She takes the position left by Paul Cripps, the longtime tourism leader who held the job for 17 years before he recently passed away.
Plymouth County Development Council Board President Jim Saunders said, “We received over 70 applications for the Executive Director position, and chose Lea from five excellent final applicants. She has a strong tourism background and knows Plymouth well, something we were looking for as we approach the 2020 anniversary of the Mayflower voyage.”
For the past thirteen years, Filson has worked in tourism in New Orleans, LA. A former broadcast anchor and reporter prior to that, she was among the industry professionals who came back after Hurricane Katrina and built visitation from seasonal to year-round.
Board President of Destination Plymouth Kevin Martin said, “Tourism is the largest industry in Plymouth. With 2020 as a springboard, we hope to increase tourism visitation long-term and we believe Lea has the experience to help us do that.”
Lea’s Plymouth tie comes through the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, where she has served on the national board, coming to Plymouth several times a year, for the past fifteen years. She served as Governor General for the Society between 2014 – 2017 and was part of the team that negotiated the donation of the National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse from First Parish Church.
Filson said, “Paul Cripps was an industry giant, and will be missed. He left a dynamic professional team that I am honored to work with, and two strong boards that will set the vision as we move forward.”