VTA Names New President & CEO: Ty Sutton

Ty SuttonDAYTON, OHIO (July 11, 2018) – Martha Shaker, Chair of Victoria Theatre Association’s Board of Trustees, announces the selection of VTA’s new President & CEO, TY SUTTON, who replaces retiring President & CEO Ken Neufeld. Sutton joins VTA after three years as the Inaugural Executive Director of the Butler Arts Center at Butler University. He brings more than 20 years of arts venue management experience, as well as extensive fundraising, marketing and programming knowledge to VTA. Sutton starts his new position Aug. 13.

“My philosophy has always been that the arts bring people together,” said Sutton. “I am very impressed with the level of commitment and financial support the Dayton community has given the Dayton arts scene, especially in embracing Victoria Theatre Association’s world-class facilities and arts programming. With the addition of the new Arts Annex, I believe our venues can accommodate any type of performance and allow us to grow the diversity of our shows while broadening our audiences. I am eager to lead an organization with such an outstanding record of success. Continuing to grow our offerings and making a positive impact in people’s lives will be at the top of my priority list. Dayton will be a great place for my family to call home.”

Sutton was chosen after a six-month international search, conducted by leading arts executive recruiting firm Management Consultants for the Arts. VTA Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Chris Wyse served as the Chair of the six-member Search Committee.

“I am thrilled to welcome Ty as the new VTA President & CEO,” said Wyse. “His ideas around the new Arts Annex are very progressive as are his thoughts on programming and diversity.  These characteristics, combined with extensive experience and proven track record of growing performing arts centers, will ensure everyone in Dayton is able to experience the numerous offerings from VTA.”

VTA Board of Trustees Chair, Martha Shaker, shares Wyse’s enthusiasm.

“I am confident Ty will not only embrace VTA’s rich history and impact on our community, but also the task of moving forward with the foundation laid by Ken Neufeld,” said Shaker. “Ty is a strong fit, not only to the organization but to our community. I believe he is poised to grow VTA even more.”

Retiring VTA President & CEO, Ken Neufeld, is also pleased with the selection.

“I am delighted to welcome Ty and his family to VTA and look forward to introducing them to the Dayton community,” said Ken Neufeld, “I have greatly enjoyed my time in Dayton and, while I will miss VTA and the Miami Valley community, I firmly believe we are in good hands for the future.” 

About Ty Sutton

Ty Sutton has more than 20 years of arts administration and management experience, including three years at the Butler Arts Center at Butler University in Indiana. Sutton was previously the general manager of the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center in Midland, Texas, as well as general manager of The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colo. He has held several arts administration positions, including Programming Director at the University of Utah and Audience Services Manager at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, Calif.

A native of Danville, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area, Sutton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Utah and is a graduate of the International Association of Venue Manager’s Venue Management School. He and his wife, Polly Creer Sutton, a retired professional ballerina, have two children.

VTA President & CEO Ken Neufeld To Retire At The End Of The 2017-2018 Season

DAYTON, OHIO (DEC. 18, 2017) – Victoria Theatre Association Board of Trustees Chairman Martha Shaker announced the retirement of VTA President and CEO, Ken Neufeld at a meeting held this morning. Neufeld will officially retire on Aug. 31, 2018, following the Association’s Annual Meeting. VTA is the owner and operator of the Victoria Theatre, the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, the Metropolitan Arts Center (home to The Loft Theatre), and The Arts Garage. A national search for VTA’s next President & CEO will begin shortly.

At the meeting, Shaker thanked Neufeld for nearly a decade of leadership and fiscal responsibility, then spoke regarding the high points of his tenure.

“We thank Ken for his unyielding leadership and dedication to the VTA and this community,” said Shaker. “Clearly, the arts community is in a better place today because of Ken’s vision and passion for the arts. The improvements and innovation in our programming, our latest fundraising campaign as well as improvements to our physical plant, can all be credited to Ken’s leadership. We are sad to see Ken and his wife, Lesley, leave us but wish them the very best in retirement.”

“President and CEO, Ken Neufeld has expanded VTA’s programming to feature a broad range of performances for diverse audiences that have attracted thousands of new patrons to VTA venues and downtown Dayton,” Shaker continued. “He has guided significant growth of VTA’s Education & Engagement initiatives, and has put in place new marketing, sales and technology initiatives. He instituted The Next Stage Campaign, which has raised more than $13 million, including $10 million for VTA’s endowment and $3 million designated for infrastructure improvements in the Association’s facilities. Neufeld has also been an active participant in a number of Dayton organizations, including the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the strategic planning committee of Culture Works.”

After meeting with VTA Trustees, Neufeld shared his news with VTA staff, where staff thanked him for his tenure and leadership and wished him well in his future endeavors.

Neufeld’s thoughts regarding his decision.

“My decision to retire was not easy, but the time is right,” said Neufeld. “The organization is in great shape and ready for new ideas and leadership. I will miss working at VTA and all the people in this wonderful community, but it is time for us to explore other opportunities. Lesley and I look forward to returning to Canada’s West Coast after almost 20 years of absence.”

Regarding his time at VTA. 

“My time at VTA has been the most rewarding of any of the 40 years I have worked in the arts,” said Neufeld. “I am enormously grateful to the VTA Board of Trustees, all of our managers and staff, our donors and sponsors, and our dedicated VTA volunteers for their support, guidance, teamwork, and generosity. When I began in June of 2009, it didn’t take long for me to observe that Dayton and the Miami Valley are special. This is a vibrant arts community with generous supporters and highly engaged, enthusiastic audiences. Our facilities at the Victoria and the Schuster Center are world class. It has been a privilege and honor to work here. My wife and I have enjoyed living in Dayton immensely.”

VTA’s Board of Trustees will conduct a national search for Neufeld’s successor as soon as possible.