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 and 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 the 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 the 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. The organization is in great shape and ready for new ideas and leadership,” said Neufeld. “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 forty 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.
Victoria Theatre Association is one of Dayton’s premier arts organizations, presenting the Premier Health Broadway Series, the Morris Furniture Company Family Series, the Cool Films Series, Projects Unlimited Star Attractions, National Geographic Live Series, sponsored by Subaru of American and Wagner Subaru and The Discovery Series, which features curriculum-enhanced live theatre productions for school children. In addition to the performances it presents, Victoria Theatre Association also manages the historic Victoria Theatre, the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, and the Metropolitan Arts Center, which houses The Loft Theatre. Victoria Theatre Association receives funding from a variety of diverse public, corporate, individual and private sources, including the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District and the Ohio Arts Council. The Ohio Arts Council and The National Endowment for the Arts helped fund this program or organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.