With 40 years of franchise experience, Joseph Schumacher is the CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of the Goddard School. Joe is responsible for overseeing the continued growth and development for this leading early education franchise system with nearly 500 locations nationwide.
Joe’s journey in franchising began at MAACO Enterprises, Inc., franchisor of MAACO Auto Painting and Body Works Centers. While serving in various executive capacities over 10 years at MAACO, Joe attended Widener University Delaware Law School at night. After serving as MAACO’s Corporate Counsel, and with the blessing of MAACO’s Founder and CEO, Tony Martino, Joe went into private practice. Joe continued to represent MAACO as well as representing other well-known brands such as McDonald’s, Auntie Anne’s, GNC, Manpower and others. Another of Joe’s clients was Carousel Systems, Inc., the original franchisor of The Goddard School, which he represented since its inception in 1988.
In 2002, Wind River Holdings L.P. purchased the franchise assets of Carousel Systems, Inc. and continued franchising the Goddard School through GSI. Joe and his brother Phil, who was then President of Carousel Systems, Inc., facilitated the sale and Joe continued to represent GSI as its outside counsel. In 2007, Joe joined GSI as its Chief Operating Officer, calling upon his wealth of knowledge and expertise in working with well-known franchise brands. His acumen in the operational sphere of the business, combined with his keen ability to create strong franchisee relations, led to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer on his brother’s 2009 retirement. A firm believer in reasonable and responsible growth, Joe encourages franchisees to voice their opinions and take an active role in the development of the franchise system. He is committed to ensuring that franchisees and the educators they work with have optimal corporate support and the resources and tools needed for success.
One of Joe’s favorite quotes is “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing” by George Bernard Shaw – fitting for the CEO of an early education franchise with the mission, “Learning for Fun. Learning for Life.”
With more than 15 years as CFO of Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), Bob Scopinich is responsible for overseeing the financial structure and organization of the company, as well as developing strategy and forecasting for the company’s financial future. He has spent nearly 25 years in the financial industry, working in a variety of fields including professional services and investments.
Before joining GSI, Bob worked at Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” professional services firms providing audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax related services to its clients. After spending five years with Deloitte, Bob joined Wind River Holdings, a privately owned investment company which provides its operating companies with strategic direction, support and capital. Bob was introduced to the GSI brand while on the team at Wind River that finalized the GSI acquisition. Bob joined GSI as CFO at an impressive 30 years of age, after spending almost 10 years in the financial services industry, bringing with him the experience and passion gained from his previous professional ventures.
Bob is committed to the steady expansion of GSI by placing focus on the company’s franchisees. Under his leadership, GSI has been dedicated to using data and analytics to make effective and informative decisions that impact franchisee’s bottom line. This constant refinement has led to numerous updates in how GSI and franchisees access vital information.
With his combined two decades of solid experience, Bob continues to bring innovative ideas to GSI, ensuring the brand’s steady and responsible financial growth.
Vice President, Franchise Development
Jim DiRugeris is Vice President of Franchise Development at Goddard Systems, Inc. and is responsible for overseeing the continued growth of the brand while strategizing innovative ways to reach new markets and potential franchisees.
Before joining Goddard Systems Inc., Jim worked with Driven Brands in various roles for nearly eight years, most recently as the Vice President of Development. Jim was instrumental in implementing new measurable processes designed to increase efficiency, urgency and drive accountability, resulting in record growth for Driven Brands in new licenses awarded and new center openings.
Jim is committed to growing Goddard Systems, Inc. responsibly and thus diligently vets potential franchisees. His keen ability to recognize qualities in prospective franchise candidates that align with Goddard Systems, Inc. is exemplified through the quality of franchise operators that ultimately join and help grow the Goddard system. With over a decade of franchise industry experience and having worked in both the franchise development and real estate side of the business, Jim is in a prime position to scale Goddard System Inc.’s growth to new heights.
Vice President, Operations
Rich Agar serves as Vice President of Operations at Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI). As the Vice President of Operations, he oversees three teams that support the Schools: Openings, Steady-State Operations and Standards. Before joining GSI, Rich served as Vice President of Franchise Operations for the Hertz Corporation. He has also held senior management positions in operations, franchise development and real estate at School of Rock, Party City, Blockbuster and the Marriott Corporation.
Vice President, Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations
As Vice President of Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations and Innovation at Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), Paul Koulogeorge is responsible for leading marketing strategy and developing innovative advertising plans to communicate the brand promise of The Goddard School to potential franchisees and the families of potential enrollees nationwide.
Before joining GSI, Paul worked with DFC Global Corp. in various roles for nine years, most recently as the Vice President of Global Marketing. Paul developed DFC’s first global marketing strategy and coordinated its implementation across 10 countries which grew revenue, lowered costs and increased new customer acquisition. Paul was also instrumental in developing an omni-channel marketing strategy that included the launch of DFC’s first website and mobile app, which allowed consumers to purchase financial products over the internet. Previously, Paul served as Vice President of Marketing for EB Games as well as Director of Marketing for The Coca-Cola Company.
Paul is committed to positively impacting GSI and The Goddard School preschool system by effectively communicating with consumers and anticipating their needs. He has developed a targeted market segmentation plan that significantly affects the way The Goddard School message resonates with potential franchisees as well as with the families of potential enrollees. Paul’s passion for franchising, coupled with the proven Goddard School preschool system, is instrumental in how the marketing team reaches a wider audience through the use of PR, social media, digital media and traditional media.
With more than 25 years of marketing experience in the consumer, retail and financial industries, Paul is dedicated to bringing his ideas and passion to The Goddard School preschool system with a goal to communicate The Goddard School difference to families around the country.
Craig Bach, PH.D.
Vice President, Education
Craig Bach, Ph.D. currently serves as the Vice President of Education for Goddard Systems, Inc., the corporate headquarters of The Goddard School Franchise. Dr. Bach is an executive, educational administrator, faculty member and researcher with over 25 years’ experience working across a broad range of educational settings, including pre-K, K-12 and post-secondary within for-profit, public and not-for-profit environments.
Dr. Bach received his doctorate from the Group in Logic and Methodology of Science at U. C. Berkeley. His areas of expertise include learning assessment, accreditation, learning analytics, program evaluation and instructional technologies. He has a broad experience working with regional and programmatic accreditation agencies and state quality assurance departments.
Prior to coming to Goddard, Dr. Bach also served as Drexel University's Vice Provost for Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness. He also served as the Vice President of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Kaplan Higher Education where he managed five teams working on assessment, research, analytics, data management and performance measurement.
Vice President, Information Technology
The Vice President of Information Technology for Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), Renee Benedict is responsible for strategically positioning information technology (IT) as a growth enabler for The Goddard School system.
Renee brings an extensive background in IT with more than 25 years of experience in the global healthcare and consumer packaged goods industries. Before joining GSI, she most recently held the position of Vice President, Business Transformation at DanoneWave, responsible for leading the business process and application systems integration following Danone’s acquisition of WhiteWave Foods in Broomfield, Colorado. Prior to that, she worked at Johnson & Johnson, where she held IT positions of increasing responsibility. Her last position at Johnson & Johnson was Senior Director of the Global IT Enterprise Portfolio. She also served in a key Chief of Staff role for the Corporate CIO.
Renee’s mission at GSI is to implement leading IT practices and programs that serve the Goddard system’s growing network of Schools across the nation.