After 30 years of successful auctions, the founders of Treadway Toomey Auctions will be changing direction and working independently. The December 2017 auction marked the final collaboration between the John Toomey Gallery of Oak Park, IL and Treadway Gallery of Cincinnati, OH. The multi-decade relationship produced one of the premier specialty auction businesses in the country.
Going forward, John Toomey will assume the role of a hands-on consultant for the newly named auction business, Toomey & Co Auctioneers, while turning over the company’s management to Lucy Toomey, who now will serve as CEO. Joe Stanfield and John Walcher will serve as vice-presidents, while also continuing their roles as Senior Specialists. Their entire staff will continue to provide the service and expertise their clients are accustomed to, and auctions will continue to be conducted at the same Oak Park location where they’ve been held for the past 30 years.
As John Toomey explained, “I’ve spent decades building this business with my partner Don Treadway, and he has been a great colleague over the years. Times change and the industry progresses, and it’s important that we evolve and adapt to meet the demands of our business. Don and I had a great run and now it’s time for the next generation to expand their role. We look back on the past 30 years with great pride.”
“We’re very excited about the new direction being taken by Toomey & Co. Auctioneers,” new CEO Lucy Toomey added, “and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the new business. We look forward to continuing to work with our current clients and developing relationships with new clients.”
Looking back, Don Treadway explained, “We have both enjoyed a special union. We did great things, sold wonderful objects, and we met exceptional people, but almost everything has an end date and ours was 2017. I’m not quite ready to quit and my daughter Drew is just getting started. She has been working with us for the past few years, and has the energy and passion to continue the business under the Treadway name in Cincinnati.
“It has been a near perfect union of partners. Together John and I were very successful and I couldn’t have found a better associate. Now we are nearing the point where we can leave the business in our daughters’ hands. We both are going to be available to assist them in this transition, and one thing that won’t change is our guarantee and focus on excellent customer service.”
Drew Treadway added, “I’m looking forward to what the future holds. I grew up around what we sell, and grew up around the business. I think with that comes an innate eye for things. And it’s always exciting to have a fresh start. The business and market are very different than when my dad and John began. I’m faced with the challenge of finding that new path, finding what people are interested in. When my dad started, a lot of people didn’t know what they had. Now I get calls from individuals who have the entire artist biography and auction history of an item they have. But even with all the information we have readily available, you can never be sure when an item is going to take off.”
“And it’s always exciting to have a fresh start,” she explained. “Our foundation is strong, but you often get in the habit of doing the same things over and over – and this change is reinvigorating all of us.”
Picture: The Don Treadway and John Toomey booth at the 2017 Grove Park Inn National Arts and Crafts Conference antiques show.