Our Brand Story
The humble beginnings of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More started in 2008 when co-founders Leeward Bean, Tina Bacon-DeFrece, and Ron DeFrece opened Big Frog in Clearwater, Florida, the first-ever Big Frog t-shirt printing shop. The business of personalizing apparel was a local success, which led to the expansion of the brand through franchising all throughout the U.S. Today, there are more than 80 Big Frog locations all over the U.S. with expansion into Canada — and Big Frog continues to grow and expand its pond!
Leadership & Team
Tina Bacon-DeFrece, Ph.D. | President & CEO
Dr. Christina P. Bacon-DeFrece serves as our President and CEO in Dunedin, Florida. Dr. Bacon-DeFrece has served as CEO since October 1, 2018, and has served as President since January 2016. Prior to that, Dr. Bacon-DeFrece served as Executive Vice President from inception in 2008 until December 31, 2015.
As one of Big Frog’s co-founders, Tina Bacon-DeFrece assumed the role of CEO in 2019, when the late and former CEO Leeward Bean retired. Before embarking on her own entrepreneurial journey as a co-owner of the first Big Frog store, she worked as a research engineer with a focus on optical instrumentation. Throughout her tenure as President & CEO, she has successfully led the brand through a series of system changes, including: an enhanced technology rollout with an online design tool and a stronger digital-focused strategy that launched an improved, ADA-compliant, and mobile-responsive website. Under her leadership, she strengthened all aspects of the business, from operations, coaching, financial to marketing. As the visionary of the brand, she is focused on building a strong culture throughout Big Frog’s system and leading Big Frog through continued growth.
Ron DeFrece | Chief Operations Officer
Mr. Ronald DeFrece serves as our Vice President in Dunedin, Florida and has done so since June,2008.
Big Frog Co-Founder Ron DeFrece assumed the role of Chief Operations Officer (COO) in 2010. He has been instrumental in developing operational strategies and creating a best-in-class coaching & training model for Big Frog franchise owners. As the CEO’s constant partner in overall business development, his vast experience in business, management, and franchising helps Big Frog franchise owners in realizing their dream of owning their own business and successfully operating one.
David Braun | Chief Development Officer
David Braun has served as our Chief Development Officer in Chelsea, Michigan since July 2023. He previously served as Director of Franchise Development for City Wide Facility Solutions Franchise in Chelsea, Michigan from January 2021 to July 2023 and as Owner of Saline Self-Storage in Saline, Michigan from January 2018 to December 2020. With over 27 years of executive experience in all levels of franchising, he has helped launch, develop, oversee, manage, and grow 18 different franchise concepts across various industries. David specializes in conversions, acquisitions, broker networks, distribution, marketing, and franchise development, support, and finance.
Paul Bowes | Vice President of Operations
Paul Bowes serves as our Vice President of Operations in Dunedin, Florida, a position he has held since July 2022. He previously served as our Franchise Business Coach from July 2020 to July 2022. Prior to Big Frog, Mr. Bowes served as Territory and Sales Development for Florida for Neenah Foundry in Neenah, Wisconsin from June 2018 to July 2020. He has a background in automotive and hydraulic engineering and over 20 years of experience in the franchising industry, specializing in operations management, national training management, and national franchise sales management.
Ken Karcher | Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships
Ken Karcher services as our Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships in Dunedin, Florida. He has been with Big Frog since September 2017. Prior to Big Frog, he served in several executive management roles in the consumer packaged goods and category management space. He possesses over 25 years of retail and wholesale business development and strategic partnerships experience.
Gina Signor | Director of Marketing
Gina Signor has served as our Director of Marketing in Dunedin, Florida since April 2023. From October 2022 to April 2023, she focused on professional development and freelancing in Clearwater, Florida. She previously served as Director of Operations for The Gutter & Construction Co. in Oldsmar, Florida from August 2022 to October 2022. Prior to that, she served as Director of Marketing & Branding for Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services in Palm Harbor, Florida from October 2018 to August 2022. She possesses over 25 years of executive management experience in B2B and B2C marketing encompassing the retail, tech, franchising, and financial industries.
Angel Zick | Director of Learning & Development
Angel Zick has served as Director of Learning & Development in Dunedin, Florida since March 2023. Previously, she served as our Learning & Development Manager in Dunedin, Florida from July 2015 to March 2023.
Al Warok | Director of Franchise Development
Al Warok joined Big Frog as Director of Franchise Development in 2019. In this role, he works with franchise candidates to determine whether Big Frog is the right investment opportunity and cultural fit for the brand. He is consistently engaged in the expansion of Big Frog into new and existing markets, such as Orlando and Phoenix. He oversees all aspects of the franchise development process for new and existing Big Frog franchisees.
Brian Berry | Controller
Brian Berry has served as our Controller since June 2016. Prior to Big Frog, Brian served as Assistant-Controller for Sky Hospitality from 2015 to 2016. Previously, he worked for over a decade in tax accounting specializing in areas such as individual tax preparation, business tax preparation and payroll.