Ray Titus, UFG Launch Titus Center for Franchising
Seeded by a $1.5 million gift to Palm Beach Atlantic University, United Franchise Group founder and CEO Ray Titus has helped form the Titus Center for Franchising that will teach franchise-specific coursework to college students interested in pursuing a career in the franchise industry.
Calling this a dream that’s been in the making for more than a decade, Titus said he hopes the endowment and subsequent college classes will spur others in the franchise industry to support this and other efforts to get more young people involved in franchising to the benefit of his company, headquartered near the school, as well as other employers in the industry.
“We’re going to work with these young folks to become great employees,” Titus said. “We’re going to be working with them in every different facet [of franchising] and we’ve already had a dozen employees eaching in the first class” that has already begun at the school.
A dedication ceremony for the program at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida, was held November 15 and was attended by IFA Chairman Robert Cresanti who flew down from Washington for the occasion.
“We’ve already had 2 of the 17 [enrolled] students talking about owning either a master license or their own franchise now, right away,” Titus added. “The bulk of them want to own their own business and own their own franchise within the next three years, so it’s exciting to spark that interest and help them take the next step.”
Beyond coursework at Palm Beach Atlantic, a portion of the students involved will serve internships at United Franchise Group, which is the parent of nine different franchised brands including Signarama, Experimac, SuperGreen Solutions and Jon Smith Subs with 1,600 franchisees in 80 countries.
Asked about his motivation for such a large charitable donation, Titus said it was his largest gift to date and it’s his way of giving back to both his local community and the wider franchising industry.
“From my standpoint, what are we here for?” he asked. “We work really hard, we have great lives, and when it’s all said and done … my pastor says we don’t have to give, we get to give and I agree with him.”
He hopes other franchisors join the program, whether it’s coming in to speak with students, offering internship opportunities or providing financial support to the programming.
“We’re going to need many other franchise companies to get involved and see the great opportunity to get close to these students and build and tell their story,” he said. “The more success stories we have, it’s really going to attract a lot of other franchise companies to come to the table.”
Titus urged anyone interested in getting involved to contact Palm Beach Atlantic University directly or to visit TitusCenterForFranchising.com.