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Speaker For Hire

Colin Powell’s speaking engagement at the International Franchise Association annual convention cost the organization at least $100,000.

WHO: Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ex-Secretary of State

WHAT: International Franchise Association annual convention

WHEN: February 9-12

WHERE: Orlando, Florida

WHY: Powell may seem an odd choice to lecture McDonald's owners and Pizza Hut operators. But IFA spokesman Terry Hill explains: "A franchise business is in essence a system... . So naturally [we] look to military people, who have been trained by one of the greatest systems in the world." And to Republicans: Recent IFA speakers include Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and George H.W. and Barbara Bush—though, says Hill, "we'd love to have Bill Clinton speak as well."

HOW MUCH: At least $100,000

A version of this article appeared in the February 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.