20 Under 40: C. J. Recher

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / C.J. Recher is pictured at the desk in his home office.

C. J. Recher, 36

Vice president, marketing, Five Star Food Service; Co-Founder, Feeding the Future

Mantra: #attitudeofgratitude

Quarantine projects: Fresh off watching my sister run in the Olympic Trials in Atlanta in late February, I had a goal to soon start training for my second full marathon, but those plans were quickly derailed by the unknown about the virus and cancelled races. However, I have since begun training as a running-shoe tester for Puma. I am currently in the middle of a 150-mile, 30-day test for a new pair of their shoes.

What motivates you? My Creator, who gives me life each day to live and work for His glory and purpose; my wife, current stay-at-home mom and former pediatric nurse, gives me the drive to be the best partner in doing life together to make her proud and provide for her as my biggest cheerleader and supporter; my two daughters give me the drive to make them proud and build in them a firm foundation for life; my parents, who instilled my drive, grit, work ethic and perseverance; my sisters, we have always pushed each other and encouraged each other.

What have you been most grateful for during the pandemic? This period has really forced me to take a step back and evaluate my perspective and focus on those around me and what is truly important in life and to have an 'attitude of gratitude.' It is so easy to get so caught up in the busyness of living life day to day, you often can lose focus of or take the most important things for granted. As stir-crazy as it can be sometimes, spending more quality time with my wife and kids at home has been a huge blessing, and really fun! Focusing on trying to build memories with each other through this time has been important, while trying not to just plod through each day just to get to the next.

How did the pandemic upend your routine? [Not much] other than having to put in more hours at work to manage through the crisis and continue projects for teammates who have been furloughed. I had visions of being able to take a breather from the whirlwind of the day-to-day grind to reset, reorganize and reprioritize as we prepared for our new fiscal year that began April 1. After about a week, it became very apparent this was going to be the exact opposite - a tough period of fast-paced decision making and adaptation through crisis management to help lead Five Star through the disruption caused by COVID.