Lydia O’Leary: Empowering Franchise Growth from Barista to Development Leader

Lydia O’Leary
Lydia O’Leary

Lydia O’Leary has carved a niche for herself in the world of franchise development, showcasing a remarkable career trajectory that spans various roles and organizations. With a background in mass communication and media studies, Lydia’s journey is a testament to her dedication, strategic thinking, and passion for franchise growth and development.

Lydia began her academic journey at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she studied Communication and Media Studies from 2013 to 2015. During her time there, she was actively involved in Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority that allowed her to engage in social services and community support. This early involvement in service-oriented organizations laid the foundation for her collaborative and people-focused approach in her professional life.

After her stint at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Lydia transferred to St. Cloud State University, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication/Media Studies in 2017. Her education equipped her with the skills to navigate the complexities of media and communication, a critical asset in her subsequent roles in franchise development.

Lydia’s professional career began with Coborn’s, Inc., where she worked as a Front End Manager and Barista from October 2009 to April 2017. This role, spanning over seven years, provided her with valuable experience in customer service, team management, and operations, forming a solid foundation for her future endeavors.

In May 2017, Lydia joined NorthGate Plus as an Account Manager. Here, she honed her skills in door-to-door sales, recruitment, training and development, and teaching sales. Her ability to manage accounts and drive sales growth demonstrated her knack for business development and client relations. This role was instrumental in shaping her understanding of sales dynamics and customer engagement.

Lydia’s transition into the franchise development sector began with Authority Brands, where she served as a Franchise Development Manager from August 2018 to July 2020. During her two-year tenure, Lydia was responsible for identifying and recruiting potential franchisees, a role that required strategic thinking and a deep understanding of the franchise industry. Her success in this role led to her next position at CarePatrol Franchise Systems, LLC, where she was the Director of Franchise Recruitment from July 2020 to December 2020. Despite the brief duration, Lydia’s impact was significant, contributing to the growth and expansion of the franchise network.

In December 2020, Lydia took on the Vice President of Development role at Premium Service Brands. For ten months, she played a crucial role in driving franchise development and supporting franchisees. Her leadership and strategic vision were evident in the growth and success of the franchises under her purview.

August 2021 marked the beginning of Lydia’s tenure as Vice President of Franchise Development at BrandONE Franchise Development. For over two years, she was instrumental in shaping the franchise development strategies, contributing to the company’s overall growth and success. Her ability to build and nurture relationships with franchisees was a testament to her leadership and expertise in the field.

Parallel to her corporate roles, Lydia also embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with Bark Busters USA, where she has been a Business Owner since July 2021. This venture allowed her to apply her extensive franchise development knowledge in a practical setting, further solidifying her reputation as a franchise expert.

In March 2024, Lydia joined FranDevCo as the Director of Franchise Development. Despite being in this role for just four months, her impact has been substantial. Lydia’s comprehensive understanding of franchise development and her strategic approach and leadership skills have positioned her as a key player in the company’s growth trajectory.

Outside of her professional achievements, Lydia has been actively involved in volunteering. Her role as a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority and her position as Publicity Coordinator for The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) highlights her commitment to community service and leadership development.

Lydia O’Leary’s journey from a student of communication and media studies to a distinguished franchise development expert is a remarkable story of dedication, growth, and impact. Her ability to navigate diverse roles and contribute significantly to the organizations she has been part of underscores her expertise and passion for franchise development. With a career marked by continuous growth and success, Lydia continues to inspire and lead in the world of franchising.

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