Jan 22, 2019

Playhouse Square Announces Five Executive Promotions

Cleveland, Ohio - Art Falco and Gina Vernaci announced today the promotion of Patricia Gaul to executive vice president and general counsel, and the promotions of Tim Birch, David Greene, Autumn Kiser and Michelle Ryan Stewart to senior vice president. All are effective January 28, 2019.

These promotions follow Gina Vernaci’s advancement to president and chief operating officer, announced in September. In addition to serving as president and COO, Vernaci will continue to steward the popular KeyBank Broadway Series. Art Falco remains the not-for-profit performing arts center’s CEO.
“One of my first steps in my new role has been to assemble the leadership team and organizational structure that will guide Playhouse Square into the future,” said Vernaci. “We have a deep pool of talent and so there was no need for me to look outside our walls. Each of these individuals has been with Playhouse Square for at least 15 years. They have helped Playhouse Square become what it is today, with measurable impacts on all areas of our operations.”

About Patricia Gaul – Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Gaul oversees the organization’s finance, human resources, legal and real estate functions. She has managed the finances for many projects that have changed the face of Playhouse Square and the surrounding district including the renovation of the 14th Street, Allen and Hanna Theatres; the expansion of Playhouse Square into real estate, including the acquisition of the Hanna and Bulkley buildings; the building of the Playhouse Square parking garage and the Crowne Plaza at Playhouse Square Hotel (formerly the Wyndham); the partnership between Playhouse Square and ideastream to create the Idea Center at Playhouse Square and The Lumen apartment tower. Gaul joined the organization in 1984.

About Tim Birch - Senior Vice President of Operations & Technology

Birch focuses on improving guest experiences through technological advances that today’s audiences have come to expect while preserving the historic beauty of Playhouse Square’s magnificent theaters for generations to come. He began his tenure at Playhouse Square in 1998 as Director of Sales, overseeing ticketing and the ticket office. His sales focus broadened as he introduced the organization’s corporate sponsorship program and gave structure to concession and parking revenue streams. In 2011, he took over the Playhouse Square Information Technology Department and ushered the organization into the 21st century through new networks and systems, including the district’s first video boards. Birch brought in designer Danny Barnycz, who would create the now iconic GE Chandelier and Dazzle the District neighborhood transformation.  

About David Greene – Senior Vice President of Programming

Greene is responsible for directing the booking and production of all entertainment and events in the center’s 11 performance venues, managing activity that supports the mission of the organization and ensuring maximum potential usage of the organization’s complex theater calendars. Greene and his team book more than 600 curtains on an annual basis, managing relationships with promoters and producers from across Northeast Ohio and the United States. Since joining the organization in 1999, his responsibilities have steadily increased.

About Autumn Kiser - Senior Vice President of Revenue & Marketing

Kiser, who has been with the organization since 2004, leads Playhouse Square’s institutional and brand marketing and sales and ticket operations. She oversees marketing, publicity, communications, digital and social media marketing, season ticket retention and services, group sales, inside sales, single ticket sales, sponsorship and the ticket office. In addition, she directs marketing and communications for the Playhouse Square District and the organization’s area development and real estate interests. She introduced Playhouse Square’s first institutional branding program, oversaw the unveiling of the GE Chandelier at a live event for 25,000 people and led the strategic growth of the KeyBank Broadway Series season ticket base to more than 45,000, which made it possible for the Series to expand to a three-week engagement per show. Cleveland is one of fewer than 5 markets in the country able to sustain three full weeks built on season ticket plans.

About Michelle Ryan Stewart - Senior Vice President of Advancement

In addition to leading annual fundraising efforts of the not-for-profit performing arts center and its current $100 million campaign, Advancing the Legacy, Stewart recruits new members for the Playhouse Square Nominating and Governance committees, manages the RJF Presidents’ Club, serves on the Government Affairs committee and oversees the organization’s guest relations and RedCoat volunteer programs. Since joining Playhouse Square in 2001, she has directed special campaigns for the Idea Center at Playhouse Square and the Power of Three: the Allen Theatre Project as well as benefits for the opening of the Idea Center, the opening of the Allen Theatre Complex, the 90th Anniversary of Playhouse Square and Dazzle the District. Under her purview, Playhouse Square’s fundraising efforts have grown from $3 million to $7 million from more than 7400 donors annually.




About Playhouse Square:
The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. A thriving downtown neighborhood, residents, office workers and visitors can dine and relax at one of 15 area restaurants or on U.S. Bank Plaza under the glow of the world’s largest outdoor chandelier – the GE Chandelier. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.