Director of Marketing, iFranchise Group
& COO, TopFire Media
Ms. Brakel brings extensive experience in franchise marketing, franchise sales, communications, copywriting, and international business to iFranchise Group and TopFire Media clients. Her background in franchising spans more than 30 years, in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Brakel has been the Director of Marketing for iFranchise Group for nearly fifteen years and officially joined the TopFire Media team as COO in late 2017.
In the U.S., Ms. Brakel consulted with companies including Ace Hardware, Bridgestone/Firestone, Texaco, 1-800-Flowers, Comfort Keepers, Cosi, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Fannie May Candies, Fitness Together, Kiddie Academy, Haagen-Dasz, Hollywood Tans, LINE-X, Oreck, Payless ShoeSource, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, ProShred, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Sears Auto Centers, Senior Helpers, White Hen Pantry, and many others. Outside of the U.S., she has consulted with franchisors primarily in Latin America, and also in the Middle East. She has also worked with non-franchised companies, including recognized firms in the financial and technology sectors.
Ms. Brakel’s hands-on marketing communications experience includes copywriting of brochures, sales tools and presentations, press releases, websites, and more. She has overseen the design and production of hundreds of marketing pieces, and also developed comprehensive franchise marketing plans, market research reports, and sales/marketing reporting tools. Ms. Brakel has also coordinated marketing and advertising campaigns (direct mail, print, and Internet), organized trade shows, conducted consultative sales meetings, created, edited, and translated franchise operations and training manuals, and delivered franchise sales training courses to clients.
Ms. Brakel is fluent in Spanish and can provide translation and business development services for companies based, or seeking to do business, in Hispanic markets. She holds Bachelor’s degrees, in English and in Spanish, from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and an MBA with a focus on Latin America and marketing from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.