Our Team:

United States (Main Office)

We specialize in helping companies achieve their goals. Companies that want to grow across the United States or companies that want to expand globally.  We work with companies to help them transition into the Middle East, Africa and China. We help find financial and operational solutions, ranging from development and management support to locating direct investment or debt. Our services enable easier and more efficient expansion of your brand.

 

Upright West (California)

UPRIGHT WEST branch is focused on Food Business, and Franchising. Along side our branch partners Kevin Bobby & Mark Cruz experts in Creating and Managing Food Brands as (Sweet Combforts,  Wing Man Kitchen, Porch & Swing, and many more). UPRIGHT West’s focus is to help brands grow. Having Kevin & Mark as a part of the UPRIGHT team give us complete capability to not only franchise brands but also to create, manage and help any food business to become a success story.

Rayan M Azab

Founder & Chairman

Rayan Fouad Mustafa Azab was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and has lived in United States for over 23 Years. As a young entrepreneur in America, Rayan established his first company when he we was 18 years old. His success in event management established his company as a leader in the production & entertainment industry. 

The experience as a business owner coupled with valuable business relationships in Saudi Arabia led Rayan to pursue international business ventures. He is now a global businessman and has opened branches back in Saudi Arabia to service The Gulf; with joining he’s relationship between the Unites States and The Gulf. Working closely with companies to attract international businesses and partners to expand into the GCC and South Africa. Rayan Azab has a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Liverpool

Duane Jordan 

Managing Director & Partner 

Duane started his career with a degree in computer programming and business management.  He went on to receive a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.  Duane has 20 plus years experience in Project Management, IT, Business Development and Telecommunications. In 2003 he started Moshe & Associates, LLC a business consulting company that provided business plan writing, marketing plan writing and loan brokering for loans $1 million and above.  Between 2003 and 2012 Duane held several positions from Relationship Manager, Manager of Business Development, Junior Partner and Partner in several large private money family funds managing over $11 billion in assets.

2012 Duane became the Manager of United States Business development for Azdef production Group/RFMA. In 2016 Duane started Upright Advisory LLC and Upright Development LLC with longtime friend and business associate Rayan Azab. Upright specializes in expansion, development, funding and growth of businesses worldwide. Also In 2016 Duane became a board member of American Club Association, Kansas City. In 2018 the American Club Association as Duane to be the General Manager of the Lees Summit, MO chapter.  In 2020 Duane became co-partner of SweetCombfortsKC and WingmanKitchenKC.

Ned Nelson 

Franchising Consultant and Expert 

Ned has worked in the restaurant business his entire life starting at the age of 15. He has spent the last 19 years in the franchise business. He currently is the Vice President of Jefferson’s Wings Burgers and Oysters, a 29-location chain of full-service restaurants that span 6 states. He held a similar position with Goodcent’s Deli Fresh Subs for 15 years before accepting his new position. His primary focus has been on franchise development, real estate, procurement and has a strong background in operations.

Kevin Nguyen 

Franchising Consultant and Expert

After co-founding GD Bro Burger in 2013 and making an appearance on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race – Season 6, Kevin “Bobby” Nguyen has since built a restaurant empire helping co-found: Pig Pen Delicacy, Wingman Kitchen, Portside Fish Co, Sweet Combforts, & Ground House Burger.

After liquidating Portside Fish Co & Ground House Burger in 2018, Nguyen has directed his attention on not only franchising his remaining brands, but also helping others do so. Beginning Quarter 3 of 2019, he will
assist in the growth of Upright – Worldwide (franchise development company) in California with a strong expertise in brand development.

Formerly at The Walt Disney Company, Nguyen had a proven track record of developing and improving operational systems as a Kitchen Manager of several restaurants. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the tactical day-to-day operations, working directly with area chefs to implement strategies and procedures to ensure optimal efficiency.

Nguyen graduated from Notre Dame High School in 2008. As a college dropout, he knew he would have to rely heavily on ambition and his eagerness to climb the ranks within The Walt Disney Company, which he refers to as his college education. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family who consider him to be quite the foodie.

Mark Gerald Cruz

Franchising Consultant and Expert

Mark Gerald Cruz, a California resident and graduate of California University Fullerton, left his pursuit of second undergraduate school in Colorado State University over four years ago to establish restaurants based in Orange County, CA. As Co-founder and managing partner for GD Bro Burger, Pig Pen Delicacy, Portside Fish Co, Sweet CombForts, Mark has set the vision and mission for his restaurants, which is focused on driving strategic business growth through the expansion of business operations within new geographies. He also has senior responsibility for all areas related to conceiving menu ideas, create recipes, establish standards, control costs and perform administrative tasks on most of the concepts.

Mark, a former Disneyland cast member, has many years experience in the food industry, particularly in cooking and management of employees, which are a great foundation for his business operations. In addition to overseeing the behind-the-scenes aspects, Mark fully enjoys the “front end” of the business as well, actively managing his restaurants on a daily basis and interacting with customers and the local community to ensure the experience of his restaurants are constantly improving.

All it took for Mark to get to this point was a straight up genuine love for food. Sure that’s cliché for any chef, but for him, this passion could not be ignored. As a kid, he would watch his dad navigate through their kitchen. And when he and his sisters would come home from school, he would make meals with whatever he could find in the fridge. After years of being creative and learning from dad, he wanted a formal education. But with only one sentence into a culinary school presentation, his parents shot him down and wanted him to be in the medical field. So he appeased them – went to college, and got into the medical field. His entrepreneurial spirit was always alive and well and knew something was still lacking. Then four years ago, he took a leap of faith, quit his school and got into the food world. 

Quincy Crutchfield 

Partner & International Consultant/Advisor

Quincy Crutchfield, a native of Tullahoma, Tennessee graduated with his Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership & Human Relations and his Bachelors Degree in Communications Arts from Park University in Parkville, Missouri.

As Partner and International Consultant, Quincy plays an integral role in expanding client growth and brand development via implementing Marketing & Advertising Campaign Designs & Managing Marketing Channels & Budgets, delivering Creative Graphic Design Assets & Digital Branding Experience.

In 2020, Quincy used his years of experience in Food & Beverage Management, Marketing & Advertising, Creative Design, & Branding experience, to help launch his first franchise location were he serves as Partner & General Manager located in Westport, Missouri. “Sweet Combforts ft Wingman KC”.

Brandi Wilmes  

Missouri Stores GM / Director of Operations

Brandi has over 14+ years of management/operation of restaurants and bars. Has been a General Manager of over 5 Restaurants in her growing carrier, she understand the ins and outs of Brand Management & Operation. Recently Brandi has joined UP RIGHT Team to look over its restaurants operations and help with Franchisees Operations Training.
 

United States Branch Services:

Business Funding

Every small business finds itself looking for small business funding at one point or another.  Finding the money to start a business or money to expand your established business can be a difficult, time-consuming process.  We provide funding solutions from $100K to $20 Million.  The following types of loans available for ALL business types and industries: Credit Lines, Lines of Credit, PO Financing, Receivables Financing, Franchise financing, Retirement Funding, Private Real Estate Asset/Collateral loans (Land Free & Clear), and Revenue Based Funding.  Some funding solutions may require a personal guarantee until the business establishes a credit history (typically 6-24 months).

Franchising

USA Expansion: UPRIGHT can assist any F&B and Retail Brand in Expansion in the USA with supporting not only with fund raising but also in

  • Site Locating

  • Franchising Modeling

  • Fund Raising

  • Franchisee head hunter

  • Quality control on behalf of brand

Commercial Lending

Commercial real estate (CRE) is income-producing property that is used solely for business (rather than residential) purposes, such as retail malls, shopping centers, office buildings and complexes, and hotels.  Financing – including the acquisition, development, and construction of these properties – is typically accomplished through commercial real estate loans: mortgages secured by liens on the commercial property.

At Upright we understand the search for a commercial loan that best meets your individual investment needs, goals and property constraints is not easy. Structured as a privately held independent commercial real estate finance company and financial intermediary — with an exclusive focus on originating commercial and multifamily debt, Upright is able to offer a diverse mix of commercial real estate loans to meet the individual borrowing needs and investment objectives of its borrowers. Commercial loans for refinancing or purchase available.

  • Strong origination volume enables us to negotiate the most favorable rates, terms and costs.

  • Commercial mortgage loans are available from bank, non-bank, and other institutional investors for most commercial property asset classes.

Business Development

We specialize in helping companies achieve their goals.  Companies that want to grow across the United States or companies that want to expand globally.  We work with companies to help them transition into the Middle East, Africa and China.

Business Expansion

Alongside our partners in the Middle East, Brand and Trade DMCC we are capable of franchising, locating and raising funds for brands seeking to expand to the Middle East regions.

Business Advising

UPRIGHT has a team full of years of experience, along with our reach to some of the world’s leading advisors. Whatever the business may be, or growth stage it is in. From strategy to expansion plan we have the right fit for your business. UPRIGHT can be your advisor threw out the process. We are experts in advisory collectively.