10/29/13 1:15pm
10/29/2013 1:15 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The Suffolk Theater's grand ballroom during its grand re-opening gala in March.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The Suffolk Theater’s grand ballroom during its grand re-opening gala in March. Anna Maria Villa was hired as GM in July.

Roughly three months after Anna Maria Villa was hired as general manager of the Suffolk Theater, she and the theater have parted ways.

Anna Maria Villa

Anna Maria Villa

Bob Castaldi, who co-owns the theater with his wife, Dianne, said Ms. Villa, who was hired in July, no longer works at the theater as of today, Tuesday.

“We just have different visions of which direction this theater should move in,” Mr. Castaldi said of the split. “It was very amicable.”

Ms. Villa could not be immediately reached for comment.

When asked what direction the theater plans to move in, Mr. Castaldi said that was something he was evaluating “right now” and that theater officials are looking for a new general manager.

“We’ve got all our people and we’ve got a couple of meetings over the next few days,” Mr. Castaldi said. “We will find a new course if necessary.”

This is the second time in less than six months the Suffolk Theater has parted ways with a top executive. In August, after a year on the job, Bob Spiotto was released from his duties as the theater’s first executive director as part of a shift of focus from nightly events to larger, weekend events.

Prior to working at the theater, Ms. Villa was hired as the executive director of Riverhead’s Industrial Development Agency in August 2009, a position she held until September 2010, when the IDA board voted 4 — 1 to terminate her employment.

At the time, IDA chair Kathy Wojciechowski said the move was “not about Anna.”

“We decided to terminate the independent consultant agreement that we had with her and we’re going in another direction, which is to hire a full-time person,” Ms. Wojciechowski said in a 2010 interview.

The IDA offers a number of tax breaks and other incentives aimed at attracting businesses to the area. Its budget is entirely funded by feed paid by the businesses it assists.

Prior to working for the IDA, Ms. Villa, who was born in Italy and grew up in Rochester, N.Y., spent a few years running her own marketing and consulting firm, which developed marketing strategies and sales programs for small to mid-sized businesses and non-profit firms.

She has a degree in business and economics from Empire State College, and also worked as a disc jockey, a singer, a civil service investigator, as well as a television reporter in Italy.

ryoung@timesreview.com

08/05/13 5:05pm
08/05/2013 5:05 PM
Downtown Riverhead, Suffolk Theater, East End Arts

BARBARELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Former theater executive director Bob Spiotto inside the renovated downtown Riverhead theater, near the main stage, before the theater re-opened last year.

On the heels of what Suffolk Theater officials have described as a shift of focus from nightly events to larger, weekend events, the theater has parted ways with a top executive.

Executive Director Bob Spiotto was hired in July 2012 after a long tenure with Hofstra University, but was recently released, theater officials said Monday.

“As part of the re-organization and re-structuring efforts of the Suffolk Theater, it is unfortunate we had to let Mr. Spiotto go,” said the theater’s general manager, Anna Maria Villa, who was hired last month. “He is a fine professional and had contributed much of himself to the theater.”

Mr. Spiotto could not be immediately reached for comment.

A Holbrook resident and former executive producer and art director for Hofstra University’s Hofstra Entertainment program for nearly 22 years, Mr. Spiotto was hired by Suffolk Theater owners Bob and Dianne Castaldi to run the theater’s programming.

He came on board during the renovation phase of the historic theater, which re-opened in February.

Ms. Villa, who was hired July 22, said the theater is not hiring another executive director.

Ms. Villa was hired as the executive director of Riverhead’s Industrial Development Agency in August 2009, a position she held until September 2010, when the IDA board voted 4 — 1 to terminate her employment.

At the time, IDA chair Kathy Wojciechowski said the move was “not about Anna.”

“We decided to terminate the independent consultant agreement that we had with her and we’re going in another direction, which is to hire a full-time person,” Ms. Wojciechowski said in a 2010 interview.

The IDA offers a number of tax breaks and other incentives aimed at attracting businesses to the area. Its budget is entirely funded by feed paid by the businesses it assists.

Previous to working for the IDA, Ms. Villa, who was born in Italy and grew up in Rochester, N.Y., spent a few years running her own marketing and consulting firm, which developed marketing strategies and sales programs for small to mid-sized businesses and non-profit firms.

She has a degree in business and economics from Empire State College, and also worked as a disc jockey, a singer, a civil service investigator, a television reporter in Italy and a behind-the-scenes worker in Italy’s National Theatre Company.

mwhite@timesreview.com