Chief Executive Officer
Trudy Coxe has been CEO & Executive Director of The Preservation Society of Newport County since December 1998. A non-profit organization that has been responsible for the preservation, restoration and revitalization of some of Newport’s most significant buildings and landscapes, the Preservation Society operates 11 historic buildings open to the public, including seven National Historic Landmarks, spanning nearly 300 years of American architectural history. Several icons of the Gilded Age are among its most notable properties, including The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and Rosecliff—all among the most visited historic house museums in the country.
Coxe oversees more than 400 full-time and seasonal employees, and has directed the growth of the organization’s operating budget to $17 million annually, and admissions to more than 800,000 annually. Under her leadership, fundraising, retail sales at the Society’s six museum stores, and membership have grown dramatically. The Preservation Society now has more than 25,000 members.
During her tenure, the Preservation Society received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, becoming one of only 750 museums nationwide to be accredited. In addition, ten of the Preservation Society’s properties were designated as Official Projects of Save America’s Treasures, a public-private partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Immediately prior to joining the Preservation Society, Coxe served six years as Massachusetts’ Secretary of Environmental Affairs. Previously, she was Executive Director of Rhode Island’s Save The Bay for 11 years, turning it into the largest citizen action organization in New England. She also served for two years as Director of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Among her honors, Coxe was the recipient of the 2011 Business Women Award for Overall Career Achievement from the Providence Business News, and a 2006 Award of Excellence from the National Garden Clubs, Inc. for her lifetime of environmental advocacy. She is also a past recipient of the Mary Brennan Tourism Award from the Rhode Island Hospitality and Tourism Association. She holds an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Rhode Island, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Coxe’s volunteer involvement is extensive. She currently serves on the boards of Grow Smart Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Commodores, the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, and the CCRI Foundation. In addition, she sits on the Advisory Board of the Conservation Law Foundation/Rhode Island and the Alumni Board of Wheeler School. She is an Incorporator of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, BankNewport and the Newport Health Care Corporation. Coxe is also a member of the Council of Advisors for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, and of Skal International, a professional organization of tourism leaders