KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School, announced today that Dennis R. Maple has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective September 3, 2019. Maple succeeds Joe Schumacher, who has been GSI’s CEO for the past ten years. Schumacher will remain in an advisory role as the Chairman of GSI’s Board of Directors.
“It’s been an honor to lead GSI for the past ten years, and I’m confident that Dennis is the right person to lead GSI into the future,” said Schumacher. “He brings a compelling blend of experiences around K-12 issues and in consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries and has a track record of success in driving business growth. Dennis will position GSI and our franchisees for continued long-term growth and success.”
Maple’s 37-year professional career includes the last five years as President of First Student, Inc., North America’s largest K-12 school bus transportation services company, and ten years at Aramark Corporation where he served as President of Aramark Education, focused on delivering food, nutrition, and facilities services to K-12 school markets. In both of these roles, Maple gained valuable insight into issues facing today’s educators and administrators, particularly around ensuring healthy and safe environments for students. He brings another 20-plus years of general management experience with CPG leaders such as The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Kraft General Foods, Inc., and Coors Brewing Company. His experience with these companies taught Maple to use data-driven insights to spark innovation in business models and product offerings and to help shape business strategies.
“I am absolutely delighted to join the Goddard team,” Maple said. “For more than 30 years, The Goddard School has represented the industry’s gold standard for early childhood education, offering today’s children preparation that’s uniquely designed to enhance both their academic and social success in life. I am passionate about educating our nation’s young people. I come from a family of educators and have spent a significant portion of my career supporting the K-12 community. My first priority will be listening to franchisees, employees and other key stakeholders to determine how we can continue to drive franchisees’ success, education innovation and excellence and responsible growth for Goddard.”
At First Student, Inc., Maple leveraged his transformational leadership style to restore the struggling home-to-school transport services business to profitable growth. His emphasis on process discipline and cultivating an engaged stakeholder culture of performance have helped to create a strong, trusted partner in school transportation services.
Maple is a member of the Descartes Systems Group Board of Directors, where he serves as a member of the Compensation Committee and Nominating Committee. He is a former board member of various organizations in his home town of Philadelphia including the Urban League of Philadelphia, Episcopal Academy School, Philadelphia Outward Bound School, The Philadelphia Academies, and the Paoli Hospital Foundation and has been an active participant in organizations supporting primary and secondary schools and communities across North America.
Maple earned an accounting degree from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Donna, reside in Philadelphia and have a son and daughter.
“We are delighted that Dennis Maple is joining the Goddard team as its Chief Executive Officer,” said Robert Strouse, President of Goddard’s parent, Wind River Holdings. “With his proven leadership and business experience, Goddard is well positioned to continue as the leading franchisor in the preschool education sector.”
“On behalf of Wind River, I would also like to thank Joe Schumacher for his years of dedicated service to Goddard. He has been instrumental to Goddard’s record of success, including the recent opening of its 500th school. We look forward to working with Joe in his new role as Chairman of Goddard’s Board of Directors.”