Our Team

MEET THE TEAM BEHIND
THE FARM STORES DREAM

Behind every great franchise is an even greater team of people who have worked relentlessly to bring the dream to life and to fresh markets. We’d like to introduce you to a special group of people responsible for Farm Stores expansion and reputation as America’s largest and most beloved drive-thru convenient store.

Maurice E. Bared

CEO

Maurice E. Bared serves as the CEO  of Farm Stores Franchising. He joined the predecessor company of Farm Stores Franchising in 1994 as the Director of Development of Special Projects. In 1998, Mr. Bared became the Executive Vice President of Operations for Farm Stores.

In 1999, Mr. Bared became the Chief Operating Officer of United Petroleum Corporation. He returned to management of Farm Stores as the Chief Operating Officer in 2001. In that capacity, he oversaw store operations, marketing, human resources, real estate development, and FSC’s retail dealer operations. He’s been actively involved in the board of the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association, and the board of the Deering Foundation.

Ade Batista

CFO

Ade is a seasoned investment, operations and finance executive with a multitude of experience with startup and growth companies. Most recently, she has advised several startup and growth companies on improving operations processes and new market strategies.

After completing her MBA in Entrepreneurial Management and Finance at Columbia Business School, Ade pursued a career in Venture Capital and Investment Banking. As a principal at East River Ventures, she led many early stage investments and worked with portfolio companies, often stepping into different management roles. As a VP in banking, she originated and completed various equity and debt transactions and restructurings.

Early in her career, after graduating from Dartmouth College, she was a member of an Institutional Investor ranked Latin American research team at Bear Stearns and ING Barings.
She resides in Coconut Grove, FL and is a dedicated mother of four.

Picture of Chris Gray

Chris Gray

COO

Chris Gray is the Chief Operating Office of Farm Stores Franchising. He joined the Farm Stores team when Farm Stores acquired the Swiss Farms chain of stores, where Chris served as the CEO.

Chris brings a world of knowledge in operations, having worked his way from cashier to CEO in 17 years, with stops in technology and finance.

Victor Arechavaleta

VP of Business Development

Victor Arechavaleta is the Vice President of Business Development of Farm Stores Franchising, and has been in this position since March of 2012. His responsibilities include management of all new business channels, franchise development, territory development, and product and supplier relationships.

Prior to joining Farm Stores, Mr. Arechavaleta was the director of sales and marketing for Pagnifique USA from 2010 to 2012, and the director of marketing and product development for Quirch Foods from 2002 to 2010. He pulls from an extensive background in marketing and product development, having spent over a decade in digital media, advertising, and film and television production. He entered the food and beverage industry in 2000, and has since developed marketing and sales programs for national and international product lines in the supermarket retail channel.

Jim Cobban

Franchise Development

Jim Cobban leads our sales efforts and has 20 plus years’ experience in developing franchise models and helping people become franchise owners. He previously worked with Mobile International and Help-U-Sell in franchise development and as a multi-state area representative.  He lives in South Florida with his wife.

Email: jcobban@farmstores.com

Our Area Representatives

Mike Schmitz

Alabama

Mike Schmitz
Dothan, AL

Michael “Mike” D. Schmitz, is the former mayor of Dothan, Alabama, and the current Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for southern Alabama. Mr. Schmitz is now also the Area Representative for Farm Stores Franchising to the state of Alabama, a role in which he is focused on giving back to veterans in the state and helping them get on the road to entrepreneurial success that he has enjoyed for many decades as the founder of the Mike Schmitz Automotive Group of Dothan, Alabama, among many other successful business ventures he and his wife Sandy have undertaken in their 44 years together.

Livia and Carlos Almandos

The Southern Arizona Team

Livia and Carlos Almandos
Tucson, AZ

Livia and Carlos are principals of Vaquitas LLC. They are 21 year Veterans, currently serving in the Arizona Air National Guard. The Almandoses have an extensive background in the culinary and hospitality industry. They are married and have two young children.

Livia has been in food service, customer service, hospitality, and management throughout her military career and has a few years of Human Resources experience as well. She is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a master’s degree in Business Management, with a specialization in Integrated Logistics and The University of Phoenix with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing.

Carlos is a Mechanical Engineer for a major Aerospace firm. He served in the United States Air Force for nine years before transitioning to the Air National Guard. He is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a master’s degree in Aeronautics and a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science, with a specialization in Safety. Carlos grew up in Miami Beach, FL and his family shopped at Farm Stores when he was growing up. He knows the advantages and convenience that Farm Stores can bring to a community.

Danny Chichester

Florida - North

Danny Chichester earned a Business Degree from Florida State University in 1990 and has resided in Tallahassee ever since.

At 23 years old he became the owner and operator of the three Tallahassee locations for Miami Subs Grill. At the time he was the youngest franchisee in Miami Subs Grill 40-year history.  One of his Tallahassee Miami Subs Grill locations was the #1 store in sales for the company for 8 straight years. Transitioning from the hospitality industry to the insurance industry, Chichester has built his career around great relationships, impeccable service, and quality of life for his professional team and family.

Danny grew up in Coral Springs, Florida, where his family was a regular customer of their local Farm Stores. Like many of the newest members of the Farms Stores Team, Covid 19 was the initial spark that led to Chichester’s interest to research opportunities with Farm Stores Corporation. He is proud to join the Farm Stores Franchising team as the boots on the ground in North Florida.

Bob Simpson

Florida - Treasure Coast

Bob Simpson and Larry Jarnes
Melbourne, FL

Robert "Bob" Simpson and Lawrence "Larry" Jarnes are the Area Representatives for Florida's Treasure Coast, from Palm Beach County up to Melbourne. Bob has extensive experience in diverse industries holding different positions in recognized companies that include T-Mobile, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Farm Stores. Larry has over twenty years of experience in construction and runs a development company in Melbourne, FL. He serves as President of Northboro Builders, Inc. a leading design and building firm for franchise development in all fifty states. Together they are a dynamic duo.

Ivan and Reysy Ortega

Florida - South

Reysy and Ivan Ortega
Miami, FL

Reysy and Ivan own multiple units and are Area Representatives for our Miami, Florida locations. As one of our first franchisees as well, they have seen our growth from the beginning. They started in 2010 as previous convenience store owners who quickly and easily moved to the Farm Stores model. Since they already had experience in the convenience store market, they appreciated even more the Farm Stores small and easy to manage building. They also loved that they could be a part of a neighborhood. Once they had one store down, adding others became the obvious next step.

Kate and Dave Stroth

The Georgia West Team

Kate & Dave Stroth
Atlanta, GA

Kate Stroth joined The Farm Stores Family with over 21 years of alliance, consulting and technology sales. She has received numerous awards and recognition bonuses for her work across multiple industries and corporate clients. A Baton Rouge native, Kate is a proud LSU Alumnae, wife to Dave, mother of two, and an active member of her church and community.

Dave’s corporate sales background is with some of the largest and most well known technology companies. He is a proven sales leader with 25 years of deep expertise in technology sales across multiple industries. Dave has led many sales teams as a VP of Sales and Global Account Director and also holds a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from the University of Houston and an MBA in Finance from SUNY Buffalo. A native of East Aurora, NY, Dave now resides in Atlanta with his wife, Kate, and their children.

 

Email: kate.stroth@farmstores.com

Robert Pressler

The Louisiana Area Rep

Robert E. Pressler, III
Lafayette, LA

Robert, Bob to his friends, is a graduate of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He has been in sales and management throughout his career in providing energy-efficient lighting and electrical products for commercial and industrial clients. His entrepreneurial nature and people skills started in grade school with a lawnmowing company and has continued to grow through residential property investment and remodeling. The next phase and largest challenge will be bringing Farm Stores to the state of Louisiana as the Area Representative. A focus on ethics and a willingness to help have been key to his success and Farm Stores is the next extension of that motto. He has been happily married to his wife Jennifer for fifteen years and has two wonderful children, Robert and CeCe. They reside in Lafayette, Louisiana (“Cajun Country”) and love the outdoors, family and having fun!

Email: robert.pressler@farmstores.com

The New Jersey Team

Pictured from Left to Right:

Dr. Kamran Tasharofi

Dr. Tasharofi has been practicing as a board certified internist since 2003 and runs a large multi specialty group serving Union and Middlesex counties.   In addition to being President and CEO of Union County Health Care and MD Care Urgent Center. Kamran holds position as Chairman of Bylaws Committee in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Rahway, Medical Director for Amber Court assisted living in Elizabeth, Medical director at Elmora Hills Nursing and Rehab Center, Medical Director at Comfort Care of New Jersey Hospice as well as Center for Hope Hospice, and Medical Director at Cranford Health Extended Care as well as Allaris Health Care System in Rahway.  He also serves as a member of Union County Workforce Investment Board and is a Civil Surgeon in Department of Homeland Security.  He is the proud father of three lovely daughters.

Joe D’Albero

Joe is a Rutgers University graduate who initially went to school to become a Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic.  Although he loved the ability to help people and save lives, he wanted greater financial success and security for his family and so went him into medical sales.  For over 17 years, Joe has excelled in medical technology sales and sales management/marketing business selling many different products into varying environments including pharmaceuticals, office-based devices, neurosurgery and trauma, surgical lasers, CT scanners, large hospital room equipment, etc.  Joe specializes in start-up companies and strategic process implementation and has succeeded in every company he has worked with earning him many awards.  In addition, Joe has built and managed sales teams in the Northeast.   Joe is married with 2 children.

Chintan Trivedi

Chintan is an entrepreneur who has experience in diverse industries like construction management, hospitality, technology, healthcare and business process outsourcing. As an entrepreneur, he has three companies with operations in two countries and a staff strength of over 200. A very process oriented and analytical individual, he creates new business opportunities and strategy for growth through his networking abilities and can-do attitude.  Chintan is married and has a young daughter.

Email: jdalbero@farmstores.com

Angela and Richard Barrone

New York - The Hudson Valley Team

Richard and Angela Barone
Albany, NY

Richard and Angela are entrepreneurs in the truest spirit and Farm Stores is proud to have them leading development in the Hudson Valley area of New York.

In addition to their Business Degrees, and together with a combined professional career that has spanned decades, you will find that they possess an extensive and successful background with expertise in the hospitality industry, the sales industry and the real estate development industry.

Culinary Excellence and Generational Service Commendations that have recently been awarded demonstrate their passion in these fields. Their attention to detail and their disciplined work ethic, working as a team, have proven to be their greatest assets.

Always embracing a challenge, the couple has raised six (now adult) children, all of whom have embarked on successful careers of their own. They are proud to say that each of their children has embodied that same level of integrity that they themselves exhibit on a daily basis. Their guiding principle is simply to ”Never Sacrifice Integrity for Growth”.

As unique opportunities present themselves going forward, Richard and Angela are confident that they will pursue any endeavor with vigor and steadfastness. Staying true to their core principles has, and will always continue to, serve them well!

Picture of Nick and Shane

New York - The Long Island South Team

Nick Palumbo (left)
Nick is a naval officer, marine engineer, educator and entrepreneur. He is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and an assistant professor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. He has served as a USCG Licensed assistant engineer aboard ships and as a port engineer where he managed the maintenance of a fleet of vessels and their shipyard periods. As an entrepreneur, he runs an e-commerce business. Nick joined the Farm Stores family in 2018 as a franchisee. Nick is a lifetime Long Island resident and lives in Oyster Bay, NY with his wife and four children.

Shane Kavanagh (right)
Shane has nearly 20 years of public relations experience. He’s helped create success for an array of clients across multiple sectors and has broad knowledge of media, government and community relations, as well as crisis management and event planning. In 2015, Shane launched his own, eponymous PR consultancy. In 2018, he joined the Farm Stores family as a franchisee. Shane is a native of Youngstown, OH, and lives in Oyster Bay, NY with his wife and two children

Texas - The Houston Team

(Pictured from Left to Right)

Robert Betts

Positioned as the CEO of RLJN Partnership and the leader of the Houston Area Farm Stores team, Robert has over 30 years of management and operational experience. He has been a notable entrepreneur starting up and selling two successful companies. He has also administered numerous pharmaceutical locations from start up to success, as well as sustained a reputable history with top pharmaceutical companies. He is driven to exceed customer expectations, determined to execute profitable operational strategies, and constructed with hard working capabilities.

Nikki Betts

Nikki is a graduate from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Marketing. She has spent her working career in sales and management roles within the building materials industry for the past 15 years. She has extensive experience in Sales, Operations, Product Management, Inventory Control, and Logistics. She is customer oriented and loves to spend time with her family and friends. Nikki and Robert are married and have two young daughters, Rylee & Payton.

Linda Adair

Linda has spent the last 20 years in sales. She led the Chevron Fuel Card Sales Team for 4 consecutive years in most gallons sold. Prior to this, she spent 12 years as a Commercial Bank Lender with Wells Fargo. Over her banking career she was recognized with numerous sales, revenue growth, and new business awards. She is a graduate of Troy University.

Jason Adair

Jason has led a distinguished 25 year career leading sales and operations in high growth and turn-around organizations mostly in the building material industry. He has held sales, management and executive level positions guiding cross-functional teams in identifying business opportunities. He is a graduate of Auburn University. Jason and Linda are married and have two daughters, Taylor & Sydney.

Email: robert.betts@farmstores.com

Edwin Zamora

Texas - Austin and San Antonio

Edwin Zamora
Austin, TX

Based in Austin, Texas, Edwin Zamora is an international entrepreneur and investor heading startups in multiple industries including textiles, apparel, and residential and commercial sales. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of several of these startups.

Edwin and his family are the Area Representatives and primary developers for Farm Stores in the Texas "Hill Country," that runs from north of Austin to the greater San Antonio market.

Love Farm Stores? Why not own your own?

Farm Stores, the largest, most innovative drive-thru store in America is offering franchise opportunities for the first time since opening its doors in 1957! Interested in owning your own Farm Stores franchise? Find out if we’re right for you!

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