Kevin Cushing

Kevin Cushing

Kevin Cushing leads the Allegra, American Speedy Printing, Insty-Prints, KKP, Speedy Printing and Zippy Prints brands as president of Alliance Franchise Brands’ Marketing and Print Division.

Alliance Franchise Brands LLC, the parent company of Allegra Network LLC and Sign and Graphics Operations LLC, is a world leader in marketing, visual and graphics communications, linking more than 600 locations in North America and the United Kingdom. The Marketing and Print Division is headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. Franchise owners in this division offer one-stop marketing and print communications services. Its Sign and Graphics Division, headquartered in Middle River, Maryland, includes Image360, Signs By Tomorrow and Signs Now brands of sign, graphics and visual communications providers.

Cushing has owned and operated award-winning franchise locations, was inducted into Epicomm’s Soderstrom Society, and was named Print CEO of the Year in 2011 when he served as CEO of AlphaGraphics Inc.

The Successful Succession Plan: Lining up Your Next Gen Leaders

Identifying the leaders in your organization or hiring them is important today and for the long term. As much as some of us believe we can or have to do it all ourselves, the hard truth is without a strong team, you’ve got a weakened business - even if you’re making money. Who will be your successor?

Is Your Team Fired Up or Burned Out?

If you’re seeing telltale signs of burnout from your high achievers - exhaustion, forgetfulness, negativity and pessimism - you’re not alone. According to a study by Kronos, 95% of human resource leaders say that employee burnout is sabotaging their efforts to retain their workforce. Here are a few habits that can alleviate a slow burn.

When Setting Business Goals, Go for Gold

The Winter Olympic Games open February 9, and whether you’re a super fan or casual observer of sports, the competition and the athletes’ personal stories make for some great TV watching. When it comes to setting business goals, there are a few things we can learn from the world’s best in their fields.

'Lean In' to Keep Learning

One of my great mentors and first “real” boss, Roger Peters, had loads of insight and common sense. During our 18 years of working together in development and operating 81 Hardee’s fast food restaurants, I took away many lessons that I have used in the 22 years since we took different paths.

When Asking for Advice Is Better Than Asking for the Order

Every year, I took on the duty of targeting and ultimately winning five new accounts that were “top 10 worthy.” This was not easy for me because I was not a natural salesman. I also wasn’t a big fan of being sold to, which meant I had a rough time making the hard sell to others.

Are 'Values' Valued?

We worked hard to define our values and are dedicated to using them to drive our daily work. I hope sharing the following story can help your organization stay focused on what is important to you, your employees and your customers as you pursue new opportunities, including acquisitions or mergers.

Stop, Drop, Evolve and Grow

We all know the three-step fire safety technique we were taught as children: stop, drop and roll. It stands the test of time because of its simplicity and effectiveness. Over the years, I’ve taken this concept and modified it somewhat to develop a business safety technique that I call Stop, Drop, Evolve and Grow. It is one of the tools that has helped me stay focused on the future.

Avoid the Fourth Quarter Frenzy

We’re in the throes of the fourth quarter. If you’re like us, you’re sprinting to the finish line while also trying to plan for 2017.

How Charged Up Is Your Battery?

If you never get your personal battery (mind and body) fully charged into the green zone, your stamina and effectiveness can take permanent hits, and you will likely find yourself more easily drained and back in the red and yellow zones. Once there, the possibility increases for you to be impatient and imprudent in your leadership, decision making and personal relationships.

Do You Have 'Oozers' and 'Drainers' in Your Network?

I've been fortunate to have had great mentors and business owners/partners throughout my career. Consistently, they placed a high degree of importance on culture and are what I call 'oozers.' In each leadership role I've held, including my current role at Alliance Franchise Brands, I begin by focusing on finding the team members who represent the kind of value and energy that will make the organization successful.