Impactful leadership: Rosemarie Hartnett Demonstrates Creative Grit
When it comes to creative impact, Abrakadoodle’s President and Co-Founder Rosemarie Hartnett brings clear focus, powerful resolve and imaginative solutions. Through an exhausting pandemic, Ms. Hartnett knows that weary parents need to know that they can trust children’s services program providers to re-engage and uplift their children as schools and related extracurricular programs restart.
“We want to reignite children’s imaginations and love of learning,” says Rosemarie Harnett. For 19 years, award-winning Abrakadoodle has brought the most comprehensive, well-rounded art education that fuses creativity development with hands-on learning, weaving in important educational experiences with STEAM, world cultures, along with classic and contemporary artists, art forms and styles. During 2020-2021, Ms. Hartnett acted with speed and innovation as her franchise system faced the global pandemic.
She launched Operation Splat Connects, which entailed the creation of new, Abrakadoodle Online Art programs, newly designed Doodle Kits to meet home-bound art programming needs and franchisee and teacher training. “These Covid-19 times have tested us all,” remarked Ms. Hartnett. “We knew it was important to stay connected with the communities we serve in order to share experiences and to best understand what they needed. We knew art could uplift us all, especially the children.”
From listening to franchise owners, organizing franchise owner-led tasks forces and surveying parents and sites that host the Abrakadoodle program, to sharing leadership experiences and engaging women within the franchise industry, Ms. Hartnett has greatly impacted franchising overall. She collaborated with franchise owners and guided her Abrakadoodle team with a strategic plan designed to focus on meeting the evolving needs of the award-winning art education franchise. “In the darkest of times what did we all need?” asked Ms. Hartnett. She responded to this question by saying, “The answer was clear. We needed to stay connected, share experiences and support each other.”
From the outset of the pandemic, Abrakadoodle quickly launched a 13-week Splat Doodle Art Challenge with art activities to stimulate creativity for children sequestered at home. This program has enabled franchise owners to connect with families, site partners, schools and even community leaders during this long journey. Local mayors and other local leaders could be seen joining Abrakadoodle live videos doing art and connecting with their communities! Ms. Hartnett remarks, “Art uplifts us all!” In addition to the sizeable challenges facing her franchise system, Ms. Hartnett continued to be a leader and a listener, providing assistance through webinars, such as participating as an IFA Panelist designed to highlight the reopening of the Franchise Educational Sector.
Ms. Hartnett has always championed the belief that the key to success in business and life is to remain an active learner. Abrakadoodle is a franchise company centered on this philosophy of active discovery learning to help young children become problem solvers and innovators. As a past Chair for the ICFE Board of Governors, she continues to promote the program. In a recent video released by the ICFE, Ms. Hartnett says, “The CFE program has enabled me to keep current, helped me develop invaluable relationships, remain future focused and be always learning!” She has inspired many others in franchising to join the program.
In good times and in challenging times, art connects us and inspires wonder. Abrakadoodle’s Rosemarie Harnett, through her savvy and swift, creative actions demonstrates how a woman of impact can inspire others and create pathways for progress.
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