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Chris DeFrain

CPA
Chris DeFrain portrait

Overview and Strengths

For over a decade, the Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group has been extremely fortunate to have a CFO with Chris’ unique skill set. His deep knowledge of restaurant operations, finance, and technology and breadth of experience as a CPA specializing in tax law have proved integral to our growth and success. His unwavering integrity and team first orientation model our core values and his penchant for proactively and accurately communicating all relevant information, positive or otherwise, have helped him establish strong relationships and maintain trust with valued lending sources. Chris DeFrain’s detailed knowledge in a variety of key areas and his drive to make us the best in class have proved instrumental in our ability to flourish and operate with increased levels of efficiency, consistency, and overall excellence and significantly contribute to our positive outlook for the 2020’s.

Specialties

  • Banking Relationships
  • Restaurant Finance
  • Wide CPA Experience
  • IT Savvy and Early Adopter
  • Employee Empowerment
  • Mundane Task Automation
  • Tax Law
  • Budgeting
  • People Focus

Ideal Background

Chris DeFrain graduated from Emmaus High School and received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Muhlenberg College in 1999. He worked in the accounting department for Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group from 1994 through 1997.

Chris joined Buckno Lisicky & Company, Certified Public Accountants in February, 1998, received his CPA license in March, 2001, and was promoted to Shareholder in June 2005. Chris developed a niche working with McDonald’s Restaurant Franchisees. At this public accounting firm, Chris’s group of nine employees serviced over 110 McDonald’s restaurants and offered a full range of accounting services from back office support and systems through financial statement preparation and analysis. The accounting services also included tax planning and tax preparation along with business consulting and cash flow analysis.

To our great benefit, In June of 2009 he rejoined LVRG as our Vice President of Accounting and Restaurant Support and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2010.  Since joining us, we have grown revenue by 46% and the total number of restaurants from 16 restaurants to 21 restaurants.

Philosophy, Values and Approach

  • “Integrity is integral to everything we do. I believe in protecting it at all costs.”
  • “The team is more important than any individual.”
  • “I am happiest helping others to achieve success.”
  • “Whenever possible, it’s best to promote from within.”
  • “I strive to have every team member ready to take the next step up.”
  • “Automation tools enable team members to take on more strategic responsibility.”
  • “One of my greatest professional accomplishment and source of joy entailed helping Nikki Bloom grow from an Accountant to our VP of Accounting and Finance.”

Chris’ Scope and Focus

  • Leads all Finance, Accounting, Payroll and Information Technology
  • Manages both VP of Accounting & Finance and VP of IT
  • Develops, builds, and sustains, banking relationships
  • Actively researches new best in class industry standards, benchmarks, and methods to bring perspective and drive continued excellence to LVRG
  • Works with the CEO and Board of Directors to minimize risk and help LVRG continue to grow profitably
  • Develops budgets
  • Business and tax planning
  • Focused on nurturing development and growth of fellow executives, managers and team members

IT Projects

  • Championed, planned, and managed early adoption and implementation of Ziosk table top ordering and bill payment.
  • Project managed Aloha POS system and NBO (NCR) cloud-based inventory management system
  • Researched, indentified and drove adoption of MIRUS – cloud based business intelligence reporting tool.