By Terry Miller
The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce honored 2019 Tournament of Roses Association President Gerald Freeny at the annual President’s Breakfast at the Hilton Pasadena on Thursday, Dec. 6.
Hundreds of guests braved the early morning heavy rains to hear Freeny’s touching and heartfelt keynote speech which focused on the importance of music in his life, especially in cancer recovery and multiple surgeries, as well as the unwavering support of his wife, Trina.
Chamber members and friends heard Freeny discuss “The Melody of Life,” the theme for the 2018 Tournament. Honored special guests included the Royal Court, as well as past Tournament presidents and local community and civic leaders.
Freeny is the first African-American to serve as President of the Tournament of Roses.
Freeny also gave us a couple of sneak peeks into what the Parade will consist of this year, which will include an appearance by KC and the Sunshine Band on one of the floats.
Freeny has been a volunteer member of the Tournament of Roses Association since 1988. In addition to his years of service to the Tournament, Freeny’s community involvement has included: president of the San Gabriel chapter of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives), the Pasadena Police Department Foundation Board, Pasadena Rose Bowl Aquatics Center Board, University Club, Pasadena YMCA Board and the Pasadena NAACP. Freeny is on the Advisory Board of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation and is a member of Historic First Lutheran Church.
Freeny attended Pasadena Christian School and John Muir High School and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from California State University, Los Angeles.