February 9, 2023
Matt Zaia as New Senior Vice President, CDO - Goddard Schools
Accomplished development executive joins childcare franchise leader to expand nationally acclaimed early childhood education offering
Goddard Systems, LLC (GSL), manager of The Goddard School franchise system, has appointed Matt Zaia as senior vice president, chief development officer, effective immediately. In his new role, Zaia is responsible for growing the Goddard footprint across the country by leading franchisees through site selection, real estate development, design, construction and obtaining a certificate of occupancy for new schools.
With more than 15 years of franchise experience, Zaia has guided first-rate global brands with expanding their portfolios and leading teams across market planning, real estate, construction and facilities management.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Matt and his wealth of leadership and expertise as we extend the footprint of Goddard Schools in key markets and beyond,” said Dennis R. Maple, chairman and CEO of GSL. “As the need for high-quality early childhood education continues to grow across the country, so does the demand for the Goddard brand and services. Backed by Matt’s significant expertise in growing national brands, we’re excited to take Goddard Schools to the next level of excellence in early childhood development.”
Zaia joins GSL from Restaurant Brands International (RBI), where he developed the first development analytics team and new franchise sales team, as well as launched a new market planning technology for the US and Canada. Most recently, he served as vice president of development and franchising at Firehouse Subs, part of RBI. Prior to joining Firehouse Subs, Zaia was vice president of development at Domino’s Pizza, where he oversaw facets of corporate and franchise domestic store growth, resulting in the opening of more than 1,400 Domino’s locations and remodeling of 4,800 locations. While at Domino’s Pizza, Zaia also oversaw all supply chain growth efforts throughout North America, led the development efforts of a 31,000 square foot innovation lab and developed the largest new corporate store pipeline and opens since 1988.
“The Goddard School is one of the nation’s fastest growing franchise systems, and I’m proud to join the brand at this exciting time to further accelerate this growth,” said Zaia. “As part of the Goddard family, I look forward to partnering with our dedicated professionals, franchisees, partners and industry groups to continue to expand Goddard’s reach across the country, offering our high-quality educational programming to even more families.”
Zaia holds a bachelor's degree and master’s degree in architecture, both from Lawrence Technological University.