by Allen J. Sheinman | October 01, 2010

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 [], 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 []. 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.

On the Move

PlannersHPN Global hires Bruce
Brian Bruce has been hired as vice president, internal marketing, by Hospitality Performance Network Global, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based global site-selection and meetings-procurement company. Previously, Bruce served in the sales department with the Marriott World Center in Orlando, and before that in sales positions with Buena Vista Hospitality Group and the Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Suppliers At the Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg in Russia, Ken Dittrich has been appointed general manager.

Steve Halliday has been named managing director of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is set to open in early 2011.

In Carlsbad, Calif., Mary Ellen Hamor has been appointed corporate sales manager at the La Costa Resort and Spa, which is set to open in early 2011.

Nick Del Pozzo has been hired as sales manager at the Hyatt Regency Monterey (Calif.); he will be responsible for the San Francisco, East Bay and Sacramento areas.

The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., has hired Jason Heath to serve as director of sales and marketing.

At the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kevin Kamenzind, former senior vice president of sales and marketing, has been promoted to chief marketing officer, and James Jesse Jr., former vice president of sales, has been promoted to senior vice president of sales.

The Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa in Berkeley, Calif., has appointed Adrian Larick to serve as the property's director of sales and marketing.

At the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa in Oahu, Hawaii, Geri Marino has been named director of event management.

Steve Merriman has been named director of marketing at The Chandler, a boutique property in Newport, R.I.

Destination management company GEP Atlanta has named Kaye Mulkeen as president.

Philadelphia-based AMResorts has named Violeta Sales as corporate director of groups.