Following a successful nine-year tenure as president, Mimi La Camera is stepping down from the Freedom Trail Foundation. La Camera became president in 2005, and brought growth and re-vitalization to the fifty year-old organization. Threatened with financial instability prior to her leadership, today, the Foundation is a fiscally healthy institution, with thriving marketing, educational, and preservation programming.
Established in 1964, the Freedom Trail Foundation is dedicated to marketing, promoting, and helping to preserve Boston’s iconic 2.5-mile Freedom Trail through varied tourist services and activities, educational programs, and marketing and public relations efforts. Annually more than four million people visit the Freedom Trail, which has seen an increase of more than one million visitors since 2005 and accounts for more than $1 billion in annual visitor spending in Boston and the region.
“Mimi La Camera has left an extraordinary legacy to this community,” said William M. Fowler, former director of the Massachusetts Historical Society, current distinguished professor of history at Northeastern University and Freedom Trail History Advisory Board member. “She took an organization already distinguished, and placed it in the forefront of historical preservation and interpretation in Boston. I only need to walk the streets of the city to see the fruits of her leadership.”
As a result of her management, La Camera’s signature contributions include increasing the number and quality of Freedom Trail Players, 18th-century costumed guides, who now host more than 100,000 visitors each year during guided walking tours and special events. In addition, La Camera helped to initiate a signature grants program which has distributed nearly $300,000 for capital improvement projects at Freedom Trail sites since 2009. Educational programs, such as the Freedom Trail Scholars Program, which brings history to life in classrooms throughout Boston and the Commonwealth, and Revolution in a Box education kits and virtual classrooms, which take Boston’s revolutionary story to students and their teachers, were developed. Innovative marketing campaigns promoting the Freedom Trail, upgraded visitor guide materials, and partnerships extended the reach of the Freedom Trail and sites under La Camera’s direction.
“For many in the Boston tourism community, Mimi was The Freedom Trail,” said Foundation Board of Directors Chair Mark O’Toole. “I’m honored to call her a mentor and friend, and know she will accomplish many more amazing feats moving forward.”
La Camera was the former director of visitor marketing at the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and executive director of the Lupus Foundation prior to her post at the Freedom Trail Foundation. Currently, she serves as committee chair for board development at the Boston Educational Development Foundation, an associate at the Museum of Fine Arts, and board member of the Bob Jolly Trust, and is actively involved in building a library at the Sarah Greenwood K-8 School, a Boston public school in Dorchester.
“I’m very proud to have been able to spend 40 years working in the non-profit environment,” said Mimi La Camera. “The Foundation and sites are in a very good position to continue shaping Boston’s economy and preserving its unique history. I have many interests and am looking forward to pursuing those.”
Suzanne Taylor who has served as executive director since 2010, the Foundation team and board, and Mark O’Toole who serves as board chair, will continue La Camera’s exemplary work.