SCHOOL OF ROCK Franchise Update – 2 Years A.D. (After Dzana)

It’s been 2 years since School of Rock ousted CEO Dzana Homan in a firestorm of controversy involving UnhappyFranchisee.Com and bullying by her attorney Craig Tractenberg.  At that time, School of Rock franchisees were distressed by a dictatorial corporate atmosphere and an indifference to their concerns and success.  Franchisor parent company Sterling Partners acted swiftly, replacing CEO Dzana Homan with Rob Price.  We return to School of Rock franchisees to ask:  Have things improved since Rob Price became the School of Rock frontman? by Sean Kelly

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  Two years ago this month, I received complaints from School of Rock franchisees who were afraid to voice their complaints lest they be targeted for retaliation by School of Rock CEO Dzana Homan, who they claimed was a tyrannical bully.

I posted their anonymous complaints publicly, and contacted Ms. Homan and execs at School of Rock parent Sterling Capital for comment and rebuttal.

Rob Price School of RockTo be honest, I thought the accounts of Ms. Homan’s bizarre behavior had to have been exaggerated, and the franchisees’ fear of retaliation a bit paranoid and overblown.

Then I received a menacing call from Ms. Homan’s attorney, Craig Tractenberg, who threatened to destroy me personally and professionally if I did not immediately delete all mention of Ms. Homan & School of Rock.

I immediately published Tractenberg’s threats and contacted the General Counsel of Sterling Capital, who disavowed knowledge or participation in the threats.

I filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of PA over Tractenberg’s misconduct and granted Franchise Times an interview about the controversy.

June 30, 2017, just a little over a month from my first post on School of Rock franchise complaints, School of Rock announced that CEO Dzana Homan had left “to pursue other interests” and that the former President of Edible Arrangements, Rob Price, would be taking on the role of CEO.

Rob Price stepped into a very difficult situation with many justifiably disgruntled and distrustful franchise owners.  How has he done so far?  Have things improved at School of Rock for franchise owners and employees?

For our chrologogical index of posts, read: SCHOOL OF ROCK Franchise, Sterling Partners CEO Controversy (Topic Index)

Please share your candid opinions and observations either by leaving a comment below (anonymous is fine) or by emailing me, in confidence, at UnhappyFranchisee[at]  This page will be updated as new comments are received.

School of Rock Franchise Updates Indicate Strong Improvement

Some initial franchisee comments about CEO Rob Price’s performance and the situation for School of Rock franchisees seem encouraging.  As I receive additional comments, I will update this page to reflect the broader franchisee perspective.

A formerly disgruntled School of Rock franchise owner recently wrote:

OMG we are in such a better place. Rob is doing a terrific job… He’s cleared out the useless people that were in exec ranks and people he kept are held to high standards.

He’s a clear communicator. There are some very cool things launching this Fall/winter that will be game-changers in our market.

My franchise has grown exponentially since DZ left. Honestly I couldn’t be happier.

A previously critical School of Rock franchise owner recently wrote:

I am happy to report that SOR has made a 180 and are a pleasure to work with.

Rob Price has done a fantastic job and has mobilized his team to work with franchisees in true partnership fashion.

They have launched many initiatives that will help our business.  I think most of the franchisees would say the same thing.

Another franchisee wrote:

Rob is an amazing CEO! He is an engaging and wonderful leader.

It is clear to see that he treats his corporate staff with the dignity and respect that seemed to be lacking under prior leadership.

The corporate crew are all a pleasure to work with, efficient, friendly and knowledgeable.

Rob himself has a great sense of humor and is very accessible to his franchisees.

What do you think?  Share a comment below.



SCHOOL OF ROCK Franchise, Sterling Partners CEO Controversy: UPDATED (Topic Index)



TAGS: School of Rock, School of Rock franchise, School of Rock franchise opportunity, Sterling Partners, Rob Price, Dzana Homan, Craig Tractenberg, Craig Tractenberg complaints, franchise complaints, unhappy franchisee

5 thoughts on “SCHOOL OF ROCK Franchise Update – 2 Years A.D. (After Dzana)

  • May 4, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I have always felt that the School of Rock provides an incredible experience and life-changing opportunities for our customers. There is no reason why we cannot be the best franchise organization in the world as well. With Rob at the helm, we moved from an environment of fear and mistrust to one of optimism, mutual respect, and growth. I never would have thought that I would consider opening another location(s), but now I feel that I am leaving an opportunity on the table if we don’t expand. I look forward to seeing what Rob accomplishes in the future. He has already done so much in his short time here.

  • May 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Not going to lie – I think it’s awesome that the system was able to turn itself around. Definitely a nice change of pace to see a happy story here. Good luck with your ventures!

  • May 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    There has been a turnaround for sure. The School of Rock under Dzana was a nightmare for all the reasons already documented.

    We are starting to get more of the tools that we need and the interactions with the corporate team have at least been free of the rancor that was present under the prior regime.

    Since Rob came on board, the organization is more professional in dealing with the franchisees. The messaging is that they are expected to be acting more as partners to the franchisees, and that has lead to a lot of the good feelings that people are experiencing.

    What hasn’t changed is that we continue to pay a lot in royalties for what we are getting. Our billing, scheduling and CRM applications haven’t changed and are really lacking in functionality for our business (still holding out hope that this changes under the new IT head). The quantity and quality of the marketing campaigns still aren’t what we need and seem to miss the mark. They are better, but still have a long way to go.

    The lack of depth in the corporate staff is really apparent in the rollout of initiatives. Our recent website deployment seemed very rushed, and marketing campaigns are never done far enough in advance. Is it getting better under Rob? Most definitely. And I hope it continues to improve.

    I am optimistic, but not to the point of laying down more money for more locations. The revenue model isn’t the best, and many schools are ‘underperforming’. A few locations have simply closed their doors without a buyer and without a corporate offer for a buyout, which should give people pause as to why those locations were sold in the first place.

    But it’s improving…so there is that.

  • May 7, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    There are many positive changes happening that bode well. We have an upgraded website, apparently we will get some curriculum in the fall which hopefully will address copyright usage better, some vendor opportunities (although often they are not that good a deal and we have to shop around to get the best price and then go back to the vendor) and marketing is getting more robust.

    For me and many others, the jury is still out because owner profitability just isn’t where it should be yet and we still don’t have a turnkey business model. We pay the highest in royalties and have to squeeze pretty hard to make some profit. There are schools that have closed, some have sold, and corp seems to be the only real buyer. That worries me.

    I should be making more money year over year and my business should be more valuable (and not just to corp) as the years go by. Newer owners are hopeful but around year 5 you feel the pinch. The economy is booming, parents have more discretionary income, we should be reaping the benefits as well. But for me it’s still the business model that is off at this royalty rate.

    I think most of the happy talk is that people don’t feel so threatened by Rob and he has made huge efforts to quell negativity in the system which is good. I will be a happy franchisee when I see all our schools actually making money. Not there yet.

  • July 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    I would very much like to talk to this franchisee. I am considering SoR franchise.

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