WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Gaming Association (AGA) today announced that respected Washington association professional Geoff Freeman has been appointed president and chief executive officer effective July 1, 2013. Freeman brings sixteen years of association leadership and public affairs experience to the AGA, including successfully guiding a wide array of complex industry issue campaigns, reshaping and repositioning industries, and helping to pass key legislation.
Widely recognized as a passionate and strategic advocate with a strong association leadership background, Freeman joins the AGA after seven years at the U.S. Travel Association, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer. During his tenure at U.S. Travel, Freeman was instrumental in repositioning the industry to become a leading political force in Washington by developing new capabilities that strengthened its relevance, galvanized the industry's leadership, and enacted critical legislation to increase travel to and within the United States.
"We are excited to welcome Geoff to the AGA and look forward to working with him in his new role as president and CEO," said Richard Haddrill, chairman of Bally Technologies, Inc. and chairman of the AGA's Board of Directors. "He is both a thoughtful and energetic leader who already understands our industry, has a deep public policy background and extensive network of relationships in Washington, and has the skills to build coalitions and execute grass roots campaigns."
Freeman led operations and set the strategic vision for U.S. Travel while also overseeing the association's primary divisions: public affairs and government relations, meetings and membership, and operations. During his tenure, he also created the Travel CEO Roundtable and led the historic campaign to enact the Travel Promotion Act.
"I am honored by the opportunity to build on AGA's many successes and its effective representation of the vibrant gaming industry," said Freeman. "As gaming grows around the globe, I look forward to strengthening our partnership with other aspects of the travel community and advancing policies that can empower our industry to thrive for years to come."
Prior to U.S. Travel, Freeman worked at APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs firm, as vice president for issues management and at Freddie Mac as director of government affairs and strategic outreach. Earlier in his career, Freeman was with the American Association of Health Plans and the Heritage Foundation.
Freeman is preceded at the AGA by Frank J. Fahrenkopf, who announced earlier this year he was stepping down after leading the organization since its founding more than 17 years ago. After June 30, Fahrenkopf will be retained as a consultant to the AGA, through at least the end of 2013, to assist with the transition.
Freeman is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and resides in Arlington, Va., with his wife, Tita Thompson Freeman, and their two children.
The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.
SOURCE American Gaming Association