Richard O. Huffman is the founder, President, and CEO of Celebree Schools. Richie founded Celebree in 1994, growing our brand from a single preschool into the company we are today. In his current role, Richie shares his expertise, insights, and leadership with Celebree School franchisees, while continuing to shape Celebree’s short-term and long-term vision.
Richie’s experience with early childhood education began in 1984 when his mother opened a daycare business called White Marsh Child Care Center. Between classes, Richie lent a hand to the family business, giving him an early understanding of the daycare and preschool industry.
Ten years later, Richie started a daycare center of his own, opening the first Celebree School in Ellicott City. Over the course of more than two decades, he grew Celebree from a single location into Maryland’s largest privately held chain of child care centers. With Celebree’s entry into the franchise sector, Richie now shares the secrets to his success with Celebree franchisees.
Richie takes an active role in mentoring new franchisees, providing them with the guidance, tools, and resources they need to succeed with a Celebree School franchise. Richie boasts years of mentoring experience through Vistage International, an organization that offers one-on-one coaching by established business leaders to up-and-coming entrepreneurs and executives.
In his work with Celebree School franchise owners, Richie shares more than 20 years of industry experience and entrepreneurial expertise. He offers direct support to franchisees as they develop their locations while challenging assumptions that could impede their business. He is committed to the success of every franchisee and is available on a daily basis for one-on-one support.
As the President and CEO of Celebree Schools, Richie continues to guide the core vision of our brand: a vision that embraces change, innovation, and the constant pursuit of self-improvement. Thanks to Richie’s combination of leadership and experience, Celebree continues to set industry standards within the early childhood education sector. Richie has also shaped Celebree’s dynamic corporate culture, helping us attract some of the most forward-thinking leaders and executives in our industry.
Richie is actively involved in a number of industry associations and charitable ventures outside of Celebree. He is active with a number of local non-profits and is a board member of The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, the Pediatrics Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Harford Family House, Believe Big, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In his free time, Richie enjoys reading and spending time with his wife and five children, all of whom are Celebree School graduates.