Friday, November 29, 2013

R.I.P. Vanetta Chesbro Wilson, Chesbro Music CEO

I imagine "Black Friday" has taken on a unexpected meaning at Chesbro Music in Idaho Falls, as I was saddened to learn today of the death of Vanetta Chesbro Wilson, the company's CEO and a very service minded person.

All I know as I write this is from a posting on Facebook and a death notice in the Post Register, that she died in Rio Verde, Ariz. My closest association with Vanetta was during the years I was active with the Idaho Falls Opera Theatre. We served on the board of directors in the mid-90s.

Vanetta and her sister, Tana Jane Stahn, took over the management of Chesbro Music after the death of their mother Joan Chesbro Thomas, in 1999. The company dates back to 1911, when it was founded in Seattle by their great-grandfather, Horace Chesbro, who moved it that same year to St. Anthony then to Idaho Falls in 1921.

It was under their mother's leadership that the company grew from a local music retailer to a distributor serving dealers in the western United States for instruments and print music. "She (was) a great role model to me and my sister and to many other women business professionals in our community," Vanetta Wilson told the Idaho Community Foundation, in an article that can be found here.