Joan F. Bachenheimer

Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Joan is widely recognized for her work to establish the patient recruitment discipline. Her vision for the industry and expertise across many healthcare communication sectors inform the company’s work and drive its success. She continues to lead BBK’s product and service innovation and remains steadfast in her commitment to the industry’s adoption of patient-centric recruitment best practices.

Joan invests significant energy and resources in improving public and industry understanding of the value of clinical research and the patient's crucial role. She has been honored by the Boston Globe Magazine with a Top 100 Women-Led Business award. Joan co-authored the book Reinventing Patient Recruitment: Revolutionary Ideas for Clinical Trial Success, and was selected by PharmaVOICE as one of the 100 most inspiring people in the life sciences industry in 2005.

With a passion for inspiring others, Joan has taught healthcare marketing at Boston University’s College of Communication, and is currently serving on the Tufts University alumni board. Before co-founding BBK, Joan helped build Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s acclaimed public affairs division.


Outside of work, Joan enjoys theatre and spending time with her family.

Bonnie A. Brescia

Founder, Chief Development Officer

Bonnie is recognized for her leadership in the development and growth of the patient recruitment industry. Inspired by the desire to advocate for patients and increase their understanding of healthcare options, she co-founded BBK Worldwide in 1983. Her insights regarding the global clinical research community continue to inform the marketplace and help fuel BBK’s leadership, innovation and global expansion.

Passionate about elevating the patient voice and engaging patients as partners in research, Bonnie was instrumental in spearheading the now industry-wide standard of referring to study participants as patients rather than subjects. She has been honored by the Boston Globe Magazine with a Top 100 Women-Led Business award. Bonnie co-authored the book Reinventing Patient Recruitment: Revolutionary Ideas for Clinical Trial Success, and was selected by PharmaVOICE as one of the 100 most inspiring people in the life sciences industry in 2005.

Bonnie is committed to equal opportunities for diverse perspectives in business and community life, and most recently leading a forum on “The Female Perspective on the Clinical Trial Patient Experience” at the Annual Meeting of the Drug Information Association.

Bonnie A. Brescia

Bonnie is the mother of two daughters and mentor to many young professionals.

David Fleishman

Chief Strategy and Operations Officer

David draws on strong analytical, managerial and communication skills to design and implement BBK’s business strategies, set performance goals and establish policies that promote corporate culture and vision. He oversees financial operations, playing a key role in identifying and pursuing growth opportunities. David leverages his business acumen and account management skills to ensure client expectations are not only met, but exceeded.

David joined BBK in 2010, advancing rapidly through the account services department — from account coordinator, to manager, to director, and now chief operating officer. He has mastered not only the science of conducting successful client campaigns, but also the art of inspiring the best performance from his staff. In 2019, David was recognized by PharmaVOICE as one of the 100 most inspiring people in the life sciences industry.


David is an accomplished youth baseball coach in the Select Baseball League of Massachusetts. He and his wife Sarah are parents to twin daughters.

Rob Laurens

Chief Patient and Provider Officer

Since joining BBK in 1994, Rob has been instrumental in transforming the clinical trial experience, with an eye towards improving patient access, care and convenience. Rob leads BBK in its commitment to patient-centric recruitment and engagement best practices as he oversees the development and delivery of patient support service — including BBK’s landmark global travel and reimbursement programs.

Under Rob’s leadership, BBK’s concierge support specialists have helped enroll several high-profile pediatric rare disease clinical trials requiring complex international travel and customized support. Rob also serves as BBK’s Data Protections Officer, ensuring BBK remains compliant with all industry data regulations that guide the protection of personal and sensitive data, including GDRP. He has written extensively on the topic and its impact on the patient experience, including a popular article titled “GDPR – Its Intent and Its Integrity.” In 2007, Rob was selected by PharmaVOICE as one of the 100 most inspiring people in the life sciences industry.

Rob Laurens

Rob is an award-winning singer/songwriter and performs regularly throughout New England. He and his family enjoy minor league baseball games, drive-in movies and exploring the Cape Ann and Maine seacoasts.

André Briola

Vice President, Growth

André brings more than 20 years of recruitment, regulatory and clinical research experience to his role leading BBK’s Growth group and overseeing global strategy, research and media. He spearheads the strategic development of programs to support successful study completion across a range of therapeutic areas. With a focus on customer growth, André also works with other Publicis Health agency brands on partner strategies to drive enhanced customer experiences.

Born and raised in Mexico to Italian and French parents, André is fluent in Spanish, Italian and French. He often draws on his international knowledge to solve global patient recruitment and engagement challenges.

Before joining BBK in 2008, André held senior IRB and clinical research positions at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston; Children’s Hospital, Boston; Anahuac University School of Medicine, Mexico City; and La Raza Medical Center, Mexico City. He holds a Masters of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Boston University, Boston, and a Bachelor of Science, Medicine, from Anahuac University, Mexico City.


When he isn't working, you’ll likely find André at the gym or spending time along the coast of Maine.

Steven Fleishman

Senior Vice President, IT and Production Services

Steven manages the seamless integration of functions that support BBK’s infrastructure, including IT, facilities, management information systems and security. He plays a pivotal role in ensuring BBK has the systems and tools in place to effectively deliver all capabilities. As part of his responsibilities, he develops and manages technological infrastructure, implementing and maintaining critical IT systems, and researching new technologies and opportunities for process or system improvements.

With a talent for operational excellence, Steven also oversees BBK’s cultural adaptation, production and global distribution services. He draws on more than 30 years of global logistics and vendor management to ensure the flawless execution and delivery of services. Prior to joining BBK in 2013, Steven supervised operations and global distribution for a leading company in the workplace optimization space.


Outside of work, Steven enjoys spending time with his family and captaining his boat off the coast of Boston’s South Shore. He is an avid sports fan and trivia expert.

Liz Ritchie

Senior Vice President, Corporate Services

Liz directs talent acquisition and management, helping BBK identify and maintain a vibrant workforce. She spearheads employee onboarding, performance management and career growth. With a passion for fostering an innovative and employee-centric workplace, Liz oversees a range of ongoing employee training and development programs.

Liz also consults on legal and treasury services and advises on vendor contracting. She began her career at BBK in client services in 1994 and has played an important role in nearly every one of its teams and departments — bringing a deep understanding and keen insight across all facets of the business to inform her decisions and support the company’s market leadership and growth.

Liz Ritchie

Liz and her husband are parents to three high school- and college-aged children.

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