Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) announced today that President and CEO Dennis R. Maple has been elected to the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) board of directors. Maple is one of five new IFA board members, assuming their positions effective immediately.
“I am truly honored to join a board of such distinguished and successful franchise business leaders focused on further enabling IFA’s mission to protect, enhance and promote franchising,” said Maple. “Franchising is a unique and powerful business model. As we head into 2021 and continue to navigate the economic uncertainty fueled by the pandemic, the franchising industry remains an important job creator for local, national and global economies.”
Maple was announced in September 2019 as the president and CEO of GSI, the franchisor of The Goddard School, the largest premium childcare provider in the U.S. Maple and his newly formed management team are committed to sustaining The Goddard School’s differentiated early childhood school experience and to creating long-term value for franchisees by leveraging a nimble, flexible approach to deal with a rapidly changing world, customer needs, competition and technology.
“Dennis’ outstanding leadership skills and proven success in driving business growth make him an excellent addition to the IFA board,” said Robert H. Strouse, President of Wind River Holdings, L.P., owner of GSI. “Dennis was recruited as GSI’s CEO because of his transformational leadership style and his emphasis on culture and process excellence. The IFA board will benefit greatly from his thought leadership, and GSI will benefit greatly from the opportunity to network and foster an open dialogue with other franchise business leaders.”
IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti added, “Dennis Maple will be an outstanding addition to the IFA Board of Directors. His breadth of professional experience and insight will be a tremendous asset to franchising, and his involvement will benefit businesses big and small. IFA is excited to welcome Dennis to the Board of Directors and is looking forward to our continued partnership with Goddard Systems.”
In addition to his new IFA board role, Maple is on the Descartes Systems Group board of directors, where he serves as a member of the Compensation Committee and as chairman of the Nominating Committee. He has served as a board member for various organizations in his hometown of Philadelphia, including the Urban League of Philadelphia, Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia Outward Bound School, Philadelphia Academies, and the Paoli Hospital Foundation. Maple has also been an active participant in organizations that support primary and secondary schools and communities across North America.
Maple’s 37-year career includes experiences with well-known companies across multiple industries. Prior to joining GSI, Maple served as president of First Student, Inc., which is North America’s largest K-12 school bus transportation services company. Prior to First Student, Inc., Maple served for a decade at Aramark in a series of leadership positions, culminating in his role as President of Aramark Education, which focuses on delivering food, nutrition, and facilities services to K-12 school markets. He brings another 20-plus years of general management experience with consumer packaged goods (CPG) leaders such as The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Kraft General Foods, Inc., and Coors Brewing Company.
Added Maple, “As franchisors, building and sustaining relationships grounded in respect, commitment and trust with our franchisees and our end consumers will always be the cornerstone of our shared success.”