William E. Freeman is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience advising both U.S. and foreign companies as they have expanded their import and export operations. As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Freeman has founded and built a number of wholesale consumer product and retail companies and he brings significant hands on growth and turnaround experience to the Avalon team. Having spent much of his career working in Asia and the Middle East, he is the ideal professional to assist Avalon's overseas clients as they expand in the U.S. and our North American clients source product and expand their presence in these critical regions.
In 1989, Mr. Freeman formed the investor group that acquired Factory Card and Party Outlet Corp. He served as an active private Director, helping that company grow from 11 to over 200+ stores. He retired in 1996 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, after having guided the company through its public offering (NASDAQ-FCPO. In 1999, having deviated from the original growth strategy, the Factory Card entered Chapter 11 and the Board of Directors asked Mr. Freeman to re-take the reins of Factory Card. Mr. Freeman led the company to a profitable turnaround and an exit from Chapter 11 in 2002. Factory Card was recently acquired by Amscan LLC.
Mr. Freeman’s import-export expertise comes from founding several successful import firm as well as his years of executive experience with multinational companies. He was an officer with international positions at Champion International Corp, a multi billion dollar forest products company, and Bates Manufacturing Company (now Acco). He also served Assistant to the President of Walker Zanger, the largest U.S. importer, distributor and retailer of granite, marble, ceramic and tiles.
Mr. Freeman was named 1977 Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, the Kaufman Foundation, USA Today, NASDAQ and CNBC. He has served as a Director on both public and private boards. He is a former President of the American Office Products Exporter’s Association. He is a Patron and has served on the International Committee of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Mr. Freeman received an Honorable Discharge, after serving five years in the United States Marine Corps.