As senior vice president of public affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Travel Association, Geoffrey Freeman is involved in myriad lobbying efforts, research and more in the service of promoting business travel. He also has been a major voice in defending the role of meetings and events as a major cornerstone of American business.
What's on your plate right now? I'm particularly excited about our Power of Travel Coalition [travelcoalition.org], which is about amassing a grassroots army to help defend and strengthen the American travel community. Key issues include demonstrating the value of travel to the American economy, responding to critics and crises such as man-made or natural disasters, and making all travelers feel safe and welcome in the face of increasingly stringent security regulations and other restrictions.
And on the meetings front? We're proud of our initiative to bring together the CEOs of all the major meeting planner organizations this month to ensure we are all sharing resources and tackling advocacy issues as a team. And we continue to press on with our Meetings Mean Business campaign [meetingsmeanbusiness.com]. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to prove the return on investment of meetings-related activities, and we're trying to recruit more allies from the business world to help us make the case.
Do you ever find time to relax? I try. It's a beautiful time of year right now in D.C., and my Green Bay Packers give me a break. Plus, my two beautiful children, ages 2 and 4, are the most important face-to-face meetings I have.