Educational Brand Ambassador
Scott Lindsey has stretched his entrepreneurial goals with Sylvan Learning overseas and has returned to the United States to take on a new endeavor with his new ownership of the Falls Church, Va., location.
I graduated from Jacksonville State University in Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in financial management. In 1994, I began my professional career in Beverly Hills, Calif. with Estee Lauder as a Spa Business Manager. I excelled in managing daily operations and sales at the spa, so I was given the opportunity to advance within the company in a position in Washington, D.C.
Soon the opportunity to expand the brand abroad arose, and I made the decision to become the franchise consultant for Sylvan Learning in the Middle East. Over a span of three months, I oversaw the opening of new centers in Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. Seeing the high priority parents in the Gulf region placed on education, I became the Chief Operations Officer of Sylvan Learning in the region for the next three years. During this time, I was also a member of the Board of Directors for The Amazon Group LLC and an advisor to the Board of Directors with the SAMA Group.When I discovered Sylvan Learning, I decided to transition to a career in education. I became the district manager in charge of 16 learning centers in the Washington, D.C., area for almost four years. Throughout this specific position, I managed multiple teams, expedited the businesses model and developed a passion for the education industry.
When my contract ended, I came back to the United States and consulted the existing franchisee in Falls Church for the next year. But I quickly learned that I wanted to work for myself again, so I decided to purchase the center and take over as owner.
How I Heard About the Brand
Well, I was familiar with the brand, and my previous boss (at Estee Lauder) decided to enter the Sylvan work force. I respected her business choices and wanted something new to embark on.
Why I Chose Sylvan
I knew about the reputation Sylvan had and saw the center as something I could grow. I felt like I had learned a lot about the company and felt like corporate gave us support, so I knew it was a perfect fit.
With the new location, we are working on becoming acclimated with the entire community. I am volunteering at one of the homeless shelters and have joined the Chamber of Commerce as my first steps to get involved.
Challenges I Conquered to be Successful
The biggest challenge was when the economy took a turn for the worse. Even owning centers in the Gulf region, I had battles, but that is part of the process. Education is the greatest gift, and there are so many setbacks with cutbacks. Seeing people struggle is difficult, and it is nice to provide them a helpful service.
Expansion Plans With Sylvan
I definitely would like to expand; I bought the Fredericksburg territory and plan to open the first center in January 2015. I would also like to expand into satellite centers with SylvanSync.