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Meet Bonnee Lallouz of Sylvan Learning Center

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bonnee Lallouz.

Bonnee, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Long Story… I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 from Toronto. I was sponsored by a hotel downtown and stayed with them for about two years and learned about the LA traffic and was spending way to much time in my car. I decided to look for a job in the Valley and ended up at the Hilton Hotel catering in Woodland Hills.

While working there became familiar with Chambers and worked with many of them managing their events in the hotel. I became very close with the Woodland Hills Chamber and when the Membership Director was retiring approached me to offer me an opportunity replacing her. I was a little skeptical about working in non-profit and just had a baby, but the hours sounded better as now I had a daughter to look after.

The hotel business was a 24-hour job. I made the change and then found myself loving this industry and ended up working with three chambers for the next 12-13 years as their Membership Director. I was then approached by one of the members of the Northridge Chamber about a marketing position at Sylvan Learning. (people always offered me jobs). Sylvan was creating this position.

I had met with a few people from the company and then finally met the owner, who is a wonderful and dedicated man to the education of children. He hired me on the spot. In doing so and moving on from the wonderful chambers of Commerce, I joined 8 chambers, three other networking groups to help promote and introduce Sylvan to the community. I have been running my own networking group call Business and Bagels. You can visit the new website at businessandbagels.com.

I am very proud of this networking group. We donated toys and supplies throughout the year to non-profits that are involved in BNB. We also saved money and just donated $1000. to LLS for their upcoming walk in October. I have been with Sylvan now almost three years and have had to implement a marketing plan. I have been to more PTA meetings then I can count and have built strong relationships with the PTA and Principals of many schools. We created our own Partnership opportunities for the schools and are giving over 15 schools $20,000 each next school year in cash and tutoring.

Our owner Rand Bleimeister is a very generous man. I was honored at a Gala by one of the schools as their Community Partners. Last month I was also recognized as a supportive school partner at the District PTSA annual dinner. It was the first time they recognized a business partner. There is so much to write and could go on and on.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My only struggle I faced was getting a company to sponsor me. When I was offered the job at the hotel downtown, I told them they needed to sponsor me and it would take about six weeks to process all the paperwork and get my visa. The gentleman was a little weary about waiting. So when I get home I emailed him to thank you for meeting with me and reminded him “Good things come to those who wait” He hire me right after he received that email and waited for me.

I have actually been very lucky with my career changes in Los Angeles as all my opportunities have fallen in my lap. One thing I teach in my Business and Bagels Networking group is… “It is not what you know, it is not who you know, but who knows you.” I am a firm believer in networking and building relationships.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sylvan Learning Center – what should we know?
I am the Marketing Director for the three Sylvan Learning Centers in the San Fernando Valley As I mentioned before I specialize in building relationships.

I know other Tutoring companies do not go out in the community, go to networking events or PTA meetings and be generous with so many free tutoring hours. Sylvan is also very big in the STEM world.

I think I am most proud of my Business and Bagels Networking group and also creating a committee called the Education Connection for the Northridge Chamber of Commerce. We bring the businesses and schools together to cross network and help each other out.

Word got out and another Chamber reached out to me and I am helping them create their own Education Committee next month. I am proud of what Sylvan believes in, their product, their teachers the most of all is I love getting up and going to work every day.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
– Loving what you do
-Caring about what you do
– Helping all the schools and students
– Building relationships and trust
– Always following through
– Always call back and return an email same day.
– Smiling when I am on a phone call as people can feel it.
– Listening and responding
– Pay it forward all the time. (I was at Starbucks last week and there was a police car ahead of me and when I got up to the intercom, I told them that I wanted to pay for whatever they had ordered and thank them for their service) I know they really appreciated it, but it made me feel good.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 8984 Tampa Ave, Northridge 818-885-0283
    20644 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills 818-742-9000
    13553 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks 818-906-1505
  • Website: Sylvanlearning.com
  • Email: bonnee.lallouz@sylvanhms.com

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Austin Diamond

    July 27, 2018 at 00:22

    Bonnee is a sweetheart and fantastic! Couldn’t have picked a better person to feature in your article! 🙂

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