Smoke's Poutinerie's Mark Cunningham delivers a speech from a podium. A smiling picture of Ryan Smolkin is projected on a screen behind him.
Industry News

Ryan Smolkin of Smoke’s Poutinerie Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award

Canadian Franchise Association honours late founder and chief entertainment officer

The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award has been posthumously awarded to Ryan Smolkin, Founder & Chief Entertainment Officer (CEO) of Smoke’s Poutinerie in recognition of his inspiring leadership, tremendous impact on the Canadian Franchising Community and passionate pursuit of GLOBAL DOMINATION! The award was presented on April 7, 2024, at the CFA Recognition Awards Luncheon, held during the 33rd Annual CFA National Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

“Ryan was a pillar of the CFA franchise community: an entrepreneur, franchisor, brand builder, and advocate for franchising,” says Sherry McNeil, CFA President and Chief Executive Officer. “He was a strong supporter of the CFA and gave freely of his time to support other members of the CFA community, including franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers. His passion, enthusiasm, and larger-than-life persona remind us to live each day to the fullest. Ryan and the positive impact he made on our community will be greatly missed.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledged Ryan Smolkin for his significant contribution and commitment to Franchising in Canada and abroad, as well as his demonstrated excellence throughout his lifetime and franchising career. Ryan Smolkin will continue to be a source of inspiration within the franchising community, always reminding us, that it’s important to have fun in our professional environments, and the path to success relies on independence, self-reliance, hard work, common sense and working your butt off!

“The definition of a legacy is the positive impact your life has had on other people – friends, colleagues and even strangers. Your legacy is the sum of your personal values, accomplishments and actions that resonate with the people around you,” says Mark Cunningham, President & COO, Smoke’s Poutinerie accepting the award on Smoke’s Poutinerie & Ryan Smolkin’s behalf. “Ryan made an immense impact on the Canadian Franchise Association and the Franchising & FoodService Industry communities. I am honored to accept this Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of Ryan’s lasting legacy.”

In addition, Smoke’s Poutinerie received a Milestone Award in celebration of their 15 consecutive years as Canadian Franchise Association Members.

Enjoy this video presented during the Awards Ceremony in Remembrance of Ryan Smolkin.

For more information about the CFA Recognition Awards and a list of winners, visit the 2024 CFA Recognition Awards web page.

Learn more about franchising with Smoke’s Poutinerie