Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL
I am the Executive Vice President for Signarama, which is part of United Franchise Group, a conglomerate of franchises started by my father. Signarama is the largest of United Franchise Group’s brands, and the world’s largest sign and graphics franchise in the industry. I help manage the sales team in the United States and Australia to grow the brand in new cities and regions as well as helping our existing franchise owners grow their businesses.
I began working at UFG in the Franchise Development Department where I helped educate people on our brands. I then moved to Accurate Franchising Inc., which is our consulting firm that helps business owners turn their businesses into franchises. Before my current role, I held the Operations Manager position for Signarama where I helped support our stores and their owners throughout the United States. I also just finished my MBA at the University of Miami, where I learned more about the world of business that I can bring specifically to my role.
I wish I interned at a business I could never see myself doing, like a law firm. Experiencing the business world only helps understand future clients and partners. This also helps you look at the world with a different point of view.
"Go in with an open="open" mind. This may not be your forever job."
PBA helped me prepare for work extremely well. The International Business focus helped me immensely in the role I have now as I talk with our office in Australia regularly and a number of other countries we have a presence in. Through other organizations (I was President of Student Government Association for two years, and involved in other groups) at PBA, I learned to understand, communicate, and do business so much better than just by sitting in classes. The classes were good, but the experiences solidified.
Go in with an open="open" mind. This may not be your forever job. Ask a lot of questions - you do not know what you do not know. Take as many people out to lunch in your new role to understand the company culture and their history with the company. Do the same with your previous professors. The learning doesn’t stop with your degree.
Absolutely! I have a couple of different mentors in my life. My grandfather started a mentoring program at United Franchise Group years before I started there. I am currently mentored by 3 people within the company including my father. Mentoring has been paramount in my group throughout my life. Go seek a mentor at your company, or tell your manager that you want to be mentored and ask if there are any suggestions.
Spotlight posted in February 2018. For current updates from A.J., visit his LinkedIn page.