IFA Strategic Initiatives
Eileen Huntington Wins IFA Entrepreneur of the Year
First presented in 1992, this award is given to an individual who exemplifies the “entrepreneurial spirit” that franchising represents. Huntington Learning Centers CEO Eileen Huntington and her husband Ray opened their first location in 1977. By 1985, they had 19 centers in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and elected to start franchising. Today, there are 35 company learning centers and more than 230 franchises in 38 U.S. states.
Eileen Huntington was a junior high and high school teacher in the New York City and New Jersey public schools. Seeing that many of her students had difficulty with basic writing, reading, and math skills, she and her husband Ray opened the first Huntington Learning Center in 1977, using a small rented professional space. Ray had worked in business research and brought his skills to the new company, while Eileen focused on the educational side of the business.
At the end of the first summer, says Eileen: “We knew we were on to something special. The demand was there from the start.” Ray adds: “By 1985, we had opened 18 learning centers, all from cash flow, and were debt free… We started franchising in 1985 with the vision of striving for world-class student results and franchisee profitability.”
The company’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. “We have created an industry that changes lives every day,” says Eileen, “[and] we have created multimillionaire franchisees [who are] leaders in their communities.” The company’s greatest achievement is having “helped improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and families.”
The company’s key competitive advantage is simple, says Eileen. “We produce results for students and our franchisees. With our individualized instruction and diagnostic-prescriptive approach, on average Huntington students increase one or more grade levels, respectively, in reading and math over a three-month period.”
By putting the franchisee first, says Eileen, financial results will follow. “The Huntington system exemplifies franchising because of our system of partnership and investment.”
Eileen describes Huntington Learning Centers as not only a tutoring and test prep provider but a “community-centric organization” involved in student-focused community initiatives.
Huntington Learning Centers is the recipient of numerous awards, and is ranked highly in Bond’s Top 100 Franchises and Entrepreneur.
Find out more about franchising opportunities at Huntington Learning Centers.