The prestigious honor was presented to the Samuels in Washington, D.C., during IFA's Franchise Appreciation Day.
"The IFA is proud to recognize the commendable efforts of David and Kristine Samuel with the Franchisee of the Year Award," said IFA Chairman Steve Greenbaum. "The franchising community is fortunate for the outstanding contributions of these exemplary individuals who have helped bolster the growth of the industry."
IFA is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising. Its membership includes more than 1,300 franchise systems, more than 10,000 franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry.
The Samuels, who own and operate Aire Serv of Southwest Missouri in Cassville and the new Aire Serv Home Comfort Solutions in Monett, were eligible for the IFA award after being named Aire Serv's 2007 Franchisee of the Year. Aire Serv presents this top award to the franchisee who has consistently grown through proper training and has a consistently high level of success through quality and professional service.
David said he and Kristine were extremely humbled to be recognized again as IFA's Franchisees of the Year.
"We appreciate the recognition for our efforts," said David. "We work hard at what we do and we try to to do what is right and what is best for our customers. To get a pat on the back for doing that is appreciated."
In addition to receiving their award, the Samuels participated in the association's public affairs conference, which included opportunities for the couple and their son, Carter, to visit with members of Congress and Administration officials about issues facing small business owners.
"The issues we were focusing on as small business owners included the high cost of health insurance and the high cost of fuel," said David. "The exciting part of this trip was being part of an organization that is helping move small businesses ahead. It was also nice to talk to other small business owners that share your same concerns."
David and Kristine were accompanied at their meetings on Capitol Hill by their son, Carter, who is a Cassville kindergarten student.
"Carter was very well received, and there were many references made to our future and the importance of what Washington is now doing for our children and grandchildren," said David.
David said he was also impressed by the spirit of bipartisanship he witnessed among members of Congress.
"I didn't see a lot of partisan politics," said David. "I saw lawmakers working together to address the needs of our country, which was good for me to see."
During the two-day event, David said he was interested to learn that small franchised businesses in the United States provide 21 million jobs and generate $2.3 trillion of economic input.
More information about Aire Serv of Southwest Missouri can be found in the 2008 Progress Edition, which is inserted in this week's newspaper.