Rosemont, IL – A new year for Rosemont will begin with new management for both the convention center and convention bureau following the announcement on Jan. 4 that James Freeman was retiring as general manager of the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center in the Chicago suburb.
Christopher Stephens was named general manager to replace Freeman at the convention center effective immediately while William Anderson was selected to fill Stephens’ role as general manager of the Rosemont Convention and Tourism Bureau. Anderson was formerly the deputy superintendent of Rosemont’s Public Safety Department, which is in charge of security at the convention center and nearby hotels.
Mayor Donald Stephens said placing a public-safety professional in charge of a convention bureau so close to the busy O’Hare airport was “a good idea.”
Freeman, who ran the Stephens Center for 30 of its 32 years, will stay on as a consultant to the facility. During his tenure, the convention center was expanded repeatedly. The most recent expansion, completed in 2004, moved the facility up to 840,000 square feet of prime exhibit space, and establishing it as the 12th largest convention center in the U.S., according to Trade Show Executive magazine’s 2006 directory of the World’s Top Convention Centers.
Christopher Stephens has risen steadily through the ranks of Rosemont’s exhibition industry since he joined Rosemont Exposition Services as an account executive in 1997. He joined the convention center in 1999 as a sales manager and became assistant executive director in 2004. He moved to the convention bureau last year for a brief stint as executive director before returning to the Stephens Center as general manager.