In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and the meetings and convention industry, PCMA honored Donald S. (Don) Freeman, Jr., chairman of Freeman, with the PCMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Freeman accepted the honor during the general session at the 2012 PCMA annual meeting, Convening Leaders, in San Diego, Calif.
“Leading by example, Don Freeman has supported the commitment of countless Freeman employees and clients, each of whom dedicated their time and energy to allowing PCMA to offer the very best in education, research and industry innovation,” said Susan Katz, PCMA Chairman. “Not only has he donated his time and that of his organization for the betterment of PCMA, he has also provided significant financial support, enabling us to provide resources to our members. PCMA would not be where it is today without Don Freeman’s personal support and dedication, and for that, we are extremely grateful.”
Freeman graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964 to join the family business founded by his father, Buck Freeman (an avid PCMA member himself). Named executive vice president in 1968, Freeman served in several branch locations before moving to Dallas, where the company’s headquarters was relocated in 1974. He became president of Freeman in 1972, and was named chairman and CEO in 1977.
Freeman is the premier provider of integrated services for face-to-face marketing events including expositions, conventions, corporate events and exhibits of all sizes. With over 40 offices throughout North America, Freeman produces more than 15,000 events annually, including 54 percent of the 250 largest U.S. tradeshows.
A strategic partner of PCMA, Freeman supports PCMA through a variety of education and networking offerings, including the audiovisual, presentation technology, show services, decorating and production management services for the PCMA annual Convening Leaders meeting.
“One of Don Freeman’s greatest gifts to PCMA has been his active volunteer participation on both committees and boards – sharing his strategic insights to make us a smarter and stronger organization,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA president and CEO. “As a PCMA member for 51 years and a regular attendee at our annual meetings, he’s steadfastly demonstrated he values PCMA as the organization that best connects him to his customers and helps to further nurture and strengthen his relationships.”
Freeman has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including induction into the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders. He has received the IAEM Distinguished Service Award, the PCMA President’s Award and the Trade Show Exhibitors Association Distinguished Service Award. In 2007, he received PCMA’s Distinguished Member Award, and the Spirit of Hospitality Award from Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), as well as the Distinguished Life Member Award from the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE).
Active in the local community, Freeman currently serves on the boards of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (Dallas CVB) and the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he is an avid supporter of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Chief Executives Roundtable and the National Center for Policy Analysis.