Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

A Look Back at 2022: A Year of Upward Mobility in Franchising

Since March 2020, there have been countless media stories about the Great Resignation, where frustrated workers have been quitting jobs in droves. You would never know it’s an issue in franchising. The industry saw countless new jobs, hires, and promotions in 2022. And we know it firsthand because we have reported about it on FranchiseWire with our HireWire series.

In the International Franchise Association‘s 2022 Franchising Economic Outlook, there was a reported 775,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.2 million direct jobs. Franchising creates jobs every day — not just locally — but also at the corporate level.

No matter your position in the franchise industry — founder, consultant, marketing, field operations, or sales — there are endless opportunities for upward mobility. Franchise industry professionals are hired or promoted seemingly every day.

Here is a compilation of notable franchise industry jobs, new hires and promotions from 2022. This lengthy list proves that upward mobility is alive and well in franchising.

December 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

  • Ashley Love was announced as the first-ever CFO for Clean Juice, a leading juice bar franchise.
  • The United Franchise Group (UFG) promoted Cory Hibbard to president of Graze Craze and Andrew Titus to president of Fully Promoted.
  • Patrick Cunningham was appointed vice president of development for Little Caesars.
  • Donatos Pizza announced several new promotions. Tony Capuano was named vice president of franchise operations; Cheryl Bergsman was announced as the pizza brand’s first-ever vice president of field training and ops excellence; and Brian Thompson was tapped as vice president of company operations.
  • Sarah Hamp became CMO for FullSpeed Automotive.

November 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

  • Mathnasium, a math tutoring franchise, named Kevin Shen CDO.
  • Celebree School named David Floyd vice president of franchise development.
  • Smalls Sliders, a Louisiana-based burger concept, appointed Maria Rivera as CEO.
  • Item 9 Labs Corp., a cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator, named Mike Weinberger CEO.
  • David Tarr was appointed vice president of franchise development for Best Life Brands.
  • Jessica Will was tapped as vice president of operations for The Dog Stop.
  • Christine Piecyk was promoted to director of operations of the International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG).
  • Melissa Smith became the chief human resources officer for Ascent Hospitality Management.
  • Adam Klaers was appointed executive vice president of Roy Rogers Restaurants.
  • Elias Reyna was named chief people and diversity officer for Papa Johns.
  • BRIX Holdings tapped Sherif Mityas as CEO. Dawn Petite was also appointed president for Friendly’s Restaurant Group.
  • Central Bark named Tim Weiderhoft vice president of franchise development.

October 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

September 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

  • SweatHouz tapped Dr. Rachelle Reed as chief health and science officer.
  • Matt Otskey was named executive vice president of operations of IFPG.
  • Franchise Supplier Network appointed Dean Hatzitheodosiou as chief sales officer.
  • Rob Lancit was tapped as vice president of franchise development for Stratus Building Solutions.
  • BrandONE announced Heather McPherson as vice president of franchise development.
  • Krista Olsen was appointed director of operations for Moms on the Run.
  • Gerardo Flores was named CDO of Marco’s Pizza.
  • Donatos Pizza tapped Jodie Conrad as CMO.
  • Batteries Plus announced a trio of promotions. Joe Malmuth was promoted to chief franchising officer; Vic Daher was elevated to vice president of franchise development; and Brandon Mangual was named managing director of franchise development.
  • A.Y. Strauss added Stephanie Blumstein as partner of its franchise group.
  • Patrick Sommer was appointed vice president of franchise development for REP’M Group.
  • Ron Bender became senior director of franchise development for Threshold Brands, a corporate franchisor of home services brands.
  • McDonald’s appointed Jon Banner as vice president and global chief impact officer.

August 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

July 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

June 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

May 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

April 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

March 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

February 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

January 2022: Franchise Industry Jobs, New Hires and Promotions

  • Michael White was named president of Venture X.
  • Jeff Dudan became chairman and CEO of Homefront Brands.
  • Mark Behrens was named director of franchise development for Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.
  • Jason Anderson was tapped as president of Coworks.
  • Sherry Rose was appointed CEO of Stellar Service Brands.
  • Brady Lee was named president of Graze Craze.
  • Scott Krupa was promoted to vice president of franchise development for Propelled Brands.
  • PIRTEK USA tapped Mike McCarthy as COO.
  • The DRIPBaR appointed Ben Crosbie as CEO.

Should You Go to School for Franchising?

While there has been a lot of upward mobility in franchising, surprisingly many executives in franchising fell into the industry without a formal degree. A conundrum these days is whether to go to school for franchising or take the plunge and work right away. Schools like Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Titus Center for Franchising and the University of Louisville understand the importance of including franchising in business curricula to give entrepreneurial young people key insight into the benefits of the booming industry.

When recruiting franchisees, most franchisors don’t require a degree in franchising — or any degree at all. Franchise business owners can succeed by following the proven system. With support and training from a franchisor, franchisees usually need little to no experience to do well. Franchising levels the playing field and gives entrepreneurs from all backgrounds the opportunity to achieve financial freedom.

Yes, You Can Buy a Franchise In a Bad Economy — But First, Ask These 5 Questions

A step-by-step guide on what to find out before you sign.

We all have big questions about the economy. Are we heading into a recession? Are we already in one? How high can interest rates go? Will inflation cool anytime soon? How long will “help wanted” signs linger? Where is the stock market’s bottom?

But in the franchise world, people are often asking this: Is now still a good time to buy a franchise?

Industry experts say yes — but your approach should be different than in boom times.

First, let’s consider the emotional reality: “We have more people interested in owning and operating franchises, because they just don’t have the same belief system in the old-fashioned, stable job,” says franchise executive coach Rick Grossmann, coauthor of Franchise Bible. The pandemic caused many people to rethink what they expect from work; they began to see long-term jobs as precarious, single streams of income.

As a result, many went into business for themselves. In the past year alone, some 83% of people surveyed said the pandemic accelerated their plans to start their own businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, even after the wave of business creation in 2020 and 2021, corporate registrations are still above pre-pandemic levels.

Everyone seems to want more flexibility, resiliency, and control — and that’s exactly what attracts many people to franchising. Plus, Grossmann says, a strong economy that started a few years before COVID hit — and a strong real estate market — have created a very qualified group of franchise buyers. “People have a lot of equity in their homes, and there are still people with money in the bank and good credit,” he says. “It’s a perfect storm for franchise ownership.”

But that’s not to say it’s a gold rush, with people grabbing any opportunity they can. Quite the opposite: Industry insiders say they’re seeing increasing selectiveness among prospective franchisees.

“The number of brands that franchisees are considering right now has been reduced,” says Joe Malmuth, chief franchising officer at Batteries Plus. “They used to look at three or four; now they’re looking at one or two. And it’s not the same mix they used to consider. They’re very focused on fast food, but only with drive-thru. It’s home services, but it has to be essential services. Franchise candidates are looking for stable things.”

In other words, people are not just looking for any opportunity — they’re looking for the right opportunity for right now.

So, how can you figure that out for yourself? Start by asking these five key questions — each of which will help you identify a brand’s strength and stability, and help anticipate what might come next.

Question 1How resilient is the brand, and for how long?

In 2021, potential Batteries Plus franchisees would always ask the same question: How did the brand do during the pandemic?

But now they’re drilling deeper, Malmuth says. Some will also ask how the brand did during the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009, and some even investigate as far back as the dot-com bust.

They’re also asking different questions depending on their age — because the age of a potential franchisee has started to radically shift.

These days, Malmuth says, about half of franchise buyers are millennials, meaning many of them were still schoolkids when the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s. “They saw what the last recession did to Gen X and Baby Boomers,” he says, “and now they’re in a position to make that decision themselves.”

That means they’re approaching with caution, but also optimism. They want to ensure as much stability as possible, because they like to think of franchise ownership as a job you can’t get fired from, Malmuth says. For this reason, he says, he also talks to them about franchise ownership as a way to add new streams of income to their lives — because they might be able to work a day job and have a franchise on the side, or eventually buy multiple franchises. “It’s the same mentality as having a diversified portfolio,” he says.

Meanwhile, older franchisees are thinking about a different kind of resilience. They often see franchises as a more resilient form of a retirement plan: As they near retirement age, they feel more comfortable with their money inside of a business than having it in the stock market.

“There’s a lot of franchise opportunities that you can get into with a couple hundred thousand dollars from your 401(k),” says Jason Anderson, president of the flexible-workspace franchise Office Evolution. “People are now looking to do something else with that 401(k), and they see an opportunity to make a higher return.”

Older franchisees are also thinking about resale value. They want to know if, when they retire and sell their franchise, they’ll be able to get good value for it. “We want to help them maximize their return on investment,” Anderson says, “even if it means selling their location.”

Anderson believes that franchisees will be in a good spot to do that. “A franchise operation can sell for a little more than a mom-and-pop business,” he says. “If you buy Jim’s Burgers and Jim is no longer there, people wonder, Where’s Jim? Customers may not want to be there anymore if they don’t like the new guy. With a franchise, that’s not always an issue because there’s a system in place. The brand has a value that’s independent of the owner.”

Question 2: Is this business essential?

The term essential business took on a whole new meaning during the pandemic, as it became the dividing line between which businesses could operate during lockdowns and which couldn’t. Today, potential franchisees are using the phrase in a different way: They want to know which brands are essential to people’s lives — and which products or services customers will stick with, no matter what.

That type of thinking is driving interest at many different brands, including Floyd’s 99 Barbershop. “Most people can’t cut their own hair,” says Joe Zemla, the company’s senior director of franchising. “People have to get their hair cut.”

When potential franchisees ask how the company did during past economic downturns, Zemla and his team are happy to share the numbers. The Great Recession drove some of Floyd’s strongest years, and the brand’s franchise shops had their highest number of new shop openings in 2021. “It was a 20% growth rate in 2021,” he says. “And also, several of our existing franchise partners signed new development agreements during COVID. That shows us that they have confidence in us as a brand, especially at such a challenging time.”

What else is “essential” these days? It’s varied. Luke Schulte, executive director of franchise development at Handyman Connection, says his business model is essential because handymen work on small-but-important renovations that homeowners and business owners continue to need during down times.

“Those small-to-medium-sized projects will always be there, regardless of what’s happening with the price of supplies and bigger projects,” he says.

Brands will also point to certain elements of their services as a way of identifying what will keep customers coming back in hard times. That’s what Joe Hummel does as the CEO of lodge-themed restaurant Twin Peaks. Because his restaurants also function as sports bars, he says, they can feel like an essential part of consumers’ lives — even if those consumers start cutting back on dining out overall.

“Sports are never going away,” he says. “We own the sports market. When you look at our brand being married with sports, people see us as a safe harbor.”

Question 3: Is the brand adapting to a changing economy?

People have had to get creative these past few years. They’re changing careers, rethinking their lives, and adjusting their spending habits. Now they’re asking if brands can do the same.

Doug Bostick, president of quick-service Italian restaurant brand Fazoli’s, has ready answers. Among them, he says, the brand has gotten creative about solving its labor shortages. One solution: Fazoli’s started prompting consumers to add a tip to their bill, despite tipping not historically being the norm in fast-casual spaces.

“That helps inflate the average hourly wage,” Bostick says, which in turn builds employee loyalty and drives down turnover. The average worker can see almost an extra $1 per hour because of the change. “It was one of those things where, two or three years ago, I just didn’t want to do it,” Bostick says. “To me, it’s a negative for our guests, for the consumer. But I tested it, and the guests seemed to want to participate in it, so we rolled it out. We have it in about 75% of our franchise locations now.”

Fazoli’s has also found ways to lower franchisees’ startup costs — in part by helping them build out locations in existing, repurposed restaurants. “We have been converting Steak ‘n Shakes, Pizza Huts — something that already has a drive-thru on it,” he says. “Everybody wants a brand-new building, but in today’s world, a second-gen build cuts off almost two-thirds of your cost.”

Hummel has found similar savings when helping franchisees select locations for Twin Peaks.

“You get probably a 30% reduction in build-out costs with a second-generation rebuild,” he says. “We’ve converted so many types of buildings. Our brand — our ambience — lends itself to a lot of different structures. We need street presence and parking. We can make the rest of it work.”

Malmuth, of Batteries Plus, says that new franchisees also like seeing brands adapt to new ways of marketing. They want brands that can reach consumers wherever they are.

“The one thing the pandemic did was change where you market and how you market,” he says. “We’ve seen an uptick in advertising when you log into something like Netflix and Hulu, and they play an ad right at the top. We’ve shifted advertising to that because that’s where the eyes are.”

Question 4Is the franchise compatible with a day job?

There was a wave of new franchisees during the pandemic. Now comes the second wave — it’s those new franchisees’ friends, who watched what happened and were inspired to follow along. But these people are not always ready to swap their day job for a franchise. Instead, brand leaders say, they’re often hearing from prospective franchisees who want to do both.

For that reason, more franchise brands are now promoting the idea that people can buy in without giving up an existing career. Handyman Connection, for instance, started offering a manager-led business model in the past year.

“Before, we wanted somebody who was going to come in and work the business 40 hours a week,” Schulte says. “You were the general manager who did all the hiring and customer management. Now, we have a model for our franchisees that hires a manager to do the heavy lifting, and you manage the manager. You need more capital to do that, but you get time back. Maybe you put 20 hours a week into the business instead of 40 hours a week. That way, you don’t necessarily have to quit your job.”

What’s driving the shift? Leaders trace it back to another shift in work: As hybrid and remote work seem here to stay, workers are thinking more creatively. “Time off and time on has gotten fuzzier,” he says. “You can take a call from your manager pretty much anytime, instead of having to sneak out at lunchtime from an office.”

Jason Stowe, vice president of franchise development at Cyberbacker, says he’s seeing a lot of real estate agents and business coaches show interest in his brand for similar reasons. Cyberbacker provides virtual assistants at an affordable price point. While a real estate agent might have to pay about $45,000 for a full-time administrative assistant, he says, Cyberbacker can provide the same level of assistance for $1,300 to $1,800 a month — a sales pitch that one real estate agent can give to others during downtime.

“They can continue doing what they do,” Stowe says, “but now they have an opportunity to create wealth in a different form, utilizing the network they already have.”

Of course, there are also franchises whose entire business model is premised on flexible work. That includes Office Evolution, which provides flexible workspaces and is increasingly serving people who can work from home, but still really want to get out of the house.

“We’ve seen a surge in coworking demand,” says Anderson, Office Evolution’s president. “We’re seeing corporations move their people out of traditional office space and into flexible office space. We have law firms that will rent our conference rooms for a week to handle depositions. We have international language teachers who come in to work in the middle of the night because of the time zone differences.”

Even sectors like insurance, which have always had a downtown presence, are now turning to this model, he says. “If you drive down Main Street, there’s some random office where an agent pays for that office, and nobody ever comes into that office,” he says. “You’re seeing those kinds of major brands move to flexible spaces. It simply makes more sense.”

Question 5Can consumers still afford you?

If there really is a major economic crash, consumers will change their spending habits. They’ll buy less and become more price-sensitive. Potential franchisees should be anticipating this, which is why they need to be asking: What do these products or services cost, and will people continue to be able to pay for them?

At Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, that question is baked into the brand’s sales pitch. “Not many clients will trade down and go to the value-type hair cutters, but we will see them trade down from a high-end salon to Floyd’s,” Zemla says. “And once they give us a shot, a high percentage stay with us. That’s what we saw in 2008 and 2009 too. It helps our brand flourish.”

Similarly, Hummel says the average per-person check at a Twin Peaks restaurant is $21, an amount that most people can still muster when times get tough — especially if they feel like they’re getting good value for that money.

“People don’t feel like they’re dining down,” he says. “You can get a hand-cut New York steak or a cheeseburger and feel like you had a really great experience on both ends.”

So, what next?

Nothing is guaranteed, of course. Even the most recession-proof business models can still stumble. That’s why any franchise expert will advise you to do a ton of research, including speaking with a lawyer and existing franchisees, to make an educated decision about which brand to buy into, particularly with big, looming questions about the economy.

These five questions are only the start — but they’re a good start, because they investigate a brand from multiple angles. You want to know what the brand is doing to serve consumers during hard times, but also what’s on the minds of those consumers. Because ultimately, in an economic downturn, success will rest upon this one question: How valuable is this brand in people’s lives now?

“Stability is important, but the world has changed in terms of how people have shopped and how people consume,” Malmuth says. “There is still trepidation in certain areas. Making sure you’re getting into an essential industry is incredibly important.”

Five United Franchise Group affiliated brands named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s prestigious franchise 500® ranking

Fully Promoted, Office Evolution, Signarama, Transworld Business Advisors and Venture X are recognized in one of the most competitive rankings in its 44-year history.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL, January 12, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Five brands affiliated with United Franchise Group™ (UFG), the global leader for entrepreneurs, have been named to Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500®, the world’s first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking. UFG brands Fully Promoted®, Office Evolution®, Signarama®, Transworld Business Advisors® and Venture X® were recognized in the 2023 list for their outstanding performance in several key indicators of brand quality.

This is one of several consecutive years on the ranking for four of the UFG-affiliated brands:

– UFG’s largest affiliated brand Signarama has appeared on the ranking for over 20 consecutive years, coming in at #130 this year.
– This year also marks the 20th consecutive year that Fully Promoted has appeared on the Franchise 500, ranking #1 in the Embroidery & Screen Printing category, #429 overall.
– Transworld Business Advisors ranked #1 in the Business Brokerages category and remained in the top 100 franchises this year, ranking #86. 2023 is the brand’s third consecutive year in the top 100 after debuting on the list in 2013.
– Office Evolution, which has appeared annually on the ranking since 2017, came in at #380 this year.
– Additionally, Venture X ranked #1 in the Coworking Spaces category, #361 overall; 2023 marks the brand’s third year on the Franchise 500.

Published annually, the Franchise 500 list is a highly sought honor that has become both a dominant competitive measure for franchisors and a primary research tool for prospective franchise owners. The 2023 edition was compiled in one of the most competitive selection processes ever.

“The past year underscores the extraordinary opportunities that the franchise industry presents for entrepreneurs of all levels,” said Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur Editor-in-chief. “The companies named to our 44th annual Franchise 500® list represent some of the most innovative, creative and trusted brands across many industries and highlight what it takes to build the kind of momentum that drives long-lasting success.”

The UFG brands were chosen from a formidable field of 1,321 brands that applied for the 2023 list; the applicants comprised a worldwide total of 646,484 units that were open and operating as of July 31, 2022. Of those, less than 38% made it into Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500®. The 500 honorees represented 590,971 units, or 91% of all units globally.

To choose the final 500 honorees, Entrepreneur’s editorial team researches and assesses several factors, including costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength and financial strength and stability. Each franchise is scored using an analysis of more than 150 data points and is then ranked on the list in order of its cumulative score.

“It’s an honor to have just one brand named to the Franchise 500 list, but having five members of our family of affiliated brands – many of them for several consecutive years – is an incredible achievement,” said Ray Titus, founder and CEO of UFG. “These brands being part of this prestigious ranking reinforces the strength and viability of their concepts and is a reflection of the dedication and talents of each franchise owner. It gives us added momentum that will continue driving for results in 2023 and we look forward to a successful year ahead.”

Fully Promoted, Office Evolution, Signarama, Transworld Business Advisors and Venture X are part of the UFG family of affiliated brands and consultants, giving them access to a global network of resources and nearly four decades of franchise industry expertise. Each brand’s inclusion in the Franchise 500 is a testament to their concept’s strength as franchise opportunities.

To view the full ranking, visit Results can also be seen in the January/February 2023 issue of Entrepreneur, available on newsstands on January 17.

About United Franchise Group   

Led by CEO Ray Titus, United Franchise Group™ (UFG) is home to an affiliated family of brands and consultants including Accurate Franchising Inc.™, Exit Factor™, FranchiseMart®, Fully Promoted®, Signarama®, Transworld Business Advisors®, and the Coworks™ division consisting of Franchise Real Estate™, Network Lead Exchange™ (NLX), Office Evolution® (OE) and Venture X® as well as a food division featuring Graze Craze® and The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill®. UFG affiliated brands include over 1600 franchises in more than 60 countries, with consultants that have helped develop over 350 brands into franchises, in over 80 countries with more than 2500 franchisees.  With over three decades in the franchising industry United Franchise Group offers unprecedented leadership and solid business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Empowering the Next Generation of Franchising with AJ Titus

AJ Titus of United Franchise Group and Signarama joins the Pillars team this week. As a second generation franchise executive and the son of the titan of franchising, Ray Titus, AJ has learned valuable lessons growing up in the business, and has taken on leadership roles in both UFG and Signarama. On this episode we will discuss how AJ views his leadership role, earns the respect of his team and works to continue the Titus legacy.

We also welcome a father son duo from Dale Carnegie on Part II of our series, Franchising: The Gift the Keeps Giving. David Wright and his son, Jonny Wright, join Karen Kimsey-Sward to discuss the highs and lows and lessons learned navigating business with family. How does each generation learn from the other and empower the other to contribute.

Ray Pillar returns in his new segment,  Pillar’s Pillar with Ray, as he and Fred discuss the first Pillar of Franchising – Finding the Right Opportunity.

As usual, tune in for our Million Dollar Mentors, Kristin Selmeczy CEO of Pillars and owner of Molly Maid and Jerry Akers of Great Clips.

Listen live to new episodes on Thursdays at 4p central. Call in on Thursdays at 323-580-5755.

Interested in buying a franchise? Join the Million Dollar Franchisee Mentor program

John Hayes, Professor for Franchise Leadership, Titus Center for Franchising


United Franchise Group Promotes Cory Hibbard to President of Graze Craze

United Franchise Group Promotes Cory Hibbard to President of Graze Craze

Hibbard will Oversee the Charcuterie Board Franchise’s Expansion and More

United Franchise Group (UFG), a leading franchise development corporation, promoted Cory Hibbard to president of Graze Craze. Hibbard will oversee the charcuterie board franchise’s global expansion and work with the leadership team to execute its short- and long-term goals.

Graze Craze is a strong concept in an untapped market. [Its] potential is endless, and the opportunity for growth and success is, as well,” Hibbard said. He is “excited to help build and grow a company that is already on a rapid rise to the top. I’m honored by the opportunity to team up with a great group of driven entrepreneurs to make Graze Craze a household name.”

He adds that Graze Craze will stay ahead of the curve by never becoming complacent with its growth and success. “We will absolutely celebrate our successes, but we won’t let them cloud our hunger to grow and innovate. This will ensure that we’re always providing the best experience to our customers.”

Cory Hibbard, Graze Craze
Cory Hibbard is the new president of Graze Craze. 

Prior to transitioning to Graze Craze, Hibbard spent the last 7-1/2 out of his eight years with UFG building and growing Transworld Business Advisors (TBA), a business brokerage franchise. Along with the leadership team, Hibbard grew TBA to more than 350 locations, 700 brokers, and over $3 billion in active inventory. Throughout his time with TBA, Hibbard was its operations, technology, and marketing support until it grew into a team with specialists in each area. Hibbard has spent the last five years overseeing the day-to-day at TBA as director of operations and then vice president of operations.

“As the vice president of operations, I’ve overseen the support team, digital marketing initiatives, national accounts, franchisee relations, and overall network success.”

Ray Titus, CEO of UFG, is thrilled to have Hibbard on board. “Going into 2023, we wanted to have a dedicated president for Graze Craze to lead the brand through a pivotal period in its development, so we are excited to have Cory join the team. He has been with United Franchise Group for eight years and was instrumental in the success of one of our fastest-growing brands, Transworld Business Advisors. Cory has proven himself to be a strong and capable business leader, and we couldn’t think of anyone more fitting to come into this special brand and take it to new heights.”

Hibbard has a marketing degree from the Rinker School of Business at Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University, where he now serves on the board for the Titus Center for Franchising.

The Titus Center for Franchising

For Hibbard, it has been an honor giving back to the school that kick-started his career and the vessel that led him to UFG. “A.J. Titus, President of UFG and Signarama, and I went to PBA together,” Hibbard said.

After starting his career in the startup space, Hibbard reached out to A.J. to learn more about UFG and its global impact. “A few years after joining the company, Ray had a vision to provide a unique franchising tract for students looking to start the entrepreneurial journey straight out of college. The success stories and mentorships that have already developed through the early years of the program make you proud to be a part of something like the Titus Center.”

Advice for Prospective Franchise Owners

For prospective franchise owners, Hibbard advises trusting companies with a proven track record. “I’ve been blessed to have been coached and mentored by pioneers in the franchise industry here at UFG, but the industry is full of expertise and proven systems. The ones leading the industry are hungry to share their knowledge. A good franchisor is focused on franchisee success first and foremost; when that happens, everything else falls into place.”

Franchisors can make the development process easier for franchisees by listening to them as well as their leadership team and customers, Hibbard said. “I’ve learned over the years that many of the best ideas we ever have implemented have come from franchisees thinking outside of the box.”

United Franchise Group Promotes Taylor Gregory to Director of Marketing

United Franchise Group Promotes Taylor Gregory to Director of Marketing

Gregory will Assist with Franchise Sales and Franchisee Marketing

United Franchise Group (UFG), a leading franchise development company, has promoted Taylor Gregory to director of marketing. She was recently UFG’s director of franchise development. As director of marketing, Gregory will assist with franchise sales and franchisee marketing. She is also responsible for UFG’s franchise development budget, managing the franchise development team and vendor accounts, and contributing to the UFG internship program.

“I’m so excited to move into this new role here at UFG! I’m ready to take my current knowledge of the brands and franchise lead generation and sales into my position as director of marketing. I also can’t wait to see the growth that will come from my time here in this new position as I help elevate UFG into an even bigger player in the franchise industry,” Gregory said.

Gregory adds that UFG created National Women in Franchising Appreciation Day, and she knows there are a lot greater things to come at UFG. “I look forward to working directly under Ray Titus, our CEO, and helping make his visions come to life.”

In Gregory’s view, UFG has done a great job investing in and growing its team. “They spend time training us and give us opportunities in roles that many other places probably wouldn’t. This shows the level of opportunity and success our employees have here. I’m a perfect example of what that looks like.”

More Behind UFG

Over the course of her three years at UFG, Gregory climbed the ladder from an entry level sales position to marketing coordinator. She took on the role of director of franchise development after seeing amazing success and growth in the department. “Our company is on track to have a record year for franchise sales with me in that role. If you can prove yourself here, you will be given great opportunities and that’s what I love so much about this company.”

To Gregory, the access that franchisees have to UFG’s network of franchise partners is beneficial. “That’s why events like our UFG Expo last year are so inspiring and powerful. I believe in the coming years we are going to pose ourselves more and more as thought leaders in franchising. There is so much knowledge and great people here now. We just have to go and share more of that with the world.”

She adds that UFG is big on philanthropy. For example, the Titus Center for Franchising at Palm Beach Atlantic University gives back to underserved entrepreneurial students. “I know we’ll continue to build and grow here making this a place for continued success; not only for our franchisees but for our employees, as well.”

Gregory’s Background

Like many people at UFG, Gregory was referred to the company. “I knew someone who worked at UFG and spoke very highly of the organization. When the time came for me to move back to West Palm Beach, Fla. after graduating from Southeastern University, I interviewed for a sales role at UFG and have loved it ever since.”

Gregory has loved marketing from a young age. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a YouTuber. I loved watching people online, and I loved TV commercials. As I got into college and was taking general business classes, marketing, by far, became my favorite. I remember having to create a marketing plan for a new product I came up with, and I was so passionate about the project.”

For entrepreneurs looking to get into the industry, Gregory urges doing research. “There are many opportunities out there, and you want to make sure you are choosing a brand that is the right fit for you. Ask yourself if you can follow a system. And if so, which support team, brand and types of returns are you looking for? Then once you choose the right one for you, work hard at it! If you work hard and follow the system, you’ll see success.”

Originally posted on: Franchisewire