The rise and rise of the man leading America’s largest preschool system with over 77,000 students

Abu Mubarik November 27, 2022
Photo credit: Business Wire

Dennis R. Maple is the chairman and CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc., the company behind The Goddard School, America’s largest early childhood education provider, as reported by Black Business.

Under his watch, Maple has supervised the growth of The Goddard School franchise to nearly 600 schools and student enrollment at a record high of more than 77,000 students. Also, under his leadership, Goddard School was named to Franchise Business Review’s annual Top 200 Franchises in 2020 and 2021, Franchise Times Top 200 in 2019-2021 and Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 in 2020 and 2021.

According to the Goddard School, Maple is responsible for building Goddard Systems’ best-in-class leadership team, which is comprised of 50% diverse executives, and for increasing DEIB awareness, education and initiatives among employees.

In August this year, the University of Tennessee graduate was named to Savoy magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America list. Savoy assembled an elite representation of African-American men and women who have been recognized for their executive and business leadership in national and global-leading corporations.

“When I joined Goddard in the fall of 2019, I never could have imagined how much our world would change just a few months later. I took on the responsibility of providing guidance and solutions to our franchisees, as well as instilling hope and trust, and I thank Savoy for recognizing my dedication and commitment to our extended Goddard family,” Maple is quoted on the Goddard School website as saying.

Before assuming the reigns at Goddard Systems, Maple served in high-profile positions in various companies. He served nearly six years as President of First Student, Inc., North America’s largest K-12 school bus transportation services company. Before that, he spent 10 years as the President of Aramark Education, which focuses on delivering food, nutrition and facilities services to K-12 school markets.

He also has more than 20 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods sector working for high-profile firms like The Quaker Oats Company; PepsiCo, Inc.; Kraft General Foods, Inc.; and Coors Brewing Company. 

What is more, he has also been elected to the International Franchise Association’s Board of Directors. He 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.

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