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FM Profile: Mark Freeman

FM Profile: Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman was named a Silver Plate Award winner in 2012

Mark FreemanWhen I complete my term in office, I will feel I’ve been successful if we continue our recent membership growth and develop a strong strategy for success. I want to see SFM not just follow trends and innovations but help set and direct them.

Our members would like to see SFM be the leader in all things related to the Client Liaison position. We know our membership revolves around this key role, and that role is changing every day.

When I ran for president, I promised I would continue the momentum we have experienced over the last few years. We want to build the tools and resources that can take the client liaison community to the next level.

My most unexpected reward in assuming this role has been feeling the passion and excitement of our membership. It continues to amaze me how willing our members are to help do whatever they can to drive the strategies we have laid out. What a great group of people!

The professional accomplishment I am proudest of is my acceptance of the IFMA Silver Plate for B&I in 2012. It was an incredible honor.

My first job in foodservice was as a dishwasher at a diner-style café.

The most important career decision I made was to move from the college and university market to the corporate segment. I only had to serve two meals a day and only Monday through Friday. It also led to my becoming a client liaison and I’m so glad I did.

I think my strongest personality trait is my easy-going attitude. I’m laid back but I do have high expectations.

The best way to improve the image of B&I foodservice is to anticipate the way the segment is evolving and be responsive to those changes.

The reason more young people don’t enter foodservice is the myth of long hours and hard work. The work in B&I may be challenging, but compared to other segments in the industry, the hours allow an excellent work/life balance.

The best career advice I ever received was to listen more than you speak and learn from every experience you have. I believe this has served me well and has served SFM well.

I think I have a real talent for listening and remaining calm under pressure.

People are surprised to find that I have an unusual hobby—weaving pine needle baskets!

The most challenging aspect of my job is working on a global timeline. It calls for a lot of late nights and early mornings!

If I weren’t in foodservice, I’d probably be working on a sailboat somewhere in the Caribbean.

The famous person I’d most like to meet is Paul McCartney. I’ve always been a fan.

If I could pass one piece of legislation it would be stricter gun controls. I lost a good person (Alex Teves) in Colorado. We need to stop this kind of violence somehow.

My favorite comfort food is mac and cheese.

Away from my job, I most like to sail the ocean blue! That’s how I cope with job stress.

At a Glance

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ASSOCIATION: Society for Foodservice Management (SFM)

No. of Members: 606
HQ Address: SFM, 455 S. 4th St., Suite 650, Louisville, KY 40202
Executive Director: Tony Butler

Phone: (502) 574--9931


MISSION/VISION: SFM is a community of professionals dedicated to enhancing hospitality services in the workplace through education, networking and innovation.


Job: Sr. Manager for Global Employee Services at Microsoft

Earlier Career:

Saga Corporation
Marriott Corporation
Hewlett Packard
H. David Porter Corp.

Education: BA from The Evergreen State College; 3 years in the Hotel and Restaurant program at Washington State University (Go Cougs!)

TAGS: Management
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