Three Eclectic Players Take New Leadership Roles
A puppeteer with years of corporate marketing experience, a classically-trained pianist who most recently co-founded a high school to help teens with addiction problems earn their diplomas, and an MBA recipient who loves both spreadsheets and theatre—all three have recently taken on leadership roles at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Tyler Morgan is the new marketing and communications director; Donn Jersey, the development director; and Kami Terry Paul, the general manager.
All three have been long-time fans of the Festival, and their wide-ranging interests and experience will enable them to easily be part of the mix of leadership at the Festival and help it maintain its status as one of the premier professional theatre companies in the United States.
Tyler Morgan comes to the Festival as its new marketing and communications director after five years as senior marketing programs manager at Health Catalyst, a healthcare IT company in Salt Lake City, and six years as marketing consultant/team leader at Dun and Bradstreet. But, his first professional love is theatre, especially puppetry. He has an MBA in marketing intelligence and non-profit management from the University of Connecticut, as well as a master of arts degree in puppetry from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor of arts degree in theatre studies from the University of Utah.
“I am excited about this job for many reasons,” he said. “It is the culmination of my career path and experiences. I get to take the skills I have honed in the corporate world and apply them to the world I love, theatre.”
Donn Jersey, the Festival’s new development director, is the past publisher of digital platforms for the Greenspun Media Group (GMG) in Las Vegas, including LasVegasSun.com and VegasInc.com. He also published several magazines for GMG, including The Sunday, Health Care Quarterly, and VegasInc. In early 2016, after a decade in the news, he pointed his efforts to helping teenagers struggling with addiction, co-founding Mission High School, the first public recovery high school in the country. In the process, he spearheaded fundraising efforts to see this dream become a reality. He was a classically-trained pianist as a young man, then transitioned to jazz in his late teens. He still loves to play and compose music.
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of a theatre company that my family has attended and loved for thirty-five years,” he said. “It is special here; there is a good team that cares about people. It is a company of big hearts and big brains, a company of people who love their guests.”
Kami Terry Paul has worked at the Festival for sixteen years as marketing manager, marketing director, and marketing and communications director and was promoted to her new position of general manager in October. She grew up in Sandy, Utah and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Weber State University in 2001. She earned an MBA in 2007 from Southern Utah University.
“I am thrilled with this new opportunity and new role here at the Festival,” she said. “From attending my first Festival play in the Adams Theatre in 1994, to the sixteen seasons I have worked here, I love what the Festival is; and I am happy to be a part of its future as well.”
Paul and her family have lived in southern Utah for sixteen years, but Morgan and Jersey are both relocating here with their families. Also, both are moving here partly because of their parents. Morgan’s parents live in Cedar City and Jersey’s in Parowan. Both sets of parents were pro-active in encouraging and pointing out employment openings at the Festival.
“It was a bit of serendipity,” said Jersey, “but it was also like it was meant to be.”
“I’m really excited to become a part of this community,” added Morgan.
“The Festival was supremely fortunate to have attracted such great professionals for these critical leadership positions,” said Frank Mack, executive producer. “We were so lucky to be able to promote someone we knew was a consummate professional, Kami Paul, because she had been working here for sixteen years. We worked hard to find great people for the other senior staff positions of director of development and director of marketing and couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”
Of course, now that the three are settled into their new offices, their view is focusing of the future—and all three agree it is bright, promising, and challenging.
“The Festival has seen massive amounts of change in the past three years,” said Morgan, pointing to the new Beverley Center for the Arts which the Festival moved into just two years ago. “Change is difficult; it is hard. We’re at a period of coming out of that now. The game board is set, and now we get to move forward.”
“We have had a number of changes in recent years, and we are now firmly settled into new offices and theatres,” Paul added. “We are stronger and looking forward to an exciting, meaningful future.”
Perhaps Jersey summed it up best: “I see steady, healthy growth in the future for the Festival. There is so much opportunity; it’s a real exciting time to be working here. I am so grateful, so full of gratitude, that this has happened in my life.”
Tickets are now on sale for the Festival’s fifty-seventh season, which will run from June 28 to October 13. This year’s plays are Henry VI Part One, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, Big River, The Foreigner, An Iliad, The Liar, and Pearl’s in the House. For more information and tickets visit www.bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.