Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 30 2014

Meet The New President Of Freeman

By David McMillin


Beginning on July 1, Bob Priest-Heck will be more than the COO of Freeman. The experience marketing veteran will be stepping into the role of President, too. Find out more about what makes him tick with PCMA’s 7 Questions With… series.

1) What’s the last book you read?

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Gladwell is an amazing storyteller!  The most dangerous threat to any industry leader is complacency.  And all the resources and talent in the world doesn’t guarantee success.

2) Which songs are currently getting the most rotation while you¹re at the office?

I like all kinds of music!  Sing by Ed Sherren.  Anything by Mary J. Blige!  She’s one of my very favorites.  Monster by EMINEM with Rhianna.  Love Slim Shady!

And Crash My Party by Luke Bryan.  How’s that for a mix bag shuffle?

3) What would the title of a TV reality show about your life be?

I’m a fan of reality shows like Survivor and Big Brother, where different kinds of people are put into extreme situations and challenged to overcome physical, social, intellectual and emotional challenges through teamwork and ingenuity.

There really should be a Reality TV show about the trade show and exhibition industry.  We produce minor miracles on a daily basis!  We are challenged to create huge and spectacular environments that require hundreds of people, working together with absolute precision under enormous pressure to bring our client’s visions to life and achieve a remarkable array of increasingly complex business and communication objectives.  And then, we take it all down and move it out in a day!  Our business would make a great Reality TV Show.  Then again, no one would believe it.

4) What most excites you about the next five years (personally and/or professionally)?

Personally I have three teenaged girls, so nothing excites me about the next five years.  I am scared to death.  Although, I saw a guy with a t-shirt the other day that said, You cant scare me, I have a daughter.  Professionally I’m absolutely excited about the role Freeman is playing to redefine brand experiences.  What a platform!  We are well positioned to transform, grow and extend the world of live engagements by connecting people in meaningful ways. There’s no place else I’d rather be!

5) In a past life, you were…

I’m still living this one!  I don’t look backwards.  We only get one life and I’m making the most of it!

6) If you didn’t work in the meetings industry, what would you be doing?

I would be an architect.  I love great design.  I appreciate things that are simple, and yet beautiful.

7) What is your motto?                                                                               

Treat people the way you want to be treated.

And if I could have two mottos, the other would be:

Demonstrate unconditional love in all things.  Create partnerships that are forgiving and value continuous improvement.

The 7 Questions With… series is an opportunity to get to know your colleagues outside of a conversation strictly geared toward meetings and events. Click here to check out our inaugural installment with Choose Chicago’s D. Bradley Kent.

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