OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
David Liesenfelt / President
Sweeping floors as a teenager for a produce house in Chicago, David found his love of the produce business and quickly rose to the head of the quality control department by the age of 18. In 1990 David joined Fresh Concepts where he worked tirelessly developing the new standards and procedures for ongoing produce management. David’s unmatched understanding of the produce business has been cultivated through his work as a Field Executive and Vice President of Operations before ultimately becoming President in 1999. His hands-on approach has seen him visit over 500 produce distributors and shippers, work with over 2,000 restaurants and train thousands of managers on how to best receive, store, and handle their produce.
Tom Bachar / Vice President
After graduating from Eastern Illinois University, Tom began his produce career in 1990 with Gino and Sam’s Produce in Chicago followed by Zema Foods, and eventually Get Fresh Produce. As the Director of Sales for Get Fresh, Tom led the company in achieving double-digit growth for ten years in a row and was instrumental in constructing the first LEED “Green” Certified produce distribution facility in the country. Tom brings a wealth of knowledge and produce distribution experience to Fresh Concepts and shares his understanding of how to effectively implement produce programs with every new client in the Fresh Concepts family.
Christopher Rheault / Vice President of Operations
After completing his BA in Economics, Chris worked in Business Development within the education & technology industry for over five years while earning his MBA. Chris quickly fell in love with the volatile and fast-paced environment after transitioning to the Produce Industry six years ago. With experience in visiting farms, touring processing facilities, and working with over 120 distributors, Chris focuses on building fruitful relationships throughout the supply chain on behalf of Foodservice clients. Chris leads Fresh Concepts in account management, procurement, IT services, restaurant audits, and overall operations.
Brian Borowski / Vice President of National Sales
Brian fell into the produce industry without any specific intentions but was quickly hooked into its fast-paced, changing environment. What started as a temporary fix to keep his family in the Chicagoland area, has turned into a robust and lifelong career in produce. Brian began working for a local distributor, which was ultimately purchased by one of the largest privately held produce distributors in the US. After pounding the pavement in sales for nearly a decade, and building a multi-million-dollar book of business, Brian transitioned into a Director of Procurement role with a Produce Management Company. Brian worked with some of the world’s largest and most well-known restaurant chains, developing contracts for his clients that totaled an annualized spend of over $585 million dollars in fresh produce. Brian has always had a strong desire to work in sales and has come full circle with Fresh Concepts as Director of Produce Sales, once again working with his mentor – Tom Bachar.
Bruce Stone / Chief Produce Consultant
Bruce began his career working in various culinary operations, including nine years of experience as a Chef for Marriott Hotels. He then entered into produce distribution, serving as Operations Manager for a local produce company in Charlotte, North Carolina. Joining Fresh Concepts in 1994, Bruce has been involved in all aspects of produce procurement. He is constantly traveling throughout the United States, working in our clients’ restaurants, with local produce distributors, and visiting various growers and shippers. Bruce has visited over 200 produce distributors and worked in thousands of restaurants during his time at Fresh Concepts. This vast knowledge has allowed him to train managers and chefs on how to best receive, store, and handle their produce. This unique perspective of the foodservice/produce industry has made Bruce an incredible asset to Fresh Concepts and the clients he works with.
Patricia Jimenez / Director of National Contracts
With humble beginnings in the iconic Chuck E Cheese brand, Patricia continues to grow and blaze a trail of success. Patricia grew quickly in the ranks of Catalina Restaurant Group, where she transitioned from a restaurant hostess into a server, and then from Restaurant Manager into an Executive Training Manager. After exploring new opportunities across the Restaurant Industry, Patricia joined the team at Juice Harvest, where her love for purchasing began. After finding success as a buyer, opportunity knocked again when Patricia was offered a Purchasing Manager position with a Southern California Produce Distributor. In a predominantly male industry, Patricia has worked hard to pave a path of success in the purchasing community. From visiting Farms to attending produce shows and negotiating contracts for clients, Patricia continues to have a solution-oriented approach for Fresh Concepts clients. Patricia’s genuine relationships with grower-shippers and her reputation for ethical dealings have helped her shape a very rewarding career in national produce purchasing.
Javier Martinez MS, CFS / Food Safety Manager
Javier Martinez is the Food Safety Manager for Fresh Concepts, Inc. Javier has completed seven certifications in the areas of Food Safety and Natural Sciences and conducted over twenty-five 2nd party audits per year for high-risk grower-shippers. He has written procedures and manuals in all areas of Food Safety, four articles in Food Safety Magazine, Fast Casual and QSR Magazine, and has improved the company’s recall process to protect consumers from the adverse effects of physical, chemical, and microbiological contamination. He previously worked as a Produce Specialist for Darden and Red Lobster for over eight years; he obtained a HACCP certification during that time and acquired substantial knowledge and experience in second party audit inspections. Before becoming involved in Food Safety, he was a Research Assistant at Arkansas State University where he worked on projects related to Plant Metabolism, Molecular Biology, and Genetics. Javier is a Certified Food Scientist who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Plant Biotechnology.