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Shirin Behzadi, Chief Executive Officer of Home Franchise Concepts on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #403

Topic: "How to Strike Work/Life Balance As an Entrepreneur"

Shirin Behzadi is Chief Executive Officer of Home Franchise Concepts (HFC), which in 2017 celebrates its 25th year as the top-selling family of direct-to-consumer brands in the home-related goods and services space, one of the world's largest franchise businesses and a recognized leader in franchisor-franchisee relationships.

HFC's three brands including Budget Blinds®, Tailored Living® and Concrete Craft™ are consistently rated at the top of their categories and supported by 1,300 franchisees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

As CEO, Behzadi leads the HFC executive team to expand the HFC family of brands by leveraging her financial, operational and franchising experience, as well as her passion for helping franchisees realize their financial and personal dreams.

She is currently embarking on a company-wide initiative to grow installations to record levels across all three brands in 2017 - which, for the signature Budget Blinds brand translates into a most-ever 2.6 million window-covering installations for the year at a record pace of 50,000 per week. She also projects HFC brands to be operating in more than 9,000 North American cities by the end of the year.

A recognized expert in all aspects of franchise growth and development, Behzadi is also distinguished as one of a relatively few female CEOs in the franchising space.

Behzadi started her career with Ernst & Young's financial services group in Los Angeles in 1990. In that capacity and as a CPA, she was involved with audits and consultation work with E&Y's financial services client base ranging from large publicly held insurance and banking companies to medium-sized, local and regional financial institutions.

She also spent part of her E&Y tenure in the company's tax services group where she gained tax planning and strategy for multinational and national corporations and individuals.

She was eventually recruited by an E&Y client to serve as CFO of an Orange County, Calif., mortgage bank, where she was responsible for servicing a $1 billion portfolio and the financial management and oversight of the company's secondary marketing department as well as its issued mortgage-backed securities. In addition to being intimately involved in the operation of the bank's 22 branches, she also helped negotiate the sale and transition of the bank to a larger institution in 1998.

Thanks to this experience and her interest in helping growing businesses, Behzadi decided to fill a gap in the marketplace for professional financial management for small-to-medium-sized companies. It was in this capacity as an offsite CFO consultant that she was introduced to Budget Blinds in 1999. What began as a short-term consulting project grew into her becoming CFO and one of five Budget Blinds principals.

Behzadi has been intimately involved in all aspects of Budget Blinds ever since, in the growth of the brand as a franchise-industry leader and the establishment of HFC and its subsidiary home-related franchise businesses, Tailored Living and Concrete Craft.

In 2015, Shirin oversaw the negotiations to secure an equity partnership with Trilantic Capital Partners (Trilantic), a New York private equity company. The alliance established dramatic new opportunities for growth of the three HFC brands under the condition that Behzadi become CEO, a position she continues today.

As an entrepreneur, herself with a compelling personal success story, Behzadi is uniquely poised to usher HFC into its next season of synergistic sales and franchisee growth. She will be unveiling her aggressive vision for the company and a new "There's No Place Like HFC" positioning in January 2017 at the 2017 Budget Blinds National Convention in Las Vegas.

A resident of Laguna Niguel, Calif., Behzadi is married and has two children. Sam graduates from the University of Southern California in 2017 and will follow his mother's footsteps by working with Ernst & Young Capital Advisors in New York City. Sara is a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley.

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