The International Franchise Association (IFA) named Deepika and Vijay Ilavarasan, owners of Kiddie Academies of Vancouver-Fishers Landing and Tigard, the 2023 Franchisees of the Year. The Ilavarasans were honored March 1 at the 63rd IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, for being outstanding franchise establishment owner-operators.
The Franchisee of the Year Award recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance and promote the franchise business model. Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their service to their communities, fostering a strong and vibrant workforce, opening the doors for career growth and entrepreneurship and supporting their fellow franchisees.
“Franchisee of the Year recipients represent the best in franchising,” said Matthew Haller, president and CEO of the IFA. “This is the highest honor IFA awards to individual franchisees and local business owners like Deepika and Vijay exemplify the power of franchising and its positive contributions to communities around the world.”
Kiddie Academy President Joshua Frick said, “Vijay and Deepika’s recognition as Franchisee of Year from the IFA is further demonstration of their daily passion for nurturing, educating and inspiring children for the future. They are incredible stewards of the brand and are deserving of this prestigious award. On behalf of the entire brand, we congratulate Vijay and Deepika and could not be more proud to have them as part of our community.”
“We are truly blessed, delighted and humbled by this honor from the IFA,” said Vijay. “This recognition is not just for Deepika and me, but for the entire Kiddie Academy system. Everyone from the corporate team has always been helpful and very responsive in various aspects including operations, marketing, curriculum, training, construction, financing, multi-unit expansion and more. The way the team responded and supported through the pandemic was just amazing. The Kiddie Academy conferences and trainings have also helped us establish a great network of fellow Franchisees from whom we learn continually to grow our academies and team culture.”
The Ilavarasans can add the IFA award to a growing list of business achievements. They opened their first Academy in Vancouver-Fishers Landing, Washington in 2017. That was followed by their second location, in Tigard, Oregon in 2022 and they anticipate opening two more Academies, in 2023 and 2024. They have been exemplary Franchisees with Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care, never hesitating to invest time to share their experiences and lessons learned with other Franchisees in the system as well as prospective franchisees. Vijay has also served as the West Coast representative on the Franchise Advisory Council. For their efforts, they were named Kiddie Academy Franchisees of the Year for 2021.
“It has been indeed a privilege to be a part of the Kiddie Academy system,” said Vijay. “Our focus all along has been providing a warm environment for our educators to do their best and inspire children. We have an amazing leadership team in our Academy who have been with us since the beginning, and they go above and beyond each day to provide a wonderful atmosphere for all our staff and children.”
Kiddie Academy Chief Development Officer Jeff Brazier said, “We are so excited for Vijay and Deepika to be recognized by the International Franchise Association. Their passion for entrepreneurship combined with the care and compassion of educating of our future generation is at the heart of what the Kiddie Academy Franchise Community is all about.”
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