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Data is ‘major foundation’ for Goddard School’s new boss


Dennis Maple, new CEO of children’s education franchise Goddard Systems, attended a meeting in Boston during his first few weeks on the job, in which members of the system’s advisory board talked to about 100 parents, many of them millennials with their first children going to preschool. “I was riveted by the opportunity,” he said, “and learned a great deal.”

“They are different,” he said about the latest generation to become parents. “They are much more technology-savvy. I think they’re looking to have a greater level of involvement with their children,” especially the fathers. “I think they’re going to be very engaged with the people providing services and taking care of their kids.”

Maple doesn’t necessarily seem like a natural to lead a children’s education franchise, with past executive roles at The Quaker Oats Co., PepsiCo Inc., Kraft General Foods and Coors Brewing Co. But he said a data-driven approach is one factor that ties all of his executive experiences together.

“I believe data eliminates the ambiguity that comes along with anecdote and opinion,” he said, also pointing to his No. 1 “tenet” as an executive. “It’s around leadership, it’s around building teams, it’s around having teams” collaborate, “it’s about clarity.

“People give you the opportunity to operate as their CEO or their leader or president. The title means very little if people are not inspired by your approach,” he said.

Maple praised Goddard’s former CEO, Joe Schumacher, whom he’s replacing. “The phrase I’ve been using lately is I’m standing on the shoulders of Joe Schumacher and all the leaders that came before me,” he said. “We’re building on what’s been done.”

Dennis Maple

Dennis Maple

Send franchise hires and promotions to Beth Ewen, bewen@franchisetimes.com.

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