A Message to our Industry Friends
From Joe Popolo, president of Freeman and Craig Smith, president-U.S. of AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions:
- Thanks to everyone for your great concern for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We have already received many calls from industry friends and clients wondering about the status of our Freeman and AVW-TELAV family of employees in New Orleans and surrounding areas.
While the complete status of the New Orleans Freeman and AVW-TELAV office facilities and our employeesâ€™ families are still developing, here is the current status: Most of our employees have checked in, appear to be safe and have temporary living arrangements outside the city. We have made arrangements for them to get immediate paychecks, and are also working on short-term and long-term solutions for their positions with our company.
For those of you who have indicated a desire to help our employees, please check back on our web site for more details. At this time, they have indicated that there is no way to send supplies or clothing. We expect to set up a voluntary donation fund for employees and friends who wish to send money.
Our sales staff has been in touch with as many New Orleans-bound clients as possible. For those who have questions or need information about their events, see below:
To assist Freeman customers who have upcoming events in New Orleans:
1. Exhibitors who are concerned about upcoming shows in New Orleans, please call:
Freeman Customer Support Center: 888-508-5054.
AVW-TELAV Exhibitor Services: 214-623-1361
2. Exposition and Event managers who have upcoming events in New Orleans, please call:
Freeman: Mike Bruley: 504-628-3202, or 214-670-9000
AVW-TELAV: Darren Temple: 214-623-1346, or 214-869-4949
We know Freeman people naturally rise to a challenge, and rest assured we are coordinating a centralized effort by all our branch offices to provide assistance to our employees and clients affected by Hurricane Katrina as soon as possible. Until our staff, as well as local authorities, can get back in to the city to better evaluate the situation, it will be difficult to determine the exact amount of damage done to the local area and related facilities. Until then, thank you for keeping our staff in your thoughts, prayers, and hopes that they and their loved ones remain safe.