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Freeman announces incoming 2014 president

Freeman, a provider of integrated marketing solutions for live engagements, announced its incoming 2014 president who will become the company’s fifth leader in its 86-year history.

Following the retirement of John O’Connell, the current president – Bob Priest-Heck, chief sales officer, will become chief operating officer of Freeman on Aug. 1 and president on June 30, 2014.

“We ensure that our leaders reflect our company values of integrity, empathy, innovation, enthusiasm and performance excellence. This thoughtful, long-range approach has enabled us to build our management team with strong leaders like John and Bob, whom our customers and employee-owners can count on to be with us for the long haul,” said Joe Popolo,  CEO, Freeman.

Overseeing Freeman’s exposition business as well as Freeman AV and FreemanXP, Priest-Heck previously worked as president and CEO of Immersa Marketing and Wheelhouse Solutions, which Freeman acquired in 2011.

“Bob has a proven track record of bringing together strategic, collaborative and high-performing teams,” said O’Connell. “I’m confident that Bob’s passion and expertise uniquely position him to lead the Freeman team as we continue to not only grow and expand our business but also deepen our relationships with our valued clients.”

Bringing experience as a former Freeman client and through previous executive-level roles, Priest-Heck also served as president and CEO of MediaLive International Inc., where he worked with media brands such as Interop, Business Communications Review Magazine, COMDEX, Seybold Seminars and Publishing and Web 2.0.

He was also vice president of international operations at SOFTBANK Expos; executive vice president of operations for Ziff-Davis and held various positions with Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Priest-Heck is also a board member for the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

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