants, and G.I. Jobs’ Military Friendly Franchises. Kennedy Thompson has become one of the most recognizable and longest-tenured executives of a national brand in the plumbing industry.
Kennedy Thompson’s career in the franchising industry began in 1994, when she opened a Cookies by Design franchise in Austin, Texas. She grew to be a top-performing, multi-unit franchisee and eventually joined the corporate office where she was named president in 2004.
Franchising opened up a whole new world for me, equipping me with an established system to implement, as an entrepreneur, and grow a successful business,” Kennedy Thompson said. “I’m humbled to have the opportunity to lead Mr. Rooter franchise owners as they follow the same dream and grow a brand committed to customers first.”
A graduate of the University of Texas, Kennedy Thompson served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years before beginning her career in franchising.  Her time in the military drove her current passion to help veterans open franchise businesses.
As the Chairwoman of the IFA’s VetFran committee since 2011, Kennedy Thompson has spoken across the country as an advocate for military veterans in franchising and helped launch Operation Enduring Opportunity, a pledge by the franchising community to hire or recruit 75,000 military veterans and spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors as owners by 2014. In the initiative’s first year, 64,880 veterans found employment in franchising, including 4,314 as franchise owners.
To learn more about Mr. Rooter’s leadership, locations, and franchise opportunities, please visit www.mrrooter.com.