Having discovered his passion for teaching while helping peers with their math, Hao Lam founded Best in Class Education Center in Seattle in 1995. Hao’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to turn the business into a franchisee in 2011. Today, Lam oversees 65+ franchised centers across the United States. He has spent his entire career advocating supplemental education as an instructor and as a business owner. His goal is to provide quality supplemental education to empower students to change the world.
Gerry has more than 30 years’ experience as a strategic, results-driven business development and leadership executive and more than 10 years with franchise systems. He uses his expertise in franchise leadership, operations, strategic planning, financial management, process improvement and team building to help Franchisees achieve their visons in business ownership.
Sharon Peterson – VP of Franchise Recruitment and Development
Sharon Rettinger’s diverse franchise development and sales experience spans 14 years. She joined Best in Class Education Center in May 2014. She has seasoned experience in sales and development in varying roles and industries at Ferguson Enterprises, Cox Media, and Towne Bank Mortgage. She began her career in the franchise industry in 2012. She was recruited to work at sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt an emerging franchise where she had development responsibilities across the globe. She played an integral role in helping sweetFrog grow from 30 locations to over 275 globally. She also specializes in working with emerging franchisors who were launching their initial development in the franchise industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in marketing from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
Laura Leddusire – VP of Operations
Laura graduated with College Honors, Cum Laude, with a B.A. from the University of Washington. She also has a certificate in Business Administration from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Laura has been a part of the Best in Class team for over 10 years. She started as an English tutor before becoming a Center Manager, then VP of Operations for all Corporate Centers in Washington. She is now the VP of Operations for the Best in Class Franchise and is excited to share her knowledge with franchisees. She has a passion for education and helping franchisees reach their full potential. Through Best in Class, she feels fortunate to have a career that allows her to make a positive impact in the lives of thousands of students across the United States.
Stephanie Zhu – VP of Finance
Stephanie’s experience with Best in Class started over 20 years ago when she was enrolled as a student in Bellevue, WA. While continuing her enrichment at Best in Class, Stephanie stayed in the greater Seattle area and eventually graduated from the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster’s School of Business with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing. During those studies, Stephanie transitioned from Best in Class student to teaching assistant which eventually led her to be the Bellevue Center Manager. In 2013, Stephanie joined the franchise support team full-time and worked extensively with both new and existing franchisees with their grand opening and ongoing operations, and has since supported over 25 grand openings over the past 6 years. Currently, Stephanie is the VP of Finance to oversee the accounting and finance department while also providing administrative support to the other BiC teams.
Becky Weilbacher – Client Support Services Coordinator
Becky’s journey in education began in 2012 with a B.S. in English Education from Ohio University. She began working at a franchised tutoring company, creating their English curriculum and eventually leading their corporate programs, training franchisees, and helping these franchisees grow their business. As she developed in her career, she pursued her Masters in Business Administration while working full-time, graduating in 2017 from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. With almost 8 years in the tutoring industry, she is eager to share her knowledge and work with new franchisees to develop their business. Becky has a passion for education and helping others reach their goals, and she feels extremely fortunate that she gets to make a positive impact on franchise owners and their students.
Ana Luong – Franchise Operations Specialist
Ana’s passion for education can be traced back to her experiences working within the student life department at the University of Washington whilst pursuing her B.A. She gained invaluable experience mentoring and assisting students with their professional development as a student advisor. She also worked for Seattle Central College as an ESL tutor for immigrants and refugees. She began working for Best in Class as a Center Manager and Program Coordinator prior to joining the franchise team as a Franchise Operations Specialist. She is eager to apply the knowledge she has gained managing a center towards providing exceptional frontline operational support for franchisees.