Franchisee Spotlight: Shu-Ling Garver

Shu-ling Garver, a native of China, came to the U.S. in 1986 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from a university in Shanghai. Once arriving in the United States, she received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science and Engineering. Garver has worked for Intel since 1989 as an engineering manager and marketing manager enabling the industry with Intel Architecture. At Intel, she also dedicated herself to engaging female engineers, mentoring them and getting young girls involved in the industry.


How did you learn about the brand?
While I was looking for a franchise online, I found that Engineering for Kids is very intriguing. I had already been working closely in that field and wanted an opportunity in an education franchise. It made sense to me.


Why did you choose an opportunity with Engineering for Kids?
I've always had a passion for engineering. Providing engineering awareness to our next generation and getting them excited about it truly excites me. Along with my significant other, Bret, being an educator, it seemed like this was a great opportunity to give back to the community and build a reputable business. Moreover, I felt the two of us together is a perfect fit to achieve our dreams.


What makes your business unique in the community?
It’s very unique because there are very few others in the community offering this kind of education for children. The schools are over budgeted and there aren't many after-school programs that are fun and this educational. I also feel the strength of having Bret and me leading this business in Portland area; besides my engineering impact for the young generation, he is a unique great teacher with the patience for children.


Are you involved with any charities or do any community outreach with your business?
We are closely involved with the Portland Public School District, the Lake Oswego School District and the Beaverton School District within our territory. We provide cash donations and free classes sometimes when needed. We are currently engaged with Zimmerman Community Center in Portland to provide classes for children who are homeless as well.


What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
I work full-time at Intel. It is very hard to find someone else to help with managing this business to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves. I found myself working all the time with no time left for myself and what makes it even more challenging is that I have to manage two teen agers at home. I love what I do and I’m excited to continue to build Engineering for Kids in our community.


What are your expansion or development plans? What is your end goal with Engineering for Kids?
I am an over achiever all my life. Bret often jokes that I am constantly going 90 miles an hour because there is no stopping for me. One of the growth goals is to create a center. Casey, our operations manager and I have been talking a lot about it. We want to build the company to be a household name like Subway or McDonald’s.


Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?
My highest priority is staying in shape. I work out. I also love to go on cruises all around the world!

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