After starting with Sylvan Learning as a franchise development associate, Chasen now heads the entire department.
For Georgia Chasen, Sylvan Learning’s senior director of franchise development, there’s no such thing as a typical day at the office.
From creating long-term development plans for specific franchisees and markets to helping prospective candidates do their due diligence when considering the possibility of becoming a Sylvan franchisee, Chasen oversees everything related to the brand’s ongoing development efforts. That’s why today, thinking in terms of prospects and operations is second nature to her. But according to Chasen, she never imagined that her career would lead her to the world of franchising.
“Before accepting a job with Sylvan, I didn’t know much about franchising. It seemed like a productive way to grow an overall business model, but I hadn’t really thought much about it beyond that. But now that I’m actively involved in the industry, I understand how instrumental franchising is when it comes to providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to be successful,” said Chasen. “Franchising allows the every man to leverage their own skills along with the products and training of a well-known brand that they can tailor and make their own. When franchisees sign on to work with us at Sylvan, they’re able to create something within their community that still relies on proven systems. There isn’t another business model out there that offers that, which is why I’m excited to be a part of the industry.”
Chasen first launched her career working for non-profit organizations. She took a position with the Boy Scouts right out of college, where she managed volunteers, fundraising campaigns and training. She then made the transition into a more traditional business role by helping her father run a small retail store. It was there that Chasen developed the management skills that she utilizes in her role today.
Sylvan first reached out to Chasen about a possible job opportunity in 2006. After starting as a franchise development associate, she rose through the ranks to become a manager, director and eventually the head of franchise development for the brand. And according to Chasen, there’s one constant motivating factor that has inspired her to continue taking the next step.
“One of my favorite things about working with Sylvan is that I get to see people grow their businesses. It’s incredibly rewarding to celebrate our franchisees’ successes alongside them—we’re proud that we’re able to play a part in affecting positive change for people across the country,” Chasen said.
While no two days ever look the same for Chasen, her number one priority is fueling Sylvan Learning’s success, as well as the success of its franchisees. That’s why she typically kicks off her day by making calls to franchise candidates and existing owners looking to expand. She then spends time reviewing how the brand can help move more candidates through the discovery process, working cross-departmentally to ensure all stages of the franchising process are aligned. Chasen also works directly with Sylvan’s CEO, John McAuliffe, and other members of the brand’s executive team to generate buzz about the Sylvan brand and attract the next generation of franchisees.
“I act as a hub that oversees a lot of different categories. But whether I’m spending my day talking to potential franchise candidates or touching base with our internal team, everything that I do is designed to move the Sylvan Learning brand forward,” said Chasen. “I want to identify any roadblocks that are standing in the way of a franchise candidate or our corporate employees so that we can find a solution and continue growing. At the end of the day, my goal is to find ways to improve, both personally and professionally.”
Even though Chasen’s position with Sylvan has the potential to be unpredictable, she says it’s that flexibility that keeps her engaged. By having the ability to wear numerous hats, she’s better positioned to help others find their passion the same way that she did.
“Franchising demands passion, whether you’re a franchisee or franchisor. That’s why I love working with people from all segments of the industry—I have the ability to tap into the passion that others bring to the table and help them make their dreams a reality,” said Chasen. “As more people learn about the opportunities that franchising has to offer, I’m eager to help set them on a path that will lead to long-term growth and fulfillment.”