As the educational childcare franchise brand continues to expand, quality of care, a focus on the entire family and brand culture are still at the heart of its core values
Raj and Veenu Parkash moved from California to New Jersey in 1995 to open a garment company catering to the fashion industry in New York City. Each day, the couple dropped off their child at a nearby Lightbridge Academy before traveling to the city from New Jersey to run their business. On September 11, 2001, the couple was stuck in the city for a prolonged period following the chaos of the terrorist attacks and couldn’t get back to pick up their child. After the distressing experience, the Parkash's felt a need to be closer to home and realized the value of a trusted childcare provider like Lightbridge Academy. They decided to diversify business ventures and become franchisees with the family-centric brand that aligned with their values and is known for being The Solution for Working Parents®.
“We opened our first Lightbridge location in North Brunswick, New Jersey in August 2004, the second in August 2012 and recently broke ground on our third location in Edison that’s set to open early next year,” says Veenu Parkash. “Over the last 13 years, the team at the corporate office has been incredibly helpful in the success of our business; whether it’s marketing or education, they’re always there with full support and are easily accessible for any challenge you face.”
The Parkash’s attended this year’s “Keys to Success” Owner’s Conference in Iselin, New Jersey that took place on October 16 and 17. More than 100 people gathered for the annual conference to celebrate brand milestones, discuss best practices, recognize top performers and build relationships with fellow franchisees and the franchise company team.
“2017 has been a tremendous year. As we eye crossing the 100-unit mark, our conference is a great opportunity for many new franchisees to connect with others in the Lightbridge family and really come together to share ideas, learn new strategies, celebrate successes and get excited for all that 2018 has in store,” said Gigi Schweikert, President and COO of Lightbridge Academy.
To recognize outstanding performance, Lightbridge Academy recognized centers with the following awards:
- Lightbridge Academy of Manasquan won the Professional Development Award for logging the most hours of professional development.
- Lightbridge Academy of Sayreville won the Social Star Award for the most engaged fans on Facebook.
- Lightbridge Academy of Mahwah won the Customer Loyalty Award for having the highest Net Promoter Score from their families.
- Lightbridge Academy of Iselin won the MVP Award for strongest online reputation.
- Lightbridge Academy of Garnet Valley won the Innovation Award for wrapping their car to promote their new center in Pennsylvania.
- Lightbridge Academy of North Brunswick and Renaissance won the Community Champion Award for their community service in the area.
- Lightbridge Academy of Rutherford won the Lightbridge Foundation Award for raising more than $9,500 to support the foundation.
- Lightbridge Academy of Renaissance won the President’s Award for achieving 100 percent center occupancy.
- Lightbridge Academy of Iselin, Renaissance, Rutherford, Westfield and Westwood all won the Chairman’s Award for having an 85 percent or above average occupany rate.
- Lightbridge Academy of Clifton, Cranford, Renaissance, Rutherford, Westfield, Westwood and Whippany all won the Pinnacle Award for achieving a yearly gross revenue of $2M or more.
- Franchisee, Steve DiNunzio of Bethlehem Twp., PA won the Founder’s Award for exemplifying the Lightbridge Academy Core Values and Circle of Care philosophy.
The Parkash’s were recognized with the Community Champion Award for their active involvement in the North Brunswick community every year. Each of their two locations are continuously creating new family-friendly events and working hand-in-hand with other businesses in town to cross-promote and spread the word about different initiatives, leading to greater brand awareness and success.
“I loved conference because I got the opportunity to meet all of the new franchisees who’ve recently signed up. Having been a Lightbridge franchisee for so many years, it was so good to meet them in-person, hear their experiences and how they’re running their business. As a veteran Lightbridge franchisee, I enjoy being able to guide them through a process that’s new to them and share the success I’ve found over the years,” says Veenu Parkash.