FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2011
(Note: Contact information for principals follows release)
The Arts Center of the Capital Region to see leadership transition in July
President and CEO Amy Williams will hand reins to Deborah Onslow
TROY–One of the Capital Region’s most successful and far-reaching arts
organizations will see a transition in leadership next month, when one
longtime regional cultural leader steps down and another notable steps in
until a search for a permanent president is completed.
Amy Williams, President and CEO of The Arts Center of the Capital
Region, will leave the organization in July to take a job in the
private sector, and former WMHT executive Deborah Onslow will become
Interim President, Arts Center Board Chairperson Jane Altes announced
Both as president and in her earlier role as vice president for
programs, Williams has been instrumental in building The Arts Center
into a major regional cultural organization serving tens of thousands
of area residents each year, Altes noted.
“Amy will be missed greatly by everyone associated with or touched by
The Arts Center,” she said. “But she is leaving us with an
exceptionally strong organization that has seen tremendous growth, even
in a period when many arts organizations have found themselves in
“We could not ask for a better transition point for the organization,
and we could not ask for a better interim leader than Deborah Onslow,”
Williams has held the top job at the center since 2008. Prior to that,
she was The Arts Center’s vice president for programs for more than 20
years. Between the two positions, she was executive director of the New
York State Alliance for Arts Education.
Since becoming Arts Center president, she has led the organization to a
series of both administrative and programmatic milestones. Among the
achievements are increasing revenue by $147,000 per year, as compared
to 2008 figures, increasing enrollment in The Arts Center’s classes by
more than 500 students per year, and forging new partnerships with more
than two dozen schools and organizations in the Tri-City area. During
the same period, The Arts Center also paid off or paid down a total of
$400,000 in debts, including mortgages, and expanded its fund raising
efforts, with an eye toward long-range sustainability.
Recently, The Arts Center expanded its programming further with the
completion of the first phase of a state-of-the-art technology lab that
will house media programs and classes, beginning in the fall, in
disciplines ranging from computer animation to digital photography and
The Arts Center’s Board Chairperson-elect, Ellie Kittle Ingalsbe, said
the talent, experience, and knowledge of the community Onslow brings to
the position will enable The Arts Center to continue on the upward
path, and to continue to respond to new opportunities that may emerge.
Onslow is well-known locally as the President and General Manager of
WMHT Educational Telecommunications from 2001 until her retirement in
2008. In that position, she was widely credited with helping WMHT
stabilize its own financial position, while at the same time leading a
successful capital campaign that resulted in a $20 million
state-of-the-art digital broadcasting facility. She also was
instrumental in WMHT’s acquisition of a second radio station, WEXT, in
spearheading a dramatic increase in fund raising, and increasing WMHT’s
“Debby brings an ideal set of proven skills and extraordinary
experience to The Arts Center,” Kittle Ingalsbe said.
Onslow, who has been a consultant to nonprofits since her retirement
from WMHT, will serve in the interim position at The Arts Center for an
unspecified period, until an exhaustive search for a permanent
president has been completed, Kittle Ingalsbe said.
She said Onslow’s willingness to step into the interim spot will allow
The Arts Center’s board to conduct a thorough and methodical search to
find the right person to lead the organization to its next level of
programmatic and administrative achievement.
The transition will take place on July 15, when Williams will leave to
take the position of project manager at the Menands-based Exhibit
Planning &Management International (EP&M).