His leadership, vision and contributions to minorities in the franchise community, has helped ATAX become the first latino-owned tax preparation franchise in the nation and one of the leading provider of tax preparation, bookkeeping & payroll services for over 25 years.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2014 – The International Franchise Association has awarded its premier honor for accomplishments in diversity and inclusion, the IFA Ronald E. Harrison Award, to Rafael Alvarez, president, CEO and founder of ATAX Franchise, Inc. The formal presentation is scheduled to occur during the association’s 55 thAnnual Convention, Feb. 15-18, 2015 in Las Vegas.
IFA’s Ronald Harrison award recognizes organizations and/or individuals who have made significant contributions to minorities in franchising either within their franchise organization or within the franchise community.
With 27 years of experience within the tax preparation industry and after a strategic analysis of the financial services industry, Alvarez identified a lack of a nationwide tax preparation franchise owned by the Hispanic or Latino community. In 2007, “ATAX Accounting and Financial Services” was officially established as a franchise offering, becoming the first Latino-owned Franchise Company in the Tax Preparation industry and one of the fastest growing franchise companies in the nation. Alvarez has built one of the largest tax preparation practices in the U.S., preparing more than 10,000 personal tax returns and about 500 corporate tax returns.
A self-proclaimed “product of diversity,” Alvarez was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised in Washington Heights in northern Manhattan – a neighborhood with 98 percent minority residents. After opening his first office in Washington Heights in 1986, he promoted diversity by hiring employees from his neighborhood. ATAX’s franchisees are predominantly Latino and come from a variety of cultural backgrounds including: Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. In 2012, ATAX was listed as the 3rd Top 50 Minority Franchisor.
Alvarez’s four cornerstone principles to his franchise business strategy are key contributors to the positive visibility and success of ATAX franchise. These principles are: provide great customer service to clients, charge reasonable fees for services, get involved in the community and make significant contributions to the community.
Alvarez is actively involved in his community and in 2007 helped organize the national Dominican parade in New York City. He has also served as a board member of the Ethics Committee at the New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance as well as the treasurer of the Guardian Angels. His community involvement has highlighted the importance of developing and promoting the franchise business model in the Latino community.
About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.
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