Meet Tony Brogan, who left his executive role at JC Penney to become a Sylvan multi-unit franchisee in Dallas, TX.
I grew up in the Bronx and attended school in the Midwest, obtaining my bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology from Southern Illinois University. I enjoyed an 18-year career with JC Penney, working in several locations within New York, Connecticut and Dallas. During my career, I held numerous positions including communication manager for quality assurance and director of sourcing, where I oversaw direct buys from international manufacturers. In 2001, I transitioned from JC Penney to working directly with manufacturers in China and Hong Kong where I held the position VP of Sales. After seven years in that role, I wanted a change of pace and believed being self-employed was a good fit for my personality.
In 2008, I took ownership of the North Dallas territory, the only territory at the time serving the Dallas community. Two years ago, I reopened the Cedar Hill location, a center that needed a fresh set of eyes and motivated businessman to make it optimally operational.
How I heard About Sylvan
My daughter is a teacher and she was working with Sylvan as a tutor. When she spoke to me about the work she did, I really liked what I heard and decided to research the brand a little more.
Why I Chose Sylvan and Opportunity with Sylvan
I wanted something that contributed to the community and something that I enjoyed doing. Sylvan matched with my goals and values, and I wanted to help expand the brand in my community. Everything was just the perfect fit.
Challenges I've Overcome to Get Where I am Now
Even though we are in education, developing relationships with different schools in the community can be a little difficult sometimes, but when we do, it gives us so much excitement. In 2009, when the economy took a turn, we had an extremely difficult time, but with a strong team, we got through it and really created some wonderful local partnerships for the betterment of children’s learning.
My Expansion Plans with Sylvan
I decided I wanted to expand the Sylvan Learning name throughout Dallas. Taking advantage of corporate incentives designed to allow franchisees to expand, I acquired the territorial rights covering two additional Dallas communities. I believe there is a need and great opportunity to form partnerships with local schools and community-based organizations to allow more students to experience the Sylvan advantage. Through this expansion, I will also be spearheading the Sylvan Edge program to engage students’ interests in STEM-related programs.
My End Goal With Sylvan
Like so many in the Sylvan family, we want to make a difference in our community. At Sylvan, we talk about the “Sylvan Moments” where students and parents have that “Aha” moment. I now realize these are very real. I have personally seen how Sylvan can change young students’ lives and our team is motivated by this on a daily basis.