June 16, 2010 // Franchising.com // KLA Franchise, LLC, headquartered in Miami, Florida, formally announced that Jim Steger has joined the franchisor as director of franchising.
"We met Jim last year and asked him to help us develop our franchising model," said Roberto Arocena de Ortega, who along with his wife, Candy, opened their first KLA School in 2007. "Candy and I are fortunate to have Jim working with us. His passion for excellence will set a high standard within the organization and his experience with childcare learning franchises give us a fast start into franchising our business model."
Jim graduated from Bowling Green State University with a double major in finance and accounting. He broke into franchising as vice president of franchising and a member of the executive team for Delivery Concepts. He next scratched an entrepreneurial itch with L.A. Weight Loss Centers as both a franchise owner and as director of franchise development. Jim joined Aaron Rents in 1995 as their regional director of franchise development and rose to director of franchise development in 1998. In 2001 he was lured away to Primrose Schools as vice president of franchising, brand consistency and new business development, where he lead the brand's strategic growth from 100 schools in 2002 to over 200 schools by 2008.
Immediately prior to joining KLA Schools, Jim was vice president of franchising for Discover Rental Purchase in Salt Lake City. "To lead the franchise development team for Roberto and Candy was quite compelling. And the opportunity to put people into a business like KLA Schools that will change their lives and the lives kids and parents was too great to pass up," added Jim.
KLA Schools make a difference by preparing children to excel at all levels of learning and to thrive throughout their lives, by ensuring that parents have a safe and nurturing preschool learning environment for their children, and by rewarding teachers who stimulate each child's abilities, competence, and natural aptitude in ways that develop new and inherent talents.
The educational philosophy for KLA Schools is based on the Reggio Emilia approach to learning--emphasizing the child's abilities, competence, and natural aptitude, developing and fostering the child in ways that encourage the development of new and inherent talents.
"There are many independent Reggio Emilia inspired schools across America, but we're building the first and only national franchise," said Jim. "You don't have to have teaching experience to succeed in this business. You just have to be a seasoned manager with a deep desire to see kids realize their dreams."
KLA Schools are based on the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. Loris Malaguzzi, a lifelong educator, innovator and creative thinker, believed that the wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences. He opened his first preschool incorporating that philosophy in the Italian province of Reggio Emilia after World War II. In December 1991, Newsweek magazine hailed the preschools of Reggio Emilia as the "best in the world." Roberto and Candelaria "Candy" Arocena de Ortega, opened their first KLA School in 2007 in Florida, base on the Reggio Emilia approach. Now there are two thriving schools serving Dade and Broward counties, and two additional schools scheduled to open this year. Roberto and Candy launched the KLA Schools Franchise program in 2009, with plans to expand nationally.