Charles Hermes was not seeking out a franchise opportunity, but the right one found him. After starting his own online math tutoring business, you might think that he would never want to be involved with what was seemingly an old school tutoring model—but in fact, it was just the opposite. He quickly learned the limitations of online tutoring and saw that Sylvan Learning was helping fill these gaps while simultaneously building an extremely successful franchise system along with it.
The Houston native attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, a Masters in Systems Engineering and an MBA from the Darden School of Business. Once he completed Business School and was connected with an old classmate of his from high school, he co-founded Math Help, which aims to help students and adults build the math foundation they need to be successful in life.
In 2008, with partner Mike Maggart, the company partnered with Sylvan Learning to provide software to develop SylvanMathPrep and SchoolMathPrep. Hermes and Maggart had worked with the brand for 8 years when Hermes decided it was time to purchase his own locations in the franchise system. He decided to develop in the Austin market, where he was able to secure most of the territory. From the previous eight years of working together, Hermes already knew the executive team and the power of face to face interaction in tutoring services. He was ready to get involved with the brand.
Through Math Help, Hermes learned about his passion for education and for helping others achieve their dreams.
“I loved having the opportunity to help the people who wanted to go back to school, and make it a possibility even if they didn’t learn math the first time around,” Hermes said.
Another aspect of the Sylvan Learning model that attracted Hermes to the system was being able to give back to the community.
“Sylvan Learning of Austin has many contracts with schools. Being able to go into these schools and help students out is a great feeling,” Hermes said.
Today, leveraging his knowledge of the education technology industry and contract sales, Hermes shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to grow the Sylvan Learning franchise system and add to his list of territories. There are seven Sylvan Learning Centers in greater Austin, and Hermes has bought six of them. And most recently, he bought the Center for Bastrop, which he believes will be a great market in the years to come.