Geoff Freeman will become president/CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. on Aug. 1. He replaces Pamela Bailey, who in February announced her intention to retire after nearly 10 years leading the food, beverage and consumer products association.
Freeman is president/CEO of the American Gaming Assn. (AGA), the trade association for the U.S. casino gaming industry. Bailey will stay on over the next two months to ease the transition.
“Geoff has a proven track record of building unity, creating successful engagement on complex issues and taking a proactive approach to advocacy that drives growth and expansion,” said William Cyr, CEO of Freshpet Inc. and head of the GMA board's search committee. “We look forward to benefiting from Geoff’s extensive experience in leading transformative change across industries as diverse as health care insurance, travel and tourism, and casino gaming.”
GMA noted that, in his five years leading the AGA, Freeman drove the campaign to declare the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional, paving the way for legalized sports betting nationwide. He previously was chief operating officer of the U.S. Travel Assn., where he successfully campaigned to enact the Travel Promotion Act, creating $200 million in funding annually to promote tourism to the United States and paving the way for the creation of the TSA PreCheck program.
“I’ve always been drawn to industries that have a close connection to consumers and am energized by the opportunity to play a role in driving the growth and evolution of one that is a vital part of people’s daily lives,” Freeman said. “I look forward to leading the development of strategies that firmly establish GMA as an effective driver of growth and collaboration in our industry.”