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Andrew R. Freeman ’84

President, Andrew Freeman and Co. Restaurant and Hospitality Consultants

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Andrew Freeman always imagined a life on the stage. The excitement of a curtain call and the varied assortment of characters had an appeal to him unlike any other type of entertainment. Originally from Passaic, New Jersey, Freeman grew up acting in local theater and eventually transferred to Montclair State, where he continued theatrical pursuits and majored in marketing and communications studies with a business minor. Fast forward to the present day, where he is the creator and star of Andrew Freeman & Co. Restaurant and Hospitality Consultants.

Now living in San Francisco, California, Freeman thinks back to his early days at Montclair State.

“From my first day I could see New York City from campus,” he recalls. “I knew then that’s where I belonged. So much so that when my senior year came, I sent out 100 letters for internships in the city.”

His ambition paid off. Freeman interned at an ad agency in New York City during his senior year and then stayed with the agency for two years after he graduated. This position led to professional opportunities in marketing and the restaurant business, where he first started out as a singing waiter and host. It was through this work that he learned that the restaurant business couldn’t be more similar to life on the stage.

“There’s a cast of characters and when the door opens, the curtain goes up,” he says. “It’s the most scripted experience, but you never know what’s going to happen and that’s why I think I love it.”

He then went on to work with some of New York’s finest restaurants which include the Russian Tea Room, Windows on the World and the Rainbow Room.

At the Russian Tea Room, he opened the Cabaret which became the toast of the town after only six months. At Windows on the World, he was Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing and was responsible for the re-launch after the World Trade Center bombing in 1992. He then spent six years as the Vice President of Public Relations for the Rainbow Room and went onto work at Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. In total, he spent 10 years with Kimpton launching over 40 hotels and restaurants as well as the global brand.

As President of Andrew Freeman and Co., Freeman is a dedicated philanthropist and sits on the boards of Meals on Wheels San Francisco, Dress for Success San Francisco and the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation since 2000.

“When I was at Montclair State I had caring professors who helped me in a time of need,” he says. “Tom Veenendall and Wayne Bond specifically were two of my professors in the Communications Department who helped me during my transition. It was their support that made me realize that there’s a reason why people pay it forward and it has since inspired me to give back.”

Over the course of his career, Freeman has remained close friends with several of his classmates from Montclair State and also raised two loyal companions at home. Daisy and Tulip are his Yorkshire Terriers who won audiences over during the August 5 episode of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listings, San Francisco, which featured Freeman last month. Far from his final act, Freeman is currently developing and finalizing writing a semi-autobiographical book that will capture stories from his early days in the restaurant business and hopefully inspire future restaurateurs.