|Sen. Harry Reid|
The U.S. Travel Association reported that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), a preeminent supporter of the travel industry who spearheaded passage of the Travel Promotion Act, and long-time meetings industry innovator Donald S. Freeman have been selected as the 2011 inductees into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders.
Distinguished individuals are named to the Hall of Leaders maintained by the U.S. Travel Association for "sustained, noteworthy contributions that have positively impacted the travel industry, stimulated greater achievement, and raised industry-wide standards."
Reid and Freeman, who serves as chairman of the Freeman Companies, will be honored during a dinner among more than a hundred travel industry leaders during the U.S. Travel winter board meeting on December 1 at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.
"Senator Reid and Don Freeman have made invaluable contributions to our industry as champions of two critical components: attracting more international visitors to the United States, and business meetings and conferences," said Roger Dow, U.S. Travel's president and chief executive officer. "This is well-deserved recognition, and I look forward to joining the rest of the travel community in honoring them."
A consistent and longtime champion for the U.S. travel industry, the selection committee chose to honor Sen. Reid for his leadership in passage of the Travel Promotion Act, as well as his strong voice in defending the value of meetings, conventions and incentive travel when others in Washington were trying to denigrate business-related travel in late 2008 and early 2009, the association said.
Since assuming the leadership role for Freeman four decades ago, Don Freeman has continually led the company to raise the bar for improving the meetings experience. Among its many notable innovations, Freeman was first to provide automated floor-plan design and collaboration technologies, first to offer online ordering for exhibitors and first to provide real-time translation services for international exhibitors.
As a result, Freeman is considered to be the premier exhibition services company in North America, servicing 57 of the Gold Standard 100 largest trade shows in the U.S. and 107 of the 200 largest tradeshows in the U.S, U.S. Travel said.
With these inductions, 84 travel industry professionals have been inducted into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders since it was created in 1969. The 2010 inductee was Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.