WALLA WALLA -- Michael Wenberg, chief executive officer of the Walla Walla Symphony, has resigned his post after four years on the job.
Wenberg told the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin he and his wife, Sandy, plan to move to the Puget Sound area to be closer to their parents.
There he will focus on his writing career.
The published author has penned three young adult books and numerous magazine articles.
The timing of his departure gives the board time to look for a successor before the next fundraising season, Wenberg noted.
Nevertheless, a new CEO will have large shoes to fill, said Ed Foster, chief governance officer for the 105-year old symphony.
Foster lauded Wenberg as an exceptionally hard worker with a knack for getting a lot done with a small staff. "It's a wonder he's been able to keep so many things going," Foster said.
Under Wenberg's leadership which took root in 2007, staff and board have worked to more fully engage the community and take on new ideas, Foster said. "Mike has made it publicly clearer we are a lively enterprise. Even though we are 105 years old, we are not aged."
Among his many accomplishments, Wenberg particularly made progress with children's programs, including with the youth orchestra and a program lending musical instruments for young people to learn to play.
A Rock 'n' Roll camp for youth interested in playing and writing about music, designing stages and promoting concerts was also a pet project in which Wenberg was involved.
Board members will discuss strategies for finding a successor soon.