Franchising titan Ray Titus, CEO of United Franchise Group, will receive the University’s American Free Enterprise Medal on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
Titus has elevated franchising from a career to a calling. His philosophies on growth, positive attitude and family have driven success. He founded the first Signarama store in 1986 and applied his successful business model to other business-to-business brands, which include Fully Promoted, Transworld Business Advisors, Venture X, Network Lead Exchange and Resource Operations International. United Franchise Group welcomed a food division featuring Jon Smith Subs, The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill and Graze Craze. Today, UFG has more than 1,600 franchises in 80 countries and yet remains a family business.
Titus and his wife, Andrea, have lived in Palm Beach County for over 30 years. Their three sons, as well as their three nephews and daughter-in-law, chose careers within UFG. His enterprising spirit was cultivated by his father Roy — a franchising legend and founder of Minuteman Press.
In 2018, Titus was honored for his leadership when UFG received the coveted “E” Award, a high honor given by the U.S. president for significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports. Signarama was recognized with the award in 2007.
Titus and his family made a significant gift to Palm Beach Atlantic University to establish the Titus Center for Franchising and an endowed scholarship for select Marshall E. Rinker Sr. School of Business students seeking a career in franchising. Titus’ son A.J. and daughter-in-law Laura are graduates of Palm Beach Atlantic. Titus established the United Franchise Group Foundation, a charitable fund, more than 15 years ago.
Titus influences people on a global scale as he creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to gain financial independence and establish their legacy for future generations.
The medal ceremony is 11 a.m. in the Greene Complex for Sports and Recreation, 1100 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 803-2025. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the University’s American Free Enterprise Day celebration, which honors individuals whose hard work and achievement exemplify the best of the American free enterprise system.
Later that day, two previous American Free Enterprise companion medalists will join Titus to present “Everything I Needed to Learn About Business I Learned in a Franchise.” Rob Morris, a multi-unit Chick-fil-A franchisee and 2016 companion medalist, and Geoff Seiber, CEO of FranFund and 2019 companion medalist, are the other panelists. The franchising experts will share their experiences 3 p.m. Tuesday in the University’s Warren Library, 300 Pembroke Place in West Palm Beach.
The first American Free Enterprise Day celebration took place in 1984, and the event has become a tradition at Palm Beach Atlantic. Previous medal recipients include Y. Michele Kang, founder and CEO of Cognosante, 2019; George T. Elmore, president of Hardrives, Inc., 2018; David C. Novak, co-founder, retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands Inc., 2017; Kenneth Langone, founder of Invemed Associates and co-founder of The Home Depot, 2016; Leo A. Vecellio, Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Vecellio Group, Inc., 2015; Arthur L. Williams, Jr., A.L. Williams & Associates, 2014; Tim Gannon, a co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc., 2013; Brian P. Burns, BF Enterprises Inc., 2012; H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr., Huizenga Holdings, Inc., 2011; Edward M. Kobel, DeBartolo Development, LLC, 2010; John D. MacArthur, insurance and real estate entrepreneur, 2009; John M. Gregory, SJ Strategic Investments, LLC, 2008; Karl H. Watson, CEMEX, 2007; Stuart W. Epperson, Salem Communications Corporation, 2004; Sam Moore, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2003; Joseph R. Gregory, Kingsway LLC, 2002; Lester J. Woerner, Woerner Holdings, Inc, 2001; Rich DeVos, 2000, Orlando Magic; John J. Brogan, 1999; Thomas R. Pledger, Dycom Industries, 1998; Carl DeSantis, Rexall Sundown, Inc., 1997; Lowell “Bud” Paxson, Paxson Communications Corp., 1996; Richard S. Johnson, Johnson Investment Group, 1995; David Mahoney, Charles A. Dana Foundation, 1994; William G. Lassiter, Jr., W.G. Lassiter Co., Inc., 1993; Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., The Dreyfoos Group, 1992; S. Bradford “Skeet” Rymer, Jr., Magic Chef, 1991; S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A, 1990; Stewart Morris, Stewart Information Services Corp. and the Hugh J. Andersen Foundation, 1989; Frederick M. Supper, Alexander Proudfoot Co., 1988; Henry J. Rolfs, Downtown/Uptown West Palm Beach, 1987; Theodore R. Johnson, United Parcel Service, 1986; Marshall E. Rinker, Sr., Rinker Materials Corp., 1985; and Sir John M. Templeton, Templeton World Funds Ltd., 1984.