UFG’s Plan Ahead Events Franchise: What Happened?

What happened to the Plan Ahead Events franchise?  Did Kristie Saucerman & Ghassan Barazi tank the concept, or was it too far gone when they took over?  United Franchise Group (UFG) has a history of franchise brands disappearing without explanation.  What happened to the 56 still on board when the ship went down?  by Sean Kelly as part of theBehind the Curtain:  United Franchise Group” web series.

)  Do you know what happened to the United Franchise Group (UFG) franchisees who invested $45,855 to $65,245 for an aggressively promoted  franchise opportunity called Plan Ahead Events?

UFG Plan Ahead Events FranchiseWe are seeking information and viewpoints to better understand what happens when United Franchise Group (UFG) jettisons franchise concepts and franchisees of brands like Plan Ahead Events, Billboard Connection, IZON Global Media, and Supergreen Solutions.

We fear the failed and failing Experimac / Experimax computer store franchise will be the next to vanish.

Please share what you know with a comment below or via confidential email to the author at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.Com.

What Killed UFG’s Plan Ahead Events Franchise?  RIP 2008 – 2014

Here’s what we know:

January 2007  UFG’s Plan Ahead Events Inc. was incorporated as a Florida Corporation.

Ray Titus was listed as CEO, David E. Cary as Registered Agent

From 2008 – 2014, according to Plan Ahead Events franchise Disclosure Documents:

  • Plan Ahead Event Franchises Opened:  139
  • Franchises Exited (Failures):     96
  • Franchise Turnover (Failure) Rate:  69%

Plan Ahead Events Had a High Failure Rate.  Ownership Was Transferred.  It Then Disappeared.

…since the franchise company seems to have ceased operating and supporting franchisees altogether, a failure rate of 100% is likely more accurate.

January 2015  PAE Franchises, Inc. incorporated  in the State of Florida

February 15, 2015, PAE Franchises, Inc. acquired from Plan Ahead Events, Inc., a Florida corporation ( the “Predecessor Company”), that corporation’s Plan Ahead Events franchise agreements for agencies
then operating in the United States, master license agreements for certain foreign countries, the trademark “Plan Ahead Events” and related websites, domain names and email addresses.

March 20, 2015  PAE Franchises, Inc.  changed its name to Plan Ahead Events, Inc. 2121 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33411.

As of May 2015 the new franchisor began offering this franchises and had 59 franchises “operating world-wide…” according to its 2015 FDD

In place of Ray Titus, CEO and  Tipton Shonkwiler, President, the 2015 FDD lists as management:

  • Ghassan Barazi – President and Treasurer
    President and Treasurer of the Company since January 2015
    President and Chief Executive Officer, National Franchise Group, Inc. located in Mississauga, Ontario from August 2011 to the present
    President and CEO of CARE Imaging and CI Pharma located in Mississauga, Ontario from August 2008 to July 2011.
  • Kristie Saucerman – Chief Executive Officer
    Chief Executive Officer of the Company since March 2015
    Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Auction Frog located in Boise, Idaho from August, 2007 to February 2015

Auction Frog’s Kristie Saucerman’s Leadership Failed to Save The Failing Concept

In March, 2015 Kristie Saucerman took the helm of the leaking ship.

At some point, that year the corporate address changed from UFG’s West Palm Beach address to Saucerman’s home state:  3050 N. Lake Harbor Lane #216 Boise, Idaho 83703 Ph: (800) 379-1092

One nasty comment left on an article about her

  April 29, 2016  Bobby says:  “Worst CEO ever. Has no clue what she is doing and its no wonder franchisee’s are doing all they can to jump ship. What a joke.”

However, a former Plan Ahead Event franchisee we interviewed said that by the time Kristie Saucerman took the wheel, the ship was already sinking:

Tipton was either promoted or moved somewhere else and a woman named Kristi Saucerman took over his position.

I guess she was trying to salvage what was left of the franchise…

By the time she came on, many other PAE franchisees were looking to get out before we were bankrupt and our homes foreclosed on.

The PACER database confirms multiple Plan Ahead Event related bankruptcies, including:

  • Plan Ahead Events of Greenville  Jack Delbert Howle, III    South Carolina Bankruptcy Court    08/06/2012
  • Plan Ahead Events-La Jolla R. Tobin Enterprises, LLC    California Southern Bankruptcy Court    12/31/2013
  • Plan Ahead Events Orlando South  Maxine Marie Lang    Florida Middle Bankruptcy Court    04/29/2016

UFG Plan Ahead Events Franchise Turnover 2008-2014 69% – 100%

Here are the numbers reported in Plan Ahead Events Franchise Disclosure Documents at the time, reflecting a 69% failure rate.

However, since the franchise company seems to have ceased operating and supporting franchisees altogether, a failure rate of 100% is likely more accurate.

UFG Franchise Failures

Former Franchisee Calls Plan Ahead Events Franchise “The Most Costly Mistake of My Life”

A former United Franchise Group (UFG) Plan Ahead Events franchisee shared his/her experience with Unhappy Franchisee.

All UFG cares about is “selling franchises and collecting fees” – Franchisee

Joining UFG as a Plan Ahead Events franchisee was the biggest and the most costly financial mistake of my life!

I feel a little lucky that I was able to get out before it cost me more. Some of the others I spoke to weren’t so lucky.

The way UFG and Ray Titus boasts as being a “trustworthy multi-concept franchisor dedicated to its franchise owner’s success” is truly a joke.

They took my money and led me and the others to believe that there was all this help to grow our businesses.

The one time I met Ray Titus, I could sense there was something shady about him. At the time, I chalked it up to me just being skeptical.

His “you’re not alone and your success is our success” crap was cheap talk.

All UFG is concerned about is selling, selling, selling franchises and collecting fees.

Ray Titus is making huge money selling franchises. He doesn’t care about the franchise owners or UFG employees.

United Franchise Group provided little value for the money – Former Franchisee

After my week of “training” at the West Palm Beach headquarters, I came home hoping that there was more to this and my money had to had paid for more than a couple of classes and workbook, oh and an Ipad ( a very expensive Ipad, no doubt).

As time passed and I contacted more and more of the other PAE franchisees, I came to find out that they were struggling and finding other means to make money, all the while still trying to pay the monthly franchise fees and make the event planning business work.

It seemed like we all had the same theme song and really wondered exactly what our franchise fees were paying for as we were paying our own advertising and such.

All the help that UFG refers to are other franchisees getting together and brainstorming ways to try to save their businesses. Well, any one of us could have done that without paying for a franchise.

Tipton Shonkwiler (at the time, he was President of Plan Ahead Events) would try to convince us to hang on for a little while longer.

Tipton would say “don’t give up yet, you have all these resources in UFG.”

United Franchise Group UFG high turnover

HAHAHA! Tipton was either promoted or moved somewhere else and a woman named is Kristi Saucerman took over his position.

I guess she was trying to salvage what was left of the franchise. She seems to have left UFG.

By the time she came on, many other PAE franchisees were looking to get out before we were bankrupt and our homes foreclosed on.

Patrick Flynn was another one I remember.  He was like a used car salesman.

When I finally got out of it, I was broke and desperately seeking employment. I’m still rebuilding my savings from this serious mistake.

United Franchise Group’s Plan Ahead Events franchise was doomed from the start – Former Franchisee

I met some really good franchisees during my nightmare period with Plan Ahead Events. They were hardworking and conscientious – the opposite of the UFG people. I’m sure they would all have been very successful with a legitimate franchise organization.

With United Franchise Group, we didn’t stand a chance.

–  Former Franchisee

United Franchise Group – Plan Ahead Events Failed Franchises* – Partial List

*  Listed in Plan Ahead Event FDDs as having prematurely exited the system


United Franchise Group (UFG)

Plan Ahead Events




Gina Giglio  West Palm Beach, FL
Melissa Berg Lake Mills, WI
Dera Littles Chandler, AZ
Gwendolyn Burge Austin, TX
Josephine Gottesman/Jeil Katz Red Bank, NJ
Jancy Lawson/Sarah Smith Peachtree, GA
Shelley Wang Phoenix AZ
Jim Boyce / Margie Boyce Campbell CA
Kelly Schirber  La Jolla CA
Lisa Pagano  Tampa FL
Laurie Schrader Cumming GA
Melissa Wojcik / Michael Wojcik Oak Brook IL
Rhonda Gielen / Katie Gielen Port Allen LA
Mary Wall Middletown RI
Donald McFall Arlington VA
Hilal Ozkaya Tampa FL
Anne Latimer Winter Haven FL
Jan Stevens Duluth GA
Karen Simonenko / Patricia Nichols-Cordero Hudson MA5
LaTonya Kearney Wendell NC
Kelly Polanski Burlington NJ
Michelle Kettel Cleveland OH
Kimberiy Hill Tulsa OK
Bonnie Amendola  Imperial PA
Joe Franklin Temecula CA

Kimberly Burk Denver CO
Marilyn Williams Delray Beach FL
Deborah Dunlap Vero Beach FL
Rose Peterson Indianapolis IN
Nancy Driscoll Westborough MA
Andrea Caldwell  Canton MI
Vicki Vranian  Grand Rapids MI
Katie Gorowski Monroe MI
Jacqueline & Richard Peters Maple Grove MN
Christine Arch Cherokee NC
Lorie Campbell Irvine CA
Christy Myers Wilmington DE
Chuck Highers Destin FL
Vicki Maxwell Palm Beach Gardens FL
Timothy Tharp & Trisha Wolford Annapolis MD
Nicole Krizner Newbury OH
Marlena Stahn & Sierra OrtegaKirkland WA
Suzanne Cashman DePere WI
Lynda Peace Evanston WY
Kelly Simon Latrobe PA
Velma Holcomb & Paul Holcomb Spotsylvania VA
Carol, Jessica & Jennifer Geryk & Kay Irby Kingsville TX
Virginia Finnerty Washington NC
Deidre Garoutte North East MD
Monica Welsh & M & M Events, Inc. Hollywood CA

Carl Ong Scottsdale AZ
Kavita Melwani Plano TX
Pankaj Shah 7 Glen Oaks NY
Helen Denning Rancho Cucamonga CA
Melinda Wilkes & Amanda Schlecht Chehalis WA
Rebecca Wyatt & Patricia Deckard Jacksonville FL
Lalaine Dowdell Santa Cruz CA
Marie Tamayo & Gloria Garces Coral Gables FL
Maggie Young  Memphis TN
Rhea Tobin La Jolla CA
Anthony Sclafani & Elba Valle Miami FL
Susan Rowland Monterey CA
Julie Gunther Metairie LA
Tracy Brinkmann Grand Junction CO
Joseph Bergalowski Dallas GA
Lisa Evans Biloxi MS
Virginia Mills Orlando FL
Jackie Dziadzio & Douglas Dziadzio Fenton MI
Lori Thompson & Craig Thompson Owatonna MN
Ann Tessar White Bear Township MN
Lucy Hoffman Eau Claire WI
Melinda Flynn Racine WI
Jean Marston New Kent WA
Brad Hanson & Tricia Hanson Eau Claire WI


Also Read:

EXPERIMAX EXPERIMAC Franchise Expose: Behind the Curtain Web Series

UFG CEO Ray Titus: STOP Promoting the Failed Experimax Franchise!

UFG SUPERGREEN SOLUTIONS Massive Failures, Titus Fraud Allegations

EXPERIMAX EXPERIMAC Franchise Report (The Index)




Tags:   Plan Ahead Events, Plan Ahead Events franchise, Event planning franchise, Tipton Shonkwiler, Kristie Saucerman, Ghassan Barazi , UFG, United Franchise Group, UFG Expose, Ray Titus expose, franchise expose, Ray Titus, John Hayes, SBA guaranteed loans, franchise loans, Tim Phillips, Titus Center, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Unhappy Franchisee, Sean Kelly

One thought on “UFG’s Plan Ahead Events Franchise: What Happened?

  • Patrick Wentland

    Its a shame that this is still going on and that UFG is still allowed to sell these Franchises.
    I was tricked into believing a lot of fabricated information on Experimac. Right from the beginning I had been asking for sales sheets for other franchise locations and was continuously but on hold on receiving any. After telling them that I would not sign without this information, I was given information on the one main store that sells all the other stores the merchandise and made it seem like all the stores were doing the same sales. Many more lies and fabrications to follow even after I was up and running.

    It wasn’t until I received a monthly award for being the top selling location for that month and my sales were very low and I didn’t even make a profit that month. I started to ask around and questioned a few other store locations. Like me, none of them had EVER had a profitable month and they were all slowly dying. At this point I was furious and the more digging I did with other stores the more that I found out that no one knew of any stores that had actually made a profit and that eventually just about everyone goes out of business.

    This ended up costing me my home, bankruptcy , and hundreds of thousands of dollars. 5 years later, I am still paying this off.

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