Discover Lancaster -- with the tourist industry it promotes at a critical juncture -- has hired an experienced tourism and consumer-product marketing executive as its new president and CEO.
Filling the post is Edward Harris, age 41, who’s been chief marketing officer at the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board since 2014. He starts here June 22, Discover Lancaster announced Thursday.
At the Valley Forge nonprofit, he leads “a team that has developed a wide range of branded experiences, seasonal advertising campaigns, digital marketing strategies, printed publications and membership events,” said Discover Lancaster.
Discover Lancaster is the official destination-marketing organization for Lancaster County, charged with helping to attract customers for the sixth-largest sector of the county economy.
Harris comes to Discover Lancaster with the tourism industry here shutdown by order of Gov. Tom Wolf, part of his effort to limit the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
Whenever Wolf allows the tourism industry to reopen, still restrained by safety precautions such as social distancing, Discover Lancaster plans to launch a substantial marketing campaign to help begin bringing visitors back.
Discover Lancaster hopes the campaign will be supported by considerable public funds, as LNP | LancasterOnline previously reported.
Harris also has experience in the private sector. Before going to the Valley Forge organization, he held brand management roles at Nike (for its Converse brand), eBay, Under Armour and Timberland.
Harris holds an MBA from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Saint Joseph’s University. The King of Prussia resident plans to move to Lancaster County in the near future.
Discover Lancaster declined to disclose his salary.
Discover Lancaster last had a permanent president and CEO in November 2018, when Kathleen Frankford resigned after six years in the post. Since then, the nonprofit has been led by two interim presidents and senior staff, interacting regularly with officers of its board.