Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rainbow Station in Franchise Times

Rainbow Station in Franchise Times in an article titled, "Different Footprints." When a franchisor is adapting its model for international markets, there are a lot of considerations on how to keep the same feel as the concept in the U.S. while adapting to meet the cultural standards of other countries. Gail shares how Rainbow Station worked with its Chinese business partner to both adapt the size and scale of the school with the programs that they offered. By offering enrichment classes for students, Rainbow Station will be able to grow throughout the country much easier. Even with those modifications, the look and feel of the interior of the school remains very similar to those in the U.S.  Click here for the entire article or begin below.

By: Beth Mattson

Franchisors are finding there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to international expansion. Each country, each culture and each opportunity is different.

And, the real estate footprint and store prototype that works at home does not always translate to other countries. Denny’s is one group that is tweaking its standard format as it continues to add restaurants in countries such as Mexico, Honduras and Chile.

Although Denny’s is known for its freestanding restaurants in the U.S., the company has a more flexible footprint for international locations and has opened in malls, casinos, hotels and airports.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Franchisee Spotlight: Steve & Debbie Ramos

Steve Ramos and his wife Debbie are pleased to bring the supplemental and enriching education that Rainbow Station is able to offer preschoolers to their community of Fishers, IN.

Steve has been on the corporate circuit of business for many years, moving from Illinois to Germany to Minnesota, and eventually settling down in Indiana while working as an IBM executive. He started his career at IBM, later becoming a nonprofit executive focused on higher education at the National Society of Hispanic MBA (the largest Hispanic professional society). Steven is currently the COO of a biotechnology company called MedeoLinx.

Debbie is a second grade teacher at Geist Elementary School.  She is an award winning teacher having received District Teacher of the Year awards in Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana.  Nationally Debbie was a nominee for Disney’s American Teacher Award and a Golden Apple Achiever Award from Ashland Oil.  She is professional member of the Hamilton Southeastern Education Association, Indiana State Teachers Association, Hamilton County Reading Association, Indiana Association of Librarians, Indiana Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of Language Arts.    She also served as a committee member for the Hamilton Southeastern Corporations Balanced Literacy Committee and Young Hoosier Book Award Committee.

 With Debbie’s strength in teaching she will focus on the curriculum and will ensure that all the teachers at the center are providing excellent teaching.

Rainbow International is among the few preschools and school-aged recreation programs to achieve national accreditation based on stringent standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National AfterSchool  Association (NAA).

Steve and Debbie will be employing up to 40 part/full-time employees at their new location. This will be the first Rainbow International in the State of Indiana.

How did you learn about the brand?
While we were doing our research we looked at many different options but we found the mission and values of Rainbow Station consistent with our objectives of providing excellent preschool education.  The  PLAYWORKS curriculum at Rainbow Station is of the highest quality and the Get Well Place is also a wonderful option for parents.  It gives them comfort knowing that a pediatric nurse is on staff.  The value of accreditation and a strong curriculum are very important.  It lets our parents know that their children are getting the best education possible.  We also look to be accredited by the State of Indiana as a four star school preschool.  It will be the only one in our area.  We don’t want to just say we are the best.  The national and state accreditations are assurance that we are.   This is why Rainbow Station was the choice for us.

Why did you choose an opportunity with Rainbow Station?
We love what Rainbow Station has to offer, and we want to make sure it provides the best education and care for children in the area. The details and elements surrounding the nursing and staff really show the genuine and wholehearted commitment of Rainbow Station to its mission.

What makes your business different, what are you able to bring to the area that other educational services can’t?
I want to focus on positively impacting my community.  We want to have the very best childhood educators and teachers to help those lives that we touch to become outstanding leaders. The Rainbow Station curriculum is excellent, and we will enhance it with a thematic approach incorporating STEM education. 

We are proud to be the first "Leadership Preschool" in the United States, based on adopting the nationally acclaimed initiatives focusing on development beyond academics. Our "learn early, learn well, and lead" philosophy instills 21st century skills like compassion, responsibility, and teamwork that will impact your child's life in and out of school, and long after he or she has completed an academic career. It's a commitment to transforming children's lives—not just their academic development..

In the Get Well Place, we have created a safe and supportive environment for mildly ill children that promotes a return to wellness—and offers plenty of extra love and attention.   Our curriculum provides a diversity of experiences designed to initiate and nurture a love of learning in all children in our changing multicultural, multi-role world.

We also hope to have a bilingual environment for those families that want to have a competitive edge in our bilingual society.   Beginning with infants we will provide a bilingual environment so that by the time they go to first grade these children will be conversational in English and Spanish with a strong STEM orientation.  Our afterschool program will continue to develop their bilingual reading and writing skills.  By the time they are in the fourth and fifth grades the dual language will be permanent.  With continued afterschool focus on STEM our students will be positioned for AP classes when they attend high school. This is a unique aspect to our school that Rainbow Station endorses.

What are your expansion or development plans? What is your end goal with Rainbow Station?
We would like to have at least two more in Caramel and Zionsville and potentially a third location in Avon.

What are some of the publications you read? Local? National? What is your goal publication with your business?

What do we read?
The Indianapolis Star
Geist Magazine and Cambridge Magazine
National Geographic
Forbes Magazine
The Mailbox Magazine for Teachers
National Council of Teachers of English

Indy Child’s Magazine– free and good sized monthly publication
Nuvo Newsweekly
Indianapolis Monthly Magazine
Indianapolis Business Journal, many of our clientele are professionals so that’s something they look at it. The Indianapolis Star
Geist Magazine and Cambridge Magazine – neighborhood publications

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?
We spend a lot of our time helping in the community.   Steve serves as Board Chairman for the Imagine Life Sciences Academy, Board Member for the Indianapolis Zoo, a State Commissioner, and serves on the National Board of AVANCE.  AVANCE is focused on preschool education.  Their mission is to unlock America’s potential by strengthening families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs.  On a personal level Debbie and Steve enjoy spending time with family and friends boating and traveling.  They are also avid Indianapolis Colts fans.