While there are many reasons why Goldfish Swim School is the champion choice in the learn-to-swim industry, our leadership team plays a strong role in our brand’s success.

Meet our Vice President of Franchising, Dan Israel—a former competitive swimmer turned Goldfish Dad who made the leap from practicing law to helping entrepreneurial-minded individuals pursue their dream of owning a purpose-driven business that changes lives.

As a collegiate swimmer at Brown University, Dan was a two-time captain, team Most-Valuable Swimmer, multi-time All-Ivy League performer, and winner of Brown’s most prestigious swimming award based both on athletic performance and overall contribution to the swimming and diving program. Internationally, Dan swam on the United States team two times in the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

His passion for sharing his love of swimming and water safety is what propelled him to switch lanes later in his career and help others realize the opportunity to achieve Extraordinary Results with an award-winning brand that has a life-saving mission.

Having previously worked at the law firm of Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC, where he worked with several of Goldfish Swim School’s first franchisees, Dan has over two decades of experience with franchising and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as Goldfish Swim School’s Vice President of Franchising. With a unique understanding of, and appreciation for, the specific needs and considerations of potential franchisees, Dan’s relationship-based approach to guiding owners through the franchise award process is based on a mutual understanding of Integrity, Compassion and Trust.

As someone who had the unique experience of witnessing Goldfish’s growth through the perspective of potential franchisees in the process of vetting a viable business opportunity, Dan watched the company evolve from an emerging concept to a household name regarded as the premier swim school of choice.

Since coming aboard Goldfish Swim School’s leadership team to champion brand expansion efforts in 2016, Dan and his team have streamlined the franchise award process and supercharged growth goals, which include bringing Goldfish Swim School’s life-saving mission to 250 communities by 2025.

Coming off the heels of a record-breaking year that propelled the brand to 100-plus schools and one million square feet of real estate, with an additional 130-plus schools in development, Goldfish remains on track for explosive growth in 2021.

Having recently signed three recent multi-school agreements in New YorkTexas and Arizona, Dan’s team continues to fuel the brand’s aggressive expansion across North America and attract single and multi-school owners—a feat he says is a testament to the company’s proven processes, replicable results and unparalleled support.

“We have an experienced leadership team of industry veterans at the helm of the company, and a dedicated support team that goes above and beyond to provide exceptional service and value for franchise owners,” he said. “Having opened 110-plus locations since 2009 (an accomplishment only 17% of franchise brands reach, with only 1% of those franchises reaching 100 locations in 10 years as we have), we have a proven process for opening swim schools and know what it takes to help franchise owners grow.”

In addition to attracting new franchise owners looking to invest in a recession-proof brand with a best-in-class consumer offering, Dan also acknowledged that existing franchise owners have been a key part of the company’s rapid growth.

“As a brand that thrives on our franchise owners’ success, we are so proud that our existing ownership groups continue to invest in additional locations because they recognize the long-term stability of our proven business model,” he said.


Goldfish’s success has not gone unnoticed in the franchise industry, as the brand continues to make waves with several recent award wins – ranking No. 11 on Franchise Times’ Fast & Serious List and No. 29 and the top swim school franchise in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2021 Franchise 500®. The company was also named a Top Franchise for 2021 by Franchise Business Review, while also making an appearance on The Inc. 5000 list for the sixth year in a row.

Consistently outranking its competition, Goldfish Swim School continues to prove itself as a top-rated and most established swim school franchise in the space. Its ability to go above and beyond to nurture a culture that provides a GOLDEN Experience! to its members is unmatched by its competition and is what drives prospective franchisees to continuously choose Goldfish.

As we continue to expand and aim to uphold our position as the industry leader in innovation, member experience and community goodwill, we’re looking for motivated individuals to join us in bringing the Golden Experience of Goldfish Swim School to even more communities across North America.

Having opened 114 swim schools to date, with many more in development, we know what it takes to build a thriving franchise and have developed a system for providing schools with the training, support and resources they need to get up and running, from site selection and construction to everything in between.

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the world of franchising or you’re looking to build your portfolio with a top-rated franchise brand, we invite you to learn more about the available markets in which Goldfish Swim School currently has opportunities and contact us with any questions you have about getting started.