Utah businessman and honorary consul to bolster state’s global status and international engagement.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (June 30, 2023) — World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is excited to announce Jonathan Freedman as the new president and CEO. Freedman will succeed Miles Hansen and begin on July 31.
“I have the utmost confidence in our selection of Jonathan as WTC Utah's next president and CEO,” said Jon Huntsman, WTC Utah’s board chair. “Jonathan has it all: decades of success in international business, substantial global engagement, deep connections to the local community and a reputation for giving back. Through his leadership, WTC Utah will be well positioned to accelerate the global growth of Utah businesses.”
Freedman’s entrepreneurial journey began during his teenage years, when he co-founded Downeast Outfitters. The clothing and furniture company grew to 64 locations across seven western states, and Downeast was acquired by Malouf Companies in 2020. Freedman remained with Downeast as director of international sourcing and production while also working with Malouf’s government relations team. These positions took him to China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Guatemala, Peru and Mexico — where he managed sourcing and factory partnerships, spearheaded product development at scale and skillfully led two overseas teams.
“I’ve had the privilege to be involved with WTC Utah over the years and have been consistently impressed by their ability to leverage Utah's global influence and generate new business opportunities,” said Freedman. “I'm honored to follow Miles as president and CEO of this incredible team, and I look forward to building on their successes and advancing Utah worldwide.”
In addition to his new role with WTC Utah, Freedman will continue to serve as the honorary consul of Ukraine in Utah, a position he has held since 2008. As honorary consul and a member of the Utah Consular Corps, Freedman actively supports Utah’s Ukrainian community and facilitates connections between the state and Ukraine’s diplomats and business leaders. In May, Freedman returned to Ukraine with a delegation of Utah business and government leaders on a trade mission co-organized by WTC Utah to provide humanitarian support, explore business options, and connect with Ukraine on a deeper level in its time of need. The visit culminated with a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Freedman was elected by WTC Utah’s Board of Directors after a thorough, months-long search process among prospective candidates. The search committee sought candidates with international experience to work closely and collaboratively with strategic partners throughout the state and elevate Utah’s work on the global stage. WTC Utah thanks the committee for overseeing the process with great diligence and vision.
“It’s been an honor to be a part of the WTC Utah team over the last five years,” Hansen shared. “I promised to find us an upgrade in our next president and CEO, and I’m so excited to know that Jonathan fulfills that promise and so much more. His experience will bring a fresh and skilled perspective that will undoubtedly enhance the work of the organization. WTC Utah's best days are ahead with Jonathan at the helm of our world-class team.”
WTC Utah has quadrupled in size and grown its impact exponentially under Hansen’s leadership. Last year alone, the organization delivered more than 1,300 services to nearly 400 companies, resulting in $152 million in new international business opportunities for Utah companies. Hansen has accepted an offer to become the president and board director of the Stirling Foundation, a Utah-based global humanitarian organization, and will remain on the WTC Utah Board of Directors.
WTC Utah will build upon its commitment to make Utah the crossroads of the world under its new leadership. Freedman will lead a talented team and robust network to grow the organization’s momentum around the world and support even more Utah businesses by increasing their sales, optimizing supply chains and facilitating investment.