Chattanooga native Darrell S. Freeman, Sr. is the featured speaker for the Empowering the College Man luncheon scheduled for Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in the Albright Omniplex building at Chattanooga State Community College.
Mr. Freeman, who last year Governor Bill Haslam appointed to the Tennessee Board of Regents, is the executive chairman of Zycron, Inc., an information technology services and solutions firm he founded in 1991.
The topic of Mr. Freeman’s speech on Tuesday is “Paving the Way: A Foundation for Success.” Mr. Freeman will share his message with a group of 80 to 100 male Chattanooga State students, some of who may have experienced similar economic and social challenges that he faced while in grade school and college.
Mr. Freeman grew up in the Orchard Knob community in the 1960's. As the child of two parents who did not finish high school, he became a two-time graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, and was able to expand his horizons and travel the world through education and entrepreneurship.
“It is an honor to be a guest at Chattanooga State and offer a personal message that could positively impact even one life,” Mr. Freeman said. “Education and mentorship were two of the most critical elements in my success, and hopefully I can inspire the members of the Chattanooga State community the way my mentors inspired me.”
As part of Chattanooga State’s President’s Lecture series, Mr. Freeman will also make a presentation at 11 a.m. on Tuesday in the Health Sciences Center. He will talk with faculty, staff, and students with approximately 125 participants. Before leaving campus, he will join Chattanooga State President Dr. Jim Catanzaro for “Face-To-Face,” a television program where the president engages noted scholars and societal leaders about the critical issues of our times.
Tuesday’s program at Chattanooga State is one of a number of community activities Mr. Freeman will do this year as a measure of community service and reaching back to his home town. Each year Mr. Freeman donates Christmas baskets to Second Baptist Church, donates to the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga to support small business, and provides college scholarships through his former church and his fraternity.
Mr. Freeman started Zycron in 1991 with $2,000 in credit cards and a 150-square foot office. He was a young entrepreneur seeking a way to support his family and have the flexibility to be present while he and his wife raised their four children. Today Zycron is a leading provider of IT consulting, IT governance and outsourcing, employing more than 345 professionals across the country. It is one of the largest IT consulting firms based in Tennessee, and Black Enterprise Magazine listed Zycron #76 among service companies on its BE 100s list, an annual report on the nation’s largest black businesses.