Sylvan Announces Plans to Refocus Franchise Development Efforts with a Goal to Sign 30 New Franchisees in 2016

by Sylvan Learning | May 12, 2016

Baltimore, MDThe nation’s leading supplemental education resource and enrichment program provider, Sylvan Learning, is gearing up to expand its footprint by refocusing and refining the brand’s franchise development efforts, with the goal to sign 30 new franchisees by the end of this year. To do so, the brand has recently brought on Kristie Capizzano as franchise development specialist and Courtney Wells as franchise development associate to join director of franchise development, Georgia Chasen. The trio will be responsible for growing Sylvan’s franchisee footprint in the coming years. 

With nearly 10 years of experience on Sylvan’s franchise development team spent identifying, targeting and recruiting top franchise candidates, Chasen is leading the charge with two new hires to aid her in reaching the goal of 30 new franchisees this year. 

With experience in managing higher education enrollment teams at Laureate Education Inc., and coaching franchisees at Burger King Corporation to better their systems, Capizzano will be imparting years of relevant experience to help Sylvan strengthen its current franchisee structure and grow the brand into untapped markets. While working at Burger King, her main goal was to ultimately increase the franchisees’ bottom line and help improve their operations. During her tenure with the brand, she worked closely with 30 to 35 franchisees at a time, and Capizzano believes that this understanding of the franchising system as a whole will help her tailor Sylvan’s system into an even more efficient model. 

“I’ve always believed strongly in the power of education. Sylvan has created an incredible system and I am eager to join the team to help the brand reignite its growth. By refocusing our franchise development efforts, we’ll be better poised for continued growth, and in the end, that will help us make an even more meaningful impact on the thousands of students we serve every day,” Capizzano said. 

Joining Capizzano and Chasen is another new hire, Courtney Wells, who will serve as franchise development associate. Also coming from Laureate Education Inc., Wells will be adding support to help the team with new franchisee signings, internal franchisee expansions, and the resale of open centers to franchisees either within or new to the system. 

As Sylvan has been around for more than 35 years, many franchisees that joined the system early on are nearing retirement age and are looking for effective exit strategies. A key focus of the franchise development team will be reselling these successful units to new owners. Capizzano and Wells are joining Chasen in identifying alternative ways to bring new candidates with business backgrounds on board. To jumpstart this initiative, the department is hoping to leverage the company’s Sylvan EDGE program, the innovative STEM education program making Sylvan the largest national provider of robotics, coding and engineering courses. 

The franchise development team will also champion SylvanSync, a proprietary digital instruction platform designed to support each student’s individual learning needs. SylvanSync’s mobility enables franchisees to open in satellite locations while their permanent new learning center is being built. This approach allows franchisees to generate revenue ahead of the completion of their brick-and-mortar location. 

“The success of our franchisees is of utmost importance, and through internal programs like Sylvan EDGE, we can widen their local community reach, offer exciting and innovative programs, and provide them with the opportunity to buy additional territories to gain additional revenue,” said Chasen. 

This year, the team is targeting markets that the brand would like to immediately develop, including Toronto, Atlanta, Denver, Washington, San Antonio and Nashville. 

“More and more, we’re seeing that candidates are coming to Sylvan because they’re truly attracted to our model and what we do. People want to make a positive impact on their community by bringing a needed service with supplemental education and enrichment programs—while at the same time being able to own their own business and earn a great living. Sylvan’s unique system is the perfect balance – and 2016 is sure to be a landmark year for the brand,” Chasen said.


With more than 35 years of experience and more than 750 locations throughout North America, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE—STEM and accelerated courses and Sylvan Prep —college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. For more information, visit or