The Stanley Theater Board of Directors has chosen Lisa Wilsey, a California native who’s worked in the entertainment industry but has settled in Utica, as its new executive director, effective March 1.
Wilsey will succeed Jerry Kraus, who is retiring after serving as executive director since June 2013.
Wilsey is managing director for The TW Agency in San Diego but works out of her home office in the Utica area. She has worked in entertainment artist management, corporate partner revenue generation and fan engagement. She came to Utica in 2013 to lead corporate partnerships for the Utica Comets hockey team.
“My skill set aligns optimally with the needs of The Stanley and I’m looking forward to working closely with the staff to move The Stanley onto its next level,” she said.
Wilsey was named after a national search, according to Stanley board president Steve Zogby.
“We are very fortunate and excited to have someone of Ms. Wilsey’s experience and caliber that is ready to lead The Stanley,” Zogby said in a statement.
“Her experience with corporate marketing and event management will help her implement our board’s strategy to keep The Stanley vibrant and successful in the future. It’s an added bonus that she is also local and knows the history and legacy of our historic Stanley Theater,” Zogby added.
Zogby thanked Kraus for his work helping bring the theater to financial profitability.
“Our succession plan has been in the works here for the last six months. Jerry will be involved in this transition and we’re looking forward also to Jerry’s involvement here in the future.”
The Stanley, on Genesee Street in downtown Utica, opened in 1928 as a movie theater with 2,963 seats but today operates as a not-for-profit organization run by the Central New York Community Arts Council. Originally built as a movie theatre, The Stanley opened its doors in 1928 with 2,963 seats, a grand entry staircase that resembles the main staircase on the Titanic, a gold leaf interior and terra cotta and tiled mosaic exterior.
Designed by renowned architect Thomas Lamb, who was also responsible for Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady and The Landmark Theatre in Syracuse, its interior features a staircase resembling the main staircase of the Titanic, a gold-leaf interior and terra cotta and tiled mosaic interior.
It regularly hosts concerts and shows of touring acts including this past fall Bob Dylan and Jerry Seinfeld, as well as traveling Broadway shows, and local and regional performances and community events such as commencement ceremonies.