Freeman will succeed Pamela Bailey, who is retiring after leading the GMA for the past 10 years. Bailey will work over the next several weeks with Freeman and GMA’s senior leadership to ensure a smooth transition, the association announced in a statement.
Freeman has been working as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, which advocates on behalf of casino operators and suppliers, and represents the industry’s interests in the debate over how to create a legal sports betting market in the United States.
“Geoff stood out as having a dynamic perspective, and he is the best person to lead our industry’s response to the changing needs of consumers, along with those of the companies — large and small — whose interests GMA represents,” said Vivek Sankaran, a member of GMA’s search committee and the president and chief operating officer of Frito-Lay North America.
Freeman’s experience in leading “transformative change” across a diverse set of industries was a factor in his selection, said William Cyr, CEO of Freshpet Inc. and head of the search committee. “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,” Cyr said.
GMA has more than 250 members across the food, beverage and consumer products sectors.
“I’ve always been drawn to industries that have a close connection to consumers,” Freeman said in a statement. “I look forward to leading the development of strategies that firmly establish GMA as an effective driver of growth and collaboration in our industry.”