Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D.


"For 20 NBA seasons I served as player development mentor and character coach to the Washington Bullets/Wizards team -- which gave me a unique inside perspective regarding team chemistry, leadership, stress, change management, cultural competency, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and winning/losing at the pro level..."

Internationally sought-after conference speaker and workshop facilitator | Passionate about dynamic, fun-filled excellence | Multiculturally astute, with travels to 55+ countries | Accomplished author | Edu-tainment specialist | Serial entrepreneur | Professional counselor | Philanthropist | Recognized globally as a specialist in helping organizations unlock the potential of their human capital |  Success coach to executives | Behavioral analyst | Organizational culture change specialist | Corporate trainer | Rosetta Stone history expert | Magazine publisher | Recipient of numerous awards, citations and honors | Motivational consultant | Mentor to pro athletes | Award-winning film maker | A solutionist | Critical Incident Debriefing coach | Photographer | A life motivated by curiosity |  Experiences an on-going love/hate relationship with technology | Easily distracted and mesmerized by live music or street performers | Devoted husband and father | Off-key singer and extremely bad dancer | No Bull | No Hype...

   Born in Maine (1954) and raised in a small town (2,000) in Alberta, Canada, Joel A. Freeman brings a rich reservoir of personal experience blended with contagious enthusiasm, clarity and down to earth humor to empower people from diverse walks of life with improved communication skills and maximized productivity.
"Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy!"® is not only the brand for his company, but also is the title of the most requested seminar experience... with a book in the works.

   The Freeman Institute® (TFI), of which Dr. Freeman is CEO/President, is a company with eight main arenas of expertise:

         i.     Workshop / Seminar / Retreat  Facilitation / Keynote Addresses
         ii.   Reality-Based Organizational  Culture  Change
         iii.  Executive  Success  Coaching / Critical Incident Debriefings

         iv.  Black History Presentations / Diversity (Diversity Day)  &  Cultural Awareness
Entrepreneurship / Business Intelligence and Creativity
Open Registration Seminar Events -- example: Hampton Roads, VA
       vii.  The Freeman Institute® Foundation / Rosetta Stone Replica Project
      viii.  freeman publishing --  books, DVDs, films, ebooks, magazines, graphic novels, etc.

   Freeman participated in a Pan African Conference (Fall, 2002) addressing tribal warfare, AIDS and conflict management, with well over 100  African Kings and Queens in attendance (Benin, West Africa). Dr. Freeman is currently working on several films including, African Kings: A Journey Into The Past, Present and Future of African Kingdoms.

   A seasoned, well-traveled veteran, Joel has an impressive list of satisfied clients ranging from the Prime Minister of Grenada and senior officials of Barbados to the White House Communications staff (WHCA), E! Entertainment Television, Blacks In Government (BIG), NASA, Verizon, FBI, GE, EMI Music Group, Ikea, NRC, CDC, YPO, National Security Agency, NIH, Association of International Schools of Africa (AISA), US Sentencing Commission, Billboard Music Group, Black Public Relations Society, European Council of International Schools (ECIS), many pro athletes and executives around the globe.


 Dr. Freeman's most popular seminar/presentation titles:

--------------- The Curiosity-Driven Life
-------------- Connecting Now With Later
------------- Enhancing Your Emotional Intelligence
------------ Diversity: The Value of Mutual Respect
----------- All Stressed Out And Nobody To Choke!

---------- A White Man's Journey Into Black History
--------- When Strangling Someone Isn't An Option!
-------- Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy!®
------- If Nobody Loves You, Create The Demand!®
------ Lessons From Blades of Grass in a Concrete Jungle
----- IGNITE (or re-ignite) Your Entrepreneurial Passion!
---- How Your Personality Impacts Your Personal Success!
--- Business Wisdom and Life Lessons from an NBA Chaplain
-- The Mysterious Rosetta Stone: Cracking the Code to Your Team's Success
- Professional Bloodsuckers: Dealing With the People Who Drain You of Your Time,  Energy and Patience

    With well over a half a million copies in print, Freeman’s seven books and three DVDs have received rave reviews worldwide, endorsed by notables like Steve Forbes, Bill Cosby, Julius (Dr. J) Erving, Cathy Hughes, Ben Carson, Brian Tracy, Joe Frazier, Teri Woods, Ken Blanchard, Rich DeVos, George Fraser, Pat Williams and Billy Graham -- books published in 28  foreign translations:

   1. RETURN TO GLORY®: The Powerful Stirring of the Black Man (book/audio book & film)
   2. KINGDOM ZOOLOGY: Dealing With the Wolves, Serpents and Swine in Your Life
   4. When Life Isn't Fair: Making Sense Out of Suffering
   5. A White Man's Journey Into Black History
® --
(2-hour DVD)
   6. Professional Bloodsuckers: Dealing With the People Who Drain You of Your Time,
        Energy and Patience --
(26-minute video VHS)
   7. Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy!
®  (4-hour VHS album)
   8. If Nobody Loves You, Create The Demand
® - (book/workbook/audio book combination)

   For 20 wonderful seasons Freeman served as veteran mentor/chaplain for NBA’s Washington Bullets / Wizards (78/79-97/98). Quite a number of pro athletes from basketball and hockey to football and baseball have consulted with him on a variety of personal and professional matters. He has served as mentor to Sports World ('98-'04), an organization with 13-15 ex-pro athletes who speak to close to a million young people every year. Freeman is a Diplomate member of the International Sports Professionals Association (ISPA).

  Duties involved team meetings before every home game, counseling, studying with them, golfing, hanging out, spending time together discussing top-of-mind issues, helping new players and their wives feel welcome and a part of a new team culture, keeping in touch with their parents, and so much more.  Absolute confidentiality. Kind of a combined player development assistant, empathic listener, kick-butt coach, mentor, counselor, spiritual adviser, pastor and confidant.

  Dr. Freeman wrote a tribute to former Bullet's player, Manute Bol who died on June 19, 2010. Joel was also interviewed  in the well-reviewed film about Manute aired on TV in Spain.

   Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World, Dr. Freeman holds a master of science degree in the field of counseling from Loyola College (Baltimore) and also a Ph.D. in the same discipline. A number of his Ancient Egyptian photographs have been published by McGraw-Hill, Teaching and Learning, Rosh Gadol (Israeli science magazine for kids), Nelson Educational, the Pharaoh's Curse video game and utilized in countless educational settings.

   As a State of Maryland Board certified professional counselor (inactive) and behavioral analyst, he specializes in equipping individuals with the tools to create proactive, motivated personal and business environments. His initiatives in government agencies, the corporate world, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations have received exceptional evaluations and references because of his articulate, entertaining, and thought-provoking style of communication.


   Dr. Freeman is the Founder of The Freeman Institute® Foundation.  -- Funds are being raised to donate a copy of a number of resources, including the Return To Glory film (and other resources) to prisons, jails, juvenile detention facilities and schools in America. Recently the award-wining film was translated into French, Portuguese and Spanish.  This translation work will permit the Foundation to donate copies of the DVD across Africa, parts of Europe and South America and the Caribbean. Future plans include  utilizing The Freeman Institute® Black History Collection to set up Black History galleries in many major cities across America and also in selected cities internationally.

Introducing Dr. Freeman at an event?

  Most introductions include some of the following elements:

  • Mentor/Chaplain for the NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards for 20 seasons.
  • Prolific writer, with seven best-selling books...currently in 28 foreign translation editions -- endorsed by the likes of Steve Forbes, Julius Erving, Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Cathy Hughes, Billy Graham, Brian Tracy and many more...
  • Co-created an award-winning film, Return To Glory, which has been translated into French, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Owns a Black History collection of over 3,000 genuine documents & artifacts (oldest piece 1553).
  • Creator of the world's first full-size, 3-D replica of the famous Rosetta Stone (used to crack the code to hieroglyphics in 1822).
  • Multiculturally astute, with travels to well over 50 countries around the world.
  • Devoted husband and father...married to Shirley, with four grown children. Resides in Severn, MD.
  • Off-key singer and extremely bad dancer.

   Many documents and artifacts from The Freeman Institute Black History collection were showcased in the United Nations' 75-day "Transatlantic Slave Trade" exhibition (both 2011 & 2012) held at the UN headquarters in NYC.  Well over a half a million visitors reviewed both exhibits at the United Nations (2011 & 2012).

  Also some of Freeman's  items have been featured in the ongoing UN-sponsored exhibition traveling around the world (Madagascar, Switzerland, Turkey, Bolivia, Sierra Leone, Colombia, South Africa, Mexico, Cameroon, & more.

  Freeman has also exhibited items from The Freeman Institute Black History Collection in a number of other venues around North America, including the White House Communications (WHCA), Rutgers University, Harlem Book Fair, US Department of Justice, NSA, Frostburg State University, NOAA, EPA, NASA, NPR, Howard University, Blacks In Government, Eastfield College, FBI, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, US Secret Service, NTSB, and many more sites.


  Dr. Freeman has been the recipient of numerous awards, citations, and honors. An example of one is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "We Share The Dream" Award, with Baltimore Mayor as keynote speaker and the Maryland Governor as another honoree at the oldest annual MLK awards dinner event (est. 1988) in the Baltimore/Washington region.

   Dr. Freeman is a popular speaker on the topic of Black History, speaking at Blacks In Government, NASA, Department of Justice, NIH, Verizon, ICE, Frostburg State University, Walter Reed Medical Center, AISA  (Association of International Schools of Africa), SSA, FBI, ASALH (Assoc. for the Study of African American Life & History), Baltimore City Community College, Los Alamos National Laboratory and many other organizations around the world. On certain occasions, Freeman will bring 20-30 pieces of the TFI Black History Collection when invited to speak on the intriguing topic, "A White Man's Journey Into Black History"®.


  Freeman collects and  studies vintage handwritten letters and first edition books, especially from the 16th century all the way to mid 20th century. He's a big fan of primary source material. Dr. Freeman has cobbled together an article "Confessions of a Budding Truthcentrist." In it he seeks to provide an even-handed definition and critique of both Afrocentrism & Eurocentrism.


   In 1980, Dr. Freeman initiated the idea for The Shepherd’s Guide, a comprehensive directory of values-centered businesses in Baltimore. Today, under the guidance of Doug Scheidt (owner and president), 3.5 million copies of The Shepherd’s Guide are distributed annually. With more than 30,000 advertisers represented, the directories are now available for free in 125 different cities across the U.S.A., Canada and Puerto Rico. For a number of years Dr. Freeman served as business mentor and chaplain to the franchisees of The Shepherd’s Guide.

  Ever the educational entrepreneur, Dr. Freeman has developed a number of models of the famous Rosetta Stone, including a stunning full-size, museum-quality 3-D replica, a "lost wax" fine art bronze, a 3-D digital holographic image, etc.


  Dr. Freeman officially launched the Rosetta Stone replica project at the Library of Congress (DC) in 2009, with his popular presentation, "The Mysterious Rosetta Stone" A Code-Crackin' International Treasure." Freeman has presented on that same topic at the National Security Agency (NSA) and other entities. There are many organizational wisdom lessons to be learned by your group about cracking the codes to: collaboration, leadership, team work, conflict resolution, cultural competency, creativity and productivity. He also has developed a short film, "Rosetta Stone: Replicating a Mystery."

  As the Editor-in-Chief of the 32-page everyday matters® magazine, Freeman has developed a unique model designed to strengthen families by addressing felt-need issues like child rearing, emotional intelligence, dealing with aging parent, cyberbullying, etc. -- along with compelling interviews with such notables as Dr. Ben Carson. The goal is to create regional distribution pockets with this free magazine throughout North America and the rest of the English-speaking world.

   Dr. Freeman is the host of "The Entrepreneurial Connection" -- a set of 72 free radio 5-minute programs being picked up by radio networks around the world. As a member of the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) Dr. Freeman loves doing presentations on college campuses on various topics: the entrepreneurial journey, leadership, multicultural competency, emotional intelligence in corporate life, and more.


     Freeman has been quoted or written about in many articles and periodicals including:  Washington Times, Maryland Gazette,  Loyola Magazine,  Diversity, Inc., JobWeek, Nation News (Barbados), Atlanta Constitution-Journal, New York Times, York Daily Record, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, The Guardian (Nigeria), NBA News  and many others.

  Dr. Freeman has special interest in the archaeology, history and geography of the land of Israel and surrounding countries in the Middle East. His depth of knowledge of that region of the world permits him to function periodically as a guide for groups traveling to that area.

   A student of human behavior, Joel gets great delight out of watching "the lights go on" as people of all shapes, sizes, and colors increase the quality of their understanding about themselves and others. 


  Dr. Freeman is a man with a big heart and of varied interests...with a number of arenas of expertise. Some have called him a renaissance man. To the casual observer it may seem that he is scattered all over the place with many projects. Ten miles wide, three inches deep. His close friends know that he has a strategic purpose for everything he does. In fact there are no more than two degrees of separation between any two projects that have inspired his passion...and execution.

  Freeman is a bulldog with a smile. He only starts projects that are worth finishing. And then he finishes them...even if it takes longer than previously anticipated -- inspiring others to take advantage of the developed resources. He has said, "I love working on big ideas and once I have purposed to take on a project, I am willing to hear ten thousand no's to hear that one yes." As a social entrepreneur, Freeman believes in doing good while doing well.  Freeman goes on to state, "And it's also a lot of fun accomplishing, with God's help, what others have said couldn't be done."

   Utilizing the multiplication principle, his whole purpose and motivation is to reach millions in this generation with win/win, high-impact, relevant resources and educational/inspirational projects that are multicultural-friendly, easy to duplicate, and are economically sustainable. 

   A number of years ago, Joel promised his children that when they reach 15 each one could go anywhere in the world with him. Feel free to read about these trips and view some pictures. Freeman says, No matter where I travel, the human experience is similar and familiar. Parents want their children to receive a good education and marry a fine match. People of all nations yearn for the same things: economic independence, safety, housing, basic human rights and a greater purpose for their lives."


 TRAVELS:  Dr. Freeman has traveled to 50+ countries around the world. Here are the top international travel experiences of Freeman's life so far (in no particular order): 1. Great Pyramid at the Giza Plaza in Cairo and Fort Rashid (where Rosetta Stone was found by Lt. Pierre Bouchard) 2. Three-day safari at the Masai Mara Game Preserve in Western Kenya -- unbelievable experience! (twice) 3. Northeast Thailand. 4. Montrose Jazz Festival, Switzerland. 5. Paul's Prison and Catacombs in Rome, Venice, Naples, Pisa and Turin. 6. Hiking throughout the Qumran Caves and ruins of Jericho, and then swimming (floating) in the Dead Sea, Israel. 7. Red Square, Moscow. 8. Berlin Wall, Germany. 9. Budapest, Hungary. 10. Pyramids of Mexico. 11. "Fire-n-Ice" Iceland and the Blue Lagoon. 12. Beaches of Barbados. 13. David Livingstone's home site, Botswana. 14. Badagry (Nigeria) slave port and also slave ports in Benin, Ghana, Togo, Mombasa (Kenya) and other similar sites. 15. DMZ, South Korea. 16. Scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef, Australia -- Ayer's Rock and other sites in the Land of Oz. 17. Isle of Krk, Yugoslavia. 18. Around the coast of Northern Ireland. 19. Majdanek Nazi Concentration Camp in Lublin, Poland. 20. Gliding through the jungle on a zip line, Belize. 21. Panning for gold in northern Maine. 22. Beaches of Dominican Republic. 23. Sifting through some of the archaeological debris at the Temple Mount Antiquities Salvage Operation in Israel. 24. Fishing for salmon in Alaska & British Columbia, or fishing for northern pike in Alberta...or just plain fishing. 25. Banging drums on a lazy summer Sunday afternoon in the Woodstock, NY town square with about 50 others...some old time hippies. 26. Hanging out with the family at home. 27. White water rafting for 15 kilometers of rough rapids & waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. 28. Much more...

   After 65 years of marriage, Dr. Freeman's parents (Katherine, 90 and Arthur, 91) passed from this life into eternity only 33 days apart (in early 2009). Joel has cobbled together a tribute site to honor them both. You are about to meet two incredible people. Joel, his brother (Steve) and two sisters (Nancy and Beth) have pledged to continue the legacy of their parents with integrity, generosity, perseverance and with extravagant gratitude to God.


  Dr. Freeman has special interest in the archaeology, history, geography and topography of the land of Israel and surrounding countries in the Middle East. His depth of knowledge of that region of the world permits him to function annually (every March) as a guide for groups traveling to that area.

    Of added interest, Freeman's grandfather (on his mother's side), Gerhard Schroeder, was the Volost Secretary of the White Army during the  Russian Revolution.


   A student of human behavior, Joel gets great delight out of watching "the lights go on" as people of all shapes, sizes, and hues increase the quality of their understanding about themselves and others. 




For Joel Freeman's regular bio, with pictures --


Dr. Joel A. Freeman: Bio (printable version), President/CEO of The Freeman Institute