Freeman Executives Speak to Hospitality Students
May 02, 2012

Freeman's Chief Operating Officer, Albert Chew and Chief Marketing Officer, Toby Purdy generously contributed their time to address undergraduate students in Laurea Irving's Special Event Management class during their campus visit on March 23, 2012. Chew and Purdy offered students insight to Freeman, the world's largest, premiere provider of integrated services for traveling expositions and exhibitions, conventions, corporate events, meetings, and special events. "I appreciate leaders in the industry sharing their journey with the students-giving a glimpse of the fact that success does not happen overnight, but rather is a process of hard work, tenacity, integrity and excellence," stated Irving.

Jerry Dickenson, Dedman Chair in Club Management, introduced Chew to the class. Dickenson, former CEO of ClubResorts, originally hired Chew as Vice President of ClubResorts. Chew was then promoted to Executive Vice President of ClubCorp and also served as a Board Member. Dickenson commented, "Mr. Chew was one of my best ever hires." Chew subsequently founded his own consulting firm before joining Freeman, one of his clients.  In addition, Purdy shared his career story, including his previous position as Chief Marketing Officer for Greyhound Lines.

Freeman is a family and employee owned 85 year old company that earned a top-25 ranking as one of the "Top 100 Places to Work" in DFW in 2010. The Dallas-based Freeman has 70 offices nationwide and annually produces over 4,300 expositions and over 11,000 corporate and special events.

Chew and Purdy discussed the innovation, creativity, strategy and technology that have allowed Freeman to grow and expand with long-term success. Freeman revolutionized the industry being the first company to provide large-scale exhibit banners in the 1930s and the first to drape exhibit booths in 1947. Among Freeman's many other firsts, achievements and awards, they were the first U.S. contractor to produce a U.S.-based trade show overseas, the first to provide automated floor-plan design and collaboration technologies, the first to provide real-time translation services for international exhibitors, and the first to provide online digital media services to leverage value of face to face events 365 days a year.  In 2010, Freeman produced the industry's first virtual exhibitor service center tool, Concierge Elite.

Freeman is a Texas-based company that began in 1927 by visionary founder Donald S. "Buck" Freeman. His son, Donald S. (Don) Freeman, Jr. is the current Chairman of Freeman. Donald S. Freeman, Jr. has been inducted into the Convention Industry Council's Hall of Leaders, the industry's most prestigious form of recognition for a lifetime of significant contributions to the improvement of the event industry. He has received the International Association for Exhibition Management Distinguished Service Award, the Professional Convention Management Association (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, as well as the Distinguished Life Member Award from the Texas Society of Association Executives. To learn more about Freeman, go to:


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