Conrad Freund, who played key roles in producing and managing the unprecedented surplus of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, died February 14, in Virginia, of complications related to cancer treatment. He was 69.
“The Olympic Movement owes Conrad Freund a debt of gratitude,” said Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee President Peter Ueberroth. “He made a major contribution to the success of the 1984 Olympic Games.” Freund graduated from Brother Rice High School, in Chicago, before earning a degree in finance from Roosevelt University in 1973.
He met Ueberroth in 1979 while working for a diversified financial services company in Los Angeles, and Conrad was instrumental in arranging office space in Los Angeles’ Century City for the fledgling Organizing Committee. “The Olympic Organizing Committee didn’t have much support in those early days,” said Ueberroth. “But Conrad reached out to us with open arms.”
Ueberroth soon hired Freund as the Committee’s Controller, in 1979, and then promoted him to Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer.
Following the Games, Freund transitioned to the LA84 Foundation (formerly the Amateur Athletic Foundation), a youth sports non-profit in Los Angeles created to manage Southern California’s share of the $234 million Olympic Games surplus. Freund managed the foundation’s investment portfolio as Vice President of Finance, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer, and eventually Chief Operating Officer. The LA84 Foundation’s financial performance consistently ranked among the best in the nation for foundations of its size, enabling it to make grants to 1,200 organizations serving 4 million youngsters.
Freund resigned from the LA84 Foundation in September 2013 and moved to Virginia to be closer to his grandchildren. He married Brenda Soniega in January 2014, in Clifton, Virginia.
In retirement Freund remained active, as Board Chair of Kids in Sports, a Los Angeles charity that develops neighborhood youth sports programs; as a volunteer at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; and at his grandson’s elementary school.
Freund is survived by his wife; his two daughters by a previous marriage, Karyn Pistole and Kristen Licciardo; his sons-in-law Dan Pistole and Martin Licciardo; and his grandchildren Gavin and Giada Licciardo. His family members were at his bedside when he died.