Primrose Schools(R) Expands Senior Management Team with New COO; Continues Franchise Growth Momentum with Opening of 200th School
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Primrose Schools(R) Expands Senior Management Team with New COO; Continues Franchise Growth Momentum with Opening of 200th School

Demand for Quality Early Childhood Education Drives Consistent Franchise Expansion

ACWORTH, Ga., Nov. 19 // PRNewswire // -- Primrose Schools, the nation's leader in high quality educational child care, announced today that it has recruited Darin Harris, a respected industry veteran with an extensive career in franchise executive management for well-known, national brands, to serve as the company's Chief Operating Officer. The announcement comes just three months before the growing national franchise opens the doors to its milestone 200th school.

"Darin brings extensive franchise management skills and experience to the company, but most importantly, he shares a passion for education and Primrose values," said Jo Kirchner, President and CEO of Primrose Schools. "He is a true business professional whose character and leadership skills are an outstanding fit for our unique Primrose culture. Despite a challenging economic climate, we are extremely fortunate that our equity partner, Roark Capital, is committed to investing in our infrastructure to support our growing system for the future."

The addition of the COO position follows the news earlier this year that Primrose had entered into a strategic equity partnership with Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm. Roark has invested capital in resources to support management's plans for the continued growth of the system. As the company prepares to open its 200th school in January, 2009, Primrose also anticipates the building and piloting of an urban model prototype in Midtown, Atlanta to respond to the resurgence of urban living for families across America.

Before joining Primrose, Harris served as Senior Vice President, Franchise Development for Arby's, where he was accountable for revitalizing Arby's franchise growth and leading global development strategy for international, franchise and nontraditional development. He also served as Division Sales Manager for Pizza Hut; National Sales and Marketing Manager for Tyson Foods, School Foodservice Division; Vice President of Franchise Development for Orion Food Systems; and Vice President, Franchise and Corporate Development for Captain D's Seafood.

Harris also has the unique perspective of being a franchise owner, having owned and managed two companies that operated eight Papa John's Pizza restaurants in Mississippi and three Qdoba Mexican Grill units in Kansas, employing over 350 people. He also gained strong team-building skills while pitching professional baseball in Italy for a Series A Championship team.

At Primrose, Harris will manage Franchising & Compliance, Franchise Finance, Real Estate & Development and Franchise Recruitment/Marketing. Additionally, he will help oversee the development of the nontraditional, Primrose urban model pilot school.

"I am honored to be joining Primrose Schools at such an exciting time for the company," Harris said. "I am joining a team made up of some of the most passionate and talented individuals in franchising, and my goal is to work with them to continue the company's franchise growth, while ensuring that we continue to provide a high quality experience for the children, families and staff of Primrose Schools."

Meanwhile, Kirchner is looking forward to spending more time focused on enhancing the Primrose education and business model, strengthening competitive differentiation and promoting Primrose brand leadership across the country, as well as spending more time communicating and building relationships with franchise owners and developing new business partnerships.

Primrose currently is identifying additional communities around the country which face a significant demand for premium educational child care. The company is targeting several new markets around the country for franchise expansion, including Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

About Primrose Schools

Founded in 1982, Primrose Schools is the country's leader in early childhood education. Primrose Schools' foundation is based on providing quality, early education and child care services with a balance of learning, character development and play. Developed by and taught exclusively at Primrose Schools, the school's Balanced Learning(R) curriculum dynamically blends child-initiated play and teacher-guided instruction. The company's success, fueled by parents' demand for quality child care, is sustained by individual school owners and teachers.

Primrose Schools has achieved accreditation status from the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), which is managed by two participating regional commissions: Southern Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and North Central Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI). Although these institutions have been evaluating schools and colleges for more than 100 years, Primrose was the first educational preschool in the United States to achieve this award.

Primrose Schools currently operates more than 195 schools in 16 states. The excellent reputation that Primrose Schools has enjoyed for over 25 years has allowed its growth as a franchising company to continue and flourish. For information about enrolling your child in a Primrose School, visit: For franchise opportunities, contact Kim Musso, Director of Franchise Recruitment, 1-800-745-0677,

SOURCE Primrose Schools



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