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About LFA

The Latino Franchise Association is a Non For Profit (501c6) trade association in the franchise industry that convenes Franchisors, Franchisees, Suppliers, Entrepreneurs, Elected/Appointed Officials, and the community at large to ‚Äúpromote, support and expand franchising in the Latino community.‚ÄĚ The full-scale promotion and expansion of the franchise model in the Latino community represents one of the most important strategies for social and economic inclusion and equity.¬† Fully implemented, the Franchise Model can create intergenerational wealth and battle the impact of poverty.¬† Aligned with this vision, the goal of the Latino Franchise Association is to promote, support and expand franchising in the Latino community. More specifically the Latino Franchise Association aims to: Increase Latino franchise brand ownership (Franchisors), increase Latino franchise unit ownership (Franchisees) and increase Latino investment in the franchise industry.¬†


  • To Promote, Support and¬†Expand Franchising in the¬†Latino Community.


  • Become the ‚ÄúGo to‚ÄĚ Place for Everything Franchising in the Latino Community.


  • Ownership
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Engagement and participation
  • Results and outcomes
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Respect
  • Honesty and transparency

About Our Founder

Rafael Alvarez, Latino Franchise Association CEO and Founder, is a veteran in the franchise industry with over 35 years of business & franchise experience. He stablished the first Latino-owned franchise in the tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll industry with $200, 2 computers and a fax machine in 2007.  He received the Ronald E. Harrison Award from the International Franchise Association in 2015 for his outstanding work creating diversity in the franchise industry by helping Latinos and minorities to franchise their businesses.

Organizations or individuals who make significant contributions to minorities in franchising and diversity initiatives are recognized annually with a Ronald E. Harrison award from the International Franchise Association (IFA).


Rafael Alvarez

CEO & Founder

Rafael Alvarez is the CEO and Founder of the Latino Franchise Association and Latinx Franchise Brands, Inc. In 1986 Mr. Alvarez founded  ATAX Franchise “The first Latino owned Tax Preparation Franchise in the US '' with $200, two computers and a fax machine. He is the Host of the Mister Franquicias and the LFA "Franquiciando" Podcasts. He has a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and a minor in Accounting from the City University of New York and is an Alumni of the Latino Business Action Network Program at Stanford University Business Graduate School.  He is a philanthropist and an active member of his community.  Alvarez helped organize the 2007 Dominican parade in New York City and was the Grand Mariscal. He also served as a board member of the Ethics Committee at the New York Presbyterian Hospital,  the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Returning Youth Post Incarcerated young Adults  and he is the treasurer of the Guardian Angels Alliance. 
Rafael Alvarez has been widely applauded for his efforts, earning several distinguished honors from former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, The Red Beret Award from Curtis Sliwa & The Guardian Angels, El Award from NYC El Diario La Prensa, USA Today’s Top 50 Franchises for Minority, Franchise Business Review Best of the Best Franchises and The International Franchise Association 2015 Ronald E Harrison Diversity Award.

Moises Perez

President & Co-Founder

Moisés has a vast and celebrated experience in creating model community-based interventions and working through community and legislative processes to build support for critical initiatives. His work in the political arena led to the empowerment of the Dominican/Latino community in northern Manhattan. Dominican/Latino elected officials now lead the Latino legislative corps in the City of New York. As a Community Leader and coalition builder his legislative work across numerous disciplines achieved significant policy changes for all New Yorkers.

Moisés served as founder, co-founder, or member of the initial development team of numerous iconic community-based organizations in NYC such as City-as-School, The Center for Organizational Development at Community Service Society, Alianza Dominicana, and most recently, SOMOS Community Care. As a result of his work, these organizations have been able to make significant system transformations and strides in addressing racial and ethnic disparities head on, as evidenced in marked improvements in social conditions and opportunities.

Moisés has received numerous awards, including the Points of Light Foundation award under President George H. Bush, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, The Distinguished Alumnus Medal of Honor from Brooklyn College-City University of New York, The Hispanic Federation, The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and the Presidential Medal of Honor from the Dominican Republic where he was born.

Elani Alvarez


Elani Alvarez has a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance from the State University of New York at Cortland, NY, and spent a year studying abroad in Europe in the beautiful city of Madrid, Spain.  At age 15 she started getting educated in the franchise industry by participating in many franchise conference, Expos and Conventions. Her most memorable Convention is the 2015 IFA Annual Convention in which her father received the Ronald E. Harrison Award in Las Vegas, Nevada. After returning from Europe in 2018 Elani decided to take a gigger role at the ATAX Franchise Headquarters by taking the position of HR & Payroll Director at the same time assisting franchisees in the onboarding process.  Later, Elani became the ATAX Franchise Comptroller under the supervision of the Chief Financial Officer Barry Knepper responsible to mage Account Payable and Account Receivable and the franchise Royalty Collection.  She implemented new systems and procedures to collect franchise royalties, tracked franchisees income and stablished an auditing franchise system. Elani is an athlete, a great speaker, is "La Jefa" the way she is called in the office, has a genuine interest in helping other Latinas to get involved the franchise industry and continue contributing to her Latino Community .

Richard Santos

CTO, CMO & Co- Founder

Richard is the Founder of Santisweb, a web, mobile and digital marketing development company, which for the past 15 years has supported hundreds of entrepreneurs, businesspersons and professionals to create a profitable online business. He also was the Director of Marketing and Technology for the first Latino tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll franchise in the United States. Created the marketing strategy to position the brand nationally (United States), implemented and monitored digital marketing campaigns for 50+ offices.

Founded and co-founded several companies in the area of marketing, technology, training and personal growth, helping thousands of entrepreneurs in the Latino community, in the United States and in Latin America.

He is the creator of the International podcast, Yo Emprendo al Máximo, where he shares all his experiences in entrepreneurship, business, digital marketing, sales and personal growth with thousands of entrepreneurs. Richard has a Bachelor's degree in Application Software Development & Associates Degree in Information Systems from Morrisville State College, New York (SUNY).

Kiani Alvarez

Vice President of Marketing

Kiani Alvarez graduated with a bachelor's degree in Marketing and Communications from the State University of New York at Cortland, NY and spent a year studying Europe in the beautiful City of Sevilla, Spain. At age 15 she started getting educated in the franchise industry by participating in many franchise conference, Expos and Conventions. Her most memorable Convention is the 2015 IFA Annual Convention in which her father received the Ronald E. Harrison Award in Las Vegas, Nevada. After returning from Europe in 2018 Kiani decided to take a gigger role at the ATAX Franchise Headquarters by taking the position of Marketing Assistant working under the supervision of the Chief Marketing Officer, Richard Santos. Having a tremendous passion for Marketing and Public Relations she was able to implement a lot of new marketing & PR strategies that helped a significant number of Franchisees positioning their franchise location on the top ranking in Google, Facebook & Instagram.  Her professional abilities in graphic designing, Video Editing and Press Releases writing helped ATAX Franchise positioning as one of the fastest growing franchise in the nation.  Kiani continues teaching other about Marketing and is the brain behind all the events at the Latino Franchise Association.  She is in the process of writing her first book which will be release soon.

Barry Knepper

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Knepper is a senior financial executive with over forty years of experience. Including franchise financial statement and royalty auditing for over 100 franchise concepts. He
has served as the CFO of franchisors Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips, Pudgies Famous Chicken, Wall Street Deli, Desert Moon Fresh Mexican, BurritoVille, ATAX, andHoneyDo.

Mr. Knepper personally obtained approval for the first ever industrial development bond
issued by the City of Los Angeles and also initiated the recovery of over one million dollars of federal, state and local tax credits. He has also arranged over $100 million in financing with banks and leasing companies to facilitate acquisitions and internal growth as the CFO of a publicly traded corporation. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of Coffee Holdings Company and chairman of its audit committee.

Expand Your Opportunities By Becoming a Member of  The Latino Franchise Association (LFA) today