Ray Titus, chief executive officer of West Palm Beach-based United Franchise Group, will be the keynote speaker during Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 13th annual MBA Awards presentation on Thursday, Jan. 26.
The event, which will be held at 6 p.m. at the Phillips Point Club in West Palm Beach, will honor entrepreneur and Palm Beach County resident Dr. Thorne Donnelley, a 1998 graduate of PBA’s Rinker School of Business, as this year’s outstanding graduate of the University’s MBA program.
Titus is the son of franchise pioneer Roy Titus, founder of Minuteman Press International, Inc., who along with Ray co-founded SIGNARAMA. As a $500 million franchising company, United Franchise Group and its affiliated businesses have experienced phenomenal growth under Titus’s leadership.
UFG is made up of five industry-leading franchise brands including SIGNARAMA, the world’s largest full-service sign business; EmbroidMe, the world’s largest embroidery franchise; Billboard Connection, a home-based advertising agency; Plan Ahead Events, a home-based event planning business; and TransWorld Business Advisors, a business brokerage and franchise development services firm.
In 2010, UFG developed nearly 200 new franchises and projects its growth trend to continue with a goal of adding up to 300 new franchise locations around the world.
Headquartered in West Palm Beach, United Franchise Group has 30 years of experience and 1,400 franchise locations in more than 50 countries.
In 2011, UFG partnered with the University to launch J.J.’s Entrepreneurs, a program developed to encourage and teach students about the benefits of entrepreneurship and owning their own business. The program includes a five-year minimum $75,000 commitment by UFG.
In 2008, Palm Beach Atlantic honored Titus as a companion medalist during its annual American Free Enterprise celebration.
|Dr. Thorne Donnelley|
Like Titus, Dr. Donnelley, this year’s MBA honoree, serves as a role model for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Dr. Donnelly owns nine Liberty Tax Service stores in the West Palm Beach area and has a goal of opening more each year. He has received certification from the IRS as a certified acceptance agent and enrolled agent.
He also is chairman of Palm Beach Maritime Foundation Ranger Project, an effort to build a replica of the USS Ranger, which under the command of John Paul Jones became the first American naval vessel to engage, capture and sink British warships in the Revolutionary War.
He previously has owned and managed several successful businesses in Florida, Iowa and California, and he is a former adjunct faculty member at Palm Beach Atlantic. Dr. Donnelley earned a DBA from Nova Southeastern University in 2004.
The event also will include the presentation of the Joe J. Eassa Jr. Scholarship to students currently in the MBA program in PBA’s Rinker School of Business.
The scholarship was established in 1998 as a tribute to Dr. Eassa, founder of the graduate business studies program and the first director of the MBA program. He presently serves as professor of graduate business studies at PBA.