Big Frog is a High-Tech, Light Manufacturing Retail Garment Decorating Boutique with World-Class Customer Service. Our vision is to have 300+ retail locations throughout the United States by 2020. Our goal is to be a national brand and the worldwide leader in garment decorating and have fun doing it. We commit to being amazing franchisors by remembering you are our most important customer.
Our leadership team is dedicated to the franchisees’ success; no matter how it’s defined. Whether success for you means less travel and more interaction with the local community or maybe it’s having your children work with you in your store. Our team is here to help you make it happen. Here’s a little background about the founders of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts.
Leeward J. Bean, CEO
Since 2006, Leeward has been a co-owner of Dream Niche, LLC and Bay Area Custom T-Shirts LLC, now doing business as Big Frog Custom T-Shirts, both located in Clearwater, Florida. Leeward is primarily responsible for overseeing high level activities such as franchise development, legal and compliance issues as well as public relations.
Prior to starting the Big Frog Franchise, Leeward founded a highly successful company. From 1991 to 2004 he was a founder & Vice President, Sales & Marketing of Ocean Optics, Inc. located in Dunedin, Florida. Ocean Optics, Inc. is a world leader in fiber optic spectrometers & was acquired by Hallma LLC in 2003.
Leeward is heavily involved in the community and is actively involved with a number of philanthropic organizations and presently sits on the Board of Trustees for the ARC Foundation for the Developmentally Challenged. Leeward also enjoys mentoring young entrepreneurs.
Ronald E. DeFrece, Vice President and COO
Ron as Vice President at the Big Frog Franchise Group oversees all aspects of store and system operations. In 2006 he became a co-owner of Dream Niche, LLC and Bay Area Custom T-Shirts LLC, now doing business as Big Frog Custom T-Shirts, both located in Clearwater, Florida. In 2012, he transferred his interest in Bay Area Custom to be focused purely on the Big Frog Franchise Group and its ongoing success.
From 1997 to 2006 he was employed by Ocean Optics, Inc., located in Dunedin, Florida, first as a Senior Applications Engineer and then as a Sales and Marketing Manager specializing in optical and laser sensing systems for general science and process applications. Ron worked in both an engineering and manufacturing capacity for Litton Laser Systems in Orlando, Florida from 1987 to 1997 helping to develop and build next generation laser ranging and targeting systems for commercial and military applications. By combining his strong manufacturing and engineer background with franchise best practices, Ron and his team has put together simple yet effective systems and training programs for all aspects of Big Frog Store Operations.
Christina (Tina) Bacon-DeFrece, Ph.D., President
Tina is responsible for strategic planning and tactical development for all aspects of the Big Frog Brand. Her focus is to continually improve the franchise system and help the franchisees achieve higher revenue and most importantly, higher net profits. Tina also works with the Big Frog team and corporate vendors to coordinate a symbiotic approach to the marketing materials and programs to maintain a homogeneous look for all aspects of the BIG FROG Brand.
Prior to her foray into franchising, Tina as a Ph.D. Chemical Engineer, was a research director for a multimillion dollar, scientific instrument company. Tina parlayed this experience into starting the Big Frog concept by servicing a large, unserved niche market. Tina’s successful scientific background brings a fresh perspective to the “science of business”, which is proven by our strong growth as a franchisor, the success of our franchisees, and the national recognition the Big Frog Brand has seen in the franchise industry.