Susan Valverde: Brand President of Sylvan Learning, Championing Educational Excellence

Susan Valverde
Susan Valverde

Susan Valverde’s journey in the educational sector is a remarkable narrative of passion, dedication, and impactful leadership. As the Brand President of Sylvan Learning, Susan Valverde brings a wealth of experience and a profound commitment to improving educational outcomes for students across the United States. Her career is a testament to how visionary leadership can transform not just a company but the lives of countless individuals within the community.

Early Career and Foundation in Education

Susan’s career began in the financial sector, where she worked as an International Department Officer at First National Bank from 1992 to 1997. Her responsibilities included establishing new departments, developing products, and expanding services, which significantly contributed to the bank’s growth and international presence. This role provided her with essential skills in strategic planning, team management, and operational efficiency.

Transition to Economic Development

In 1997, Susan transitioned to the McAllen Economic Development Corporation as the Director of U.S. Business Development. Here, she played a crucial role in recruiting new employers to the McAllen, TX, and Reynosa, MX areas. Her efforts in negotiating land purchases, facility leases, and public incentives resulted in the creation of over 7,500 new jobs, significantly reducing the region’s unemployment rate from 21% to 9%. This position underscored her ability to foster economic growth and development through strategic partnerships and community engagement.

Joining Sylvan Learning: Franchise Owner and Operator

Susan’s true calling emerged when she joined Sylvan Learning in 2002 as a franchise owner/operator in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Over the next 14 years, she transformed her single site into a top-producing franchise within the 600-location system. Susan expanded her operations to include three centers, five satellites, and 70 institutional locations throughout South Texas. Her innovative approach to penetrating underserved markets through institutional contracts and securing over $30 million in grant funding was instrumental in her success.

Key Achievements and Contributions

Under Susan’s leadership, the Sylvan Learning franchise in South Texas saw exponential growth. She directed a team of up to 300 employees and achieved a customer base growth of 2,567%. Her efforts in developing the Ace-It! Program, which fostered public/private partnerships, resulted in substantial grant awards and contributed significantly to revenue growth.

Susan’s work was recognized with several accolades, including the 2015 White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Award. She also played a pivotal role in securing $6 million in funding from the Texas Legislature for eight consecutive years, highlighting her ability to advocate effectively for educational funding and support.

Corporate Leadership at Sylvan Learning

In 2016, Susan transitioned to the corporate side of Sylvan Learning as Vice President of Franchise Operations, later becoming Chief Franchise Operations Officer in 2017. In these roles, she leveraged her extensive franchise experience to support and grow Sylvan’s network of franchisees. Her leadership focused on driving operational excellence, fostering franchisee success, and implementing innovative educational programs.

Susan’s passion for education and deep understanding of the Sylvan system made her an invaluable asset to the corporate team. She was instrumental in piloting new programs, streamlining operations, and enhancing customer service, which contributed to Sylvan’s sustained growth and reputation for educational excellence.

Brand President: Vision for the Future

In May 2024, Susan was appointed Brand President of Sylvan Learning. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction and overall performance of the brand. Her vision is to continue expanding Sylvan’s impact by leveraging technology, enhancing curriculum offerings, and strengthening community partnerships. Susan’s leadership is characterized by a commitment to innovation, quality education, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Commitment to Community and Education

Throughout her career, Susan has remained deeply committed to community service and educational advocacy. She has been a regular presenter at national conferences, sharing her insights and experiences to inspire other educators and franchise owners. As a founding board member of Latinos for Education, Susan has worked to obtain funding from key national foundations, furthering her mission to support minority students and bridge the achievement gap.

Susan Valverde’s journey from a franchise owner in one of the poorest areas of the country to the Brand President of Sylvan Learning is a testament to her unwavering dedication to education and community development. Her strategic vision, operational expertise, and passion for making a difference have not only propelled her career but also positively impacted the lives of thousands of students and educators. As she leads Sylvan Learning into the future, Susan’s commitment to educational excellence and innovation continues to inspire and drive the brand’s success.

Liked what you read? Follow us on Linkedin.

Want your franchise news to be covered? Send your Press Release.