Mr. John F. O'Connell, Jr., '70
John F. O’Connell, Jr. created this fund in honor of his parents, John F. and Margaret P. O’Connell. John O’Connell, his brother, first wife Catherine and daughter were all UMass Amherst students. John earned his BS in Chemistry from the College of Natural Sciences ‘69-’70,and his MBA from the Isenberg School of Management ‘72. While still a student John founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series and was President of the Distinguished Visitors Program. After his graduation, John was a member of the UMass Amherst community, working as the Director of Alumni Relations from 1973 until 1978. John served as a member of the Board of Directors of the UMass Foundation, Inc. from 1976-1999. During that time he was an extremely involved and valued Director serving as: Executive Secretary, 1976-77; Executive Director, 1978; Executive Vice President, 1979-1983; and finally as President, 1984-87. Following his service to the UMass Foundation, John joined Concept Industries as their VP of Administration and Finance. In 1988 he joined Freeman, rising to his current position of President. Freeman is the leading global partner for live expositions, conventions, corporate events and exhibits internationally. It is headquartered in North America and the U.K. producing more than 4,300 expositions annually, including over half of the largest U.S. trade shows and 11,000 other events worldwide. John has provided active leadership within the company, personally producing several of Freeman’s largest shows including the New York International Auto Show and the Boston Seafood Show. John has a wide range of experience within the company, serving as senior vice president for the northeast, executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 2008 he became Freeman’ s President. Upon his retirement in June of 2014, John has continued as the Director of the parent board of Freeman while he and his wife Donna split their time between their homes in San Francisco and Hawaii.
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