Four-decade career accelerating the international growth of more than 30 companies. Ultimately, I understand that a company’s U.S. business, is merely a piece in the equation, and have personally equipped organizations to profitably build their global footprints. Fortune 500 public company background began with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), where I held leadership assignments in Turkey, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Alaska, and the continental U.S. Today, I run Southern California based Edwards Global Services, Inc. (edwardsglobal.com), which is dedicated to helping companies accelerate their global development. Specialist in identifying, evaluating, planning, and directing international projects that grow profits for companies around the world using experience, expertise, knowledge, a contact network, and trademarked processes.
Author of 50+ articles, and sought-after speaker on international development, overseas cultures, franchise development, licensing, and e-commerce strategies. I bring these ideas to my constituents (www.geowizard.biz). Board of Director experienced, and available for select Director engagements.
- 47 years of international start-up,0 operations, and development experience
- Have lived in 7 countries and worked on projects in over 50 countries
- Broad international career in the licensing,00 information technology, oil & gas, and management consulting sectors
- Frequent international speaker and author on licensing,00 international business development and global business projections
- Successfully built and managed cross-cultural business teams for international projects
- New country start-up specialist
- Founded and established the leading franchise sector international market research,00 operations and
- Have assisted over 40 companies to expand their operations into other countries
- Successfully planned and directed the international operations and development of a technology franchise into 20+ countries,00 resulting in significant brand value increase, fees, and royalty revenue
- Successfully started and directed operations of a Fortune 100 oil company in Turkey
- Started and directed a successful oil & gas exploration program for a Fortune 100 company in China
- Started,0 built, and sold an international oil & gas company active in Asia Pacific
- 38 years of doing business in China in the oil & gas and consumer brand licensing sectors
- Publish the GlobalVueTM quarterly country ranking chart (since 2001) and the Geowizard.biz biweekly global business update newsletter
Management and Technical Experience
Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS), Orange Country, California
Founder, CEO & Global Advisor
Responsible for establishing the company, which works with Clients just beginning their international development to Clients wanting to grow and improve existing international operations.
Clients range from Fortune 100 companies to privately held INC 5000 companies to family owned companies
Established a vetted network of Associates covering 43 countries that assist in taking Clients into international markets in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Publish a quarterly analysis of country potential – GlobalVueTM – and host an international business website (www.edwardsglobal.com). Publish a biweekly global business update newsletter.
EGS has worked on U.S. Client projects in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle and Near East regions.
Member, Borad of Directors
Assist the Managing Director in new international business development and in testing market initiatives for foreign companies considering investment in Turkey. Advise the Managing Director on strategic alliances with related international firms.
Senior Vice President for Strategic Alliances and Partnerships
Interim executive assignment. Responsible for establishing the company’s international licensing presence and for their marketing efforts into the franchise sector. Virtual CEO, Inc. provided web-based performance measurement tools and tactical planning software solutions to all sizes of businesses.
Founder & CEO
Started, developed, and direct a private company focused on international development projects
- Started and manage an international business information development website
- Advisor to University of Arizona’s technology incubator start-up e-business companies
- Advised Washington, D.C. based infrastructure dotcom on international market entry and licensing
- Advised Western European digital technology group based in Portugal on finding partners and setting-up operations in Central & Eastern Europe (1999-2000)
- Co-developed the AlphaGraphics Master Franchise in China (1990-92)
- Co-Founded the AlphaGraphics Master Franchise in Turkey (1989)
- Cross-cultural Business Consultant for FMC/Turkey (1988-89)
- Senior Consultant taking Ashland Oil into new oil and gas exploration ventures in five countries
- Overseas Oil & Gas Company – Started company, acquired, and explored leases in Pakistan and New Zealand; sold the company to UK firm (1988-1990)
- TurkVest LLC – Started and ran a company to develop inbound investments to Turkey from the U.S. (1987-1991)
Vice President – Global Development and Global Accounts
Brought in to create and direct a new USA and International franchise development team and to implement new strategic directions for global development with a goal to increase the franchise store network. Successful in doubling of USA and international candidate types, leads and prospects. Rebuilt USA and international development team. Rejuvenated the national and global account program for corporate customers.
Chief Operating Officer – AlphaGraphics Eastern Europe Regional Master Franchisee
Virtus was the regional master franchise for AlphaGraphics in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Started AlphaGraphics franchise operations in Prague and Budapest. Took over existing operations in Warsaw. Built a regional team of operations, sales, training, ISO9000 and support staff.
Senior Vice President – International (1997-1999), Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer (1995-97) and International Vice President (1992-95)
Senior international executive responsible for building AlphaGraphics from a presence in 4 countries to operations in 20+ countries with 10 additional countries under license. Increased fees and revenues by 300% in five years. Established and directed a training and operations support team for international master franchisees that resulted in a high franchisee retention rate.
Co-developer of AlphaGraphics Turkey Master Franchise
Responsible for finding, evaluating, and signing Tifdruk as the Turkey master franchisee including negotiating country license with AlphaGraphics, Inc.
Co-Founder and USA Operations Director – AlphaGraphics Master Franchisee
Co-founded and started up the AlphaGraphics Master License for Hong Kong and China. Opened the first AlphaGraphics store in China in Beijing in September 1991. Served as USA operations and development Director and liaison between AlphaGraphics, Inc. and AsiaGraphics Ltd.
International Oil and Gas Exploration Project Analyst
Evaluated oil and gas exploration projects in the Asia, Europe and Africa to determine the long term economic viability.
Resident Manager for Turkey – Ankara (1985-87)
Started and managed ARCO country subsidiary, with responsibility for administration, operations, project P&L, organization, and development. Went from start-up exploration phase to successful drilling operations in South Eastern Turkey in less than two years. Oil discovery has produced commercial oil since 1989.
Exploration and Geophysical Manager – Zhanjiang, China, and Hong Kong (1982-85)
Exploration executive for the first American company to explore for oil and gas in China. Found the offshore gas condensate Ying Ge Hai Field using stratigraphic seismic exploration technology.
Sr. Corporate Planning Consultant – Los Angeles (1980-82)
Evaluated multi-sector investment projects for the office of the President of ARCO, with a focus on international oil and gas. Evaluated several major merger opportunities.
Regional Geophysicist – Anchorage, Alaska (1977-80)
Led an exploration team that restarted ARCO’s North Slope exploration program after start-up of the Prudhoe Bay pipeline and completed multiple exploration surveys in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean. Conducted the first 3D seismic stratigraphic survey over a producing oil field which defined significant additional oil reserves for ARCO. Department project planning, implementation and P&L responsibility.
Geophysical Exploration Assignments (1969-77)
Geophysicist and Senior Geophysicist for ARCO in Alaska, Indonesia, Houston, Iran, Los Angeles, Dallas. Included directing an exploration project in the Java Sea off Indonesia that resulted in discovery of significant shallow stratigraphic trap commercial gas reserves. (1969-1977)
Education and Professional Courses
- B. S. (Professional Geology) with a minor in Geophysics, St. Louis University
- International Business Executive Program, Texas A&M
- Certificate in International Business, Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management
- Certified Franchise Executive Training Courses, International Franchise Association
- Franchising Mini-MBA Program, University of St. Thomas
- Board Member, IBS Research & Consultancy, Istanbul
- Treasurer, International Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) Board of Governors
- Vice Chair, Orange County, District Export Council (DEC) of Southern California
- Member, Leadership Council, University of California, Irvine, Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND)
- Trustee and Board Member, World Affairs Council of Orange County, California
- Member, Advisory Board, Titus Center for Franchising, Palm Beach Atlantic University
- Tucson Committee on Foreign Relations (Past Member, Board of Directors)
- Founder and Director of the Nancy Imlay Edwards Foundation
- Co-Founder & Member, Private Directors Association (PDA) Southern California Chapter
Professional Affiliations and Certifications
- International Franchise Association (IFA)
- American Association of Petroleum Geologists
- Society of Exploration Geophysicists
- Certified Franchise Executive (CFE)
- Co-Chair, International Development Committee, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce
- Co-Chair Orange County World Trade Week
- Past Chair, International Committee, International Franchise Association
Committees, Recent Awards and Professional Roles
- U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence – 2011 and in 2015
- UCI MIND Leadership Annual Leadership Award – 2018
- District Export Council (DEC) Outstanding Trade Leadership Award – 2019
- District Export Council (DEC) Excellent Service to International Trade – 2020
- Orange County World Trade Week 2021 Partner of the Year
In 2016 and again in 2020, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Mr. Edwards to the District Export Council (DEC) of Southern California. On the DEC Mr. Edwards is involved in shaping U.S. foreign trade and export policy. Mr. Edwards is currently the Vice Chair of the DEC in Southern California.
- Widowed, two grown daughters and two granddaughters
- Hobbies: international travel, amateur archeology, science fiction, history, global market research, T. E.
Lawrence, and Churchill student
Public Speaking Topics
Mr. Edwards speaks at conferences, conventions, and universities around the world annually on taking businesses international, country and sector analysis and doing business in emerging markets. He has authored many articles on global business development, international operations, oil & gas, culture, and global social media usage. Mr. Edwards is known worldwide for his global market research, knowledge of business culture and operating experience in more than 45 countries.
- The Why, How, When, Where & with Whom of Taking Your Business Global
- Ranking Countries as Places to Do Business – Thunderbird
- Doing Business in Turkey
- Doing Business in Central and Eastern Europe
- Going International in Difficult Times
- Where in The World to Do Business Today?
- Managing Cross Cultural teams
- Starting up a Western Technology Business in Eastern Europe – University of Arizona
- “Taking Small Companies International” – University of California, Irvine
- “Choosing Countries As A Place To Do Business” – University of Arizona
- “Taking A Small Company Global” – Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization Annual Meeting
Franchise & Licensing Sector
- Choosing an International Franchise
- Choosing International Master Franchisees
- International Technology Concept Licensing
- Developing a Global E-Business Strategy for Franchises
- Intranet Strategy for a Technology-based Global Franchise Network
- Franchising as a Business Development Model for Asia – Bangkok
- Structural variations in international licensing
- Improving International Franchisee Profitability
- What International Licensees Expect From Their Franchisors?
- Using Licensing for International Business Development – Thunderbird
- “International Development in the Time of COVID-19” – IFA and Titus Center for Franchising
- “The Current International Landscape of Franchising” – Georgetown
- “Thriving In An Uncertain World”, IFA Convention
- “What To Consider When Entering A New Country With A F&B Franchise”, IFA Convention
- “What World Class Franchisor have in Common”, Franchise Association of New Zealand
Published Articles & Quotes
- “Five Things You Need to Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times, Bitbean, April 2021
- “Digital Transformation: Global development adapts to a virtual world, Franchise Update, 3/2021
- “Franchising: from the U.S. to Canada and back again” guest editorial, Global Franchise, 2/2021
- “Virtual New Year: 2021 international development goes online”, Franchise Update, January 2021
- “2021 International Outlook: Mixed prospects amid global uncertainty, Franchise Update, 12/2020
- “Coping With COVID: What brands are doing to survive”, Franchise Update, Fall 2020
- “Good Franchising Vietnam!”, Franchise Update, Fall 2020
- “The Top Challenges and Opportunities of Doing Business in China”, Authority Magazine, 2020
- “2020 Global Trends: What’s ahead in international franchise development, 2091
- ‘Where To Take Your Franchise’ – ‘Franchise Times’ and ‘Franchising World“ – 2007-2019
- Your Way Into China’, Global Franchise, 2019
- “Going global? Take these top 3 QSR expansion strategies along”, QSRWeb.com, 2019
- “Franchising in Vietnam, One of Asia’s Fastest Growing Markets”, Franchising.com, 2019
- “International Licensee Operations Opportunities and Challenges, Franchising World, 2019
- “International Real Estate and Franchising, Franchise Update, 2019
- “2019 Global; Growth Forecasts”, Franchise Update, 2019
- “Your Best Sources of Assistance When Expanding Abroad”, Global Franchise, 2018
- “Your Essential Checklist for Going Global”, Global Franchise, 2018
- “Who are the Active Players in Europe?, Franchising World, 2018
- “Choose Your South East Asian Franchise Hotspot”, Global Franchise, 2018
- ‘China Primer – Tips from one who’s been there, done that’, Franchise Update, 2018
- “Ways to Safeguard Your Brand Overseas”, Global Franchise, 2018
- Global Mobile: Worldwide Trends in Mobile Payment”, Franchise Update, 2017
- ‘The predictable unpredictability of global franchise development’, Franchise Update, 2017
- “Growing Overseas?, Franchise Update, 2017
- “Analyzing and Selecting International Markets”, Franchise World, 2016
- “Mastering the Far East”, Global Franchise magazine, 2016
- “Global Women in Franchising”, Franchise update, 2016
- “The European Market – Worth a Second Look”, Franchise World, 2016
- “Big Data in International Franchising”, Franchise Update, 2016
- “The World is not Flat”, Orange County Register, 2016
- “Keeping ahead of the wars, economic meltdowns and political disasters”, IERG, 2016
- “Overseas Training Tips”, Franchise Update, 2015
- “The Use of Technology in International Franchising, Franchise Update, 2015
- “Opportunity Beckons: International expansion requires change”, Franchise Update, 2014
- “Financing Your International Development Program, Franchising World, 2012
- ‘Financing Your International Investment – ‘Franchising World- – 2012
- The Pros and Cons of Franchising in China”, China Business Review, 2011
- “Expanding Markets – Franchising in Viet Nam and Indonesia”, Franchising World, 2011
- ‘EGS Makes Franchise History – ‘Franchise Times’, ‘Franchising World’ – 2011
- 10 Ways To Know You Are Ready Go Global’ – ‘Franchise Times’ – 2004
- “Vietnam – Ready For Franchising” – ‘Franchising World’ – 2009
- “U.S. Franchises Find Opportunity To Grow Abroad – WSJ – August 11, 2009
- “Establishing and Justifying International License Fees” – Franchising World – 2009
- “Oversees Overseas – Bill Edwards’ World Of Experience”, Franchise Times, 2009
- “International Expansion: Do Opportunities Outweigh Challenges?”, Franchising World, 2008
- ““Why Go Global?”, Franchising World, 12/2006
- “A Franchisor’s Path To International Success Is Often Paved With Pitfalls”, WSJ 2005
- “China Revisited” – Franchise Update, Fall 2004
- “Opportunities Slipping Away” – Franchise New Zealand, Fall 2004
- “10 Ways To Know You Are Ready To Go International” – Japan Franchise Times, May 2004
- “Are You Ready To Go Global?”, Franchise Times, 5/2004
- ‘Geophysical Techniques Used in the Ying Ge Hai Area’, “Petroleum Resources of China”, 1988