TROY — The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, a Miami County landmark for the arts, is now operating under a new director.
David S. Wion, who formerly served as assistant director at Hayner, took the position of director following the retirement of former director Linda Lee Jolly.
Wion was initially drawn to the center based upon his education and interest in the center’s programming.
“My college background is in music,” Wion said. “I have a bachelor’s in piano performance and a master’s in Composition of the Arts. I’d attended numerous concerts here, and I was naturally drawn to a place like Hayner that serves the community so well in the arts.
“I worked at various banks in Troy and West Milton most of my life, and I was at what was previously MainSource in Troy when I joined the board of trustees here in 2006.”
Wion’s tenure on the Friends of Hayner board of trustees consisted of two three-year terms between 2006 and 2014. Following this experience, he was hired as assistant director in August 2014.
“Eventually, I decided I wanted something less stressful than banking, and when the assistant director position became available, I applied,” Wion said.
Wion served as assistant director for the center for four years, before accepting the position of director in early August. He stated that his transition into the role had been part of a long-term plan.
“I wasn’t totally surprised, because they hired me on as assistant director with the knowledge that Linda Lee was looking to retire within the next three to five years,” Wion said. “They hired me with the idea that when Linda Lee did retire, I’d be director. It was a plan that the board put in place several years ago.”
Wion indicated that while considerable changes to the center’s agenda won’t be necessary, there’s always room to increase efforts toward certain members of the community.
“There’s nothing I really want to change,” Wion insisted. “Linda Lee has done an awesome job with the programming, whether it be exhibits, concerts, or classes. I think one of the directives of the strategic plan is just to develop more programming for millennials.
“The extent of our outreach to millennials right now seems to be: occasionally they’ll come to concerts, and many bring their young children to ballet and that kind of thing. We’d like to do some more programming for that segment of the population.”
In late 2017, Wion formed a sub-group consisting of 15-20 millennial-aged Troy residents.
“We talked about the Hayner, what their perception of the Hayner was, what they would like to see Hayner do, and what sort of events would attract them. We came up with a nice list of things. In the next couple of years, it’s my goal to put some of that programming into place.
Many ideas aren’t all that difficult. One idea was a game night, where we’d provide various games downstairs, but also have something for their kids to do in the art studio so that they don’t have to worry about a babysitter. That’s something easy to put together.”
With numerous events planned for the remainder of 2018, including “Cabaret and Cabernet” on Saturday, Oct. 20, the annual “Boo Bash” on Saturday, Oct. 27, and the Hayner Gift Gallery on Saturday, Nov. 17, Wion insists that his new position is built on a strong foundation, due to the center’s bustling schedule and skilled staff.
“It’s great coming to a job every day where you get to work with such talented staff members,” Wion said. “Terrilynn (Meece), Leona (Sargent), and Susan (Kremer) take care of our classes, our exhibits, and our concerts, and we just have that reputation in the Miami County area of providing high-quality events and world-class exhibits.
“I work with extremely talented people, and it makes my job a lot easier. Every day brings something new. It’s a fun job.”
The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is supported by taxpayers and generous donations of the Friends of Hayner. Its mission is to preserve and maintain the Hayner mansion as a cultural resource center for the present and as an historical legacy for the future generations of the community.
For more information on upcoming events, visit www.troyhayner.org.