Chicago Sinfonietta Formally Announces New Board Leadership James L. Weidner,  long-serving member of the Board of Directors, elected as Chair

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Chicago Sinfonietta Formally Announces

New Board Leadership

James L. Weidner,

 long-serving member of the Board of Directors,

elected as Chair

Photo courtesy the subject

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Sinfonietta (CS) continues to move from strength to strength in its 35th season which includes expanding both its mission and the Board of Directors. Having added five new board members over the last season and a half, it now adds a new Board Chair. Succeeding Scott Hoesman, CEO and Founder, inQUEST Consulting, is James L. Weidner, a long-serving Chicago Sinfonietta Board member.

Weidner’s first public appearance was at the recent 35th Anniversary Gala, where the leader of inclusion, diversity and equity in the field announced its new partnership with the historic Auditorium Theatre, which will become its new home and another performance venue in 2023.


“We are excited to have both Chair Jim Weidner & Vice Chair Genhi Givings Bailey lead the CS Board in this new chapter of expanded reach and depth in our mission’s impact locally & beyond” stated Chicago Sinfonietta CEO & President Blake-Anthony Johnson. “They together bring an incredible sense of purpose and energy to one of the most important cultural institutions in the country.”


“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the next board chair of Chicago Sinfonietta,” said Mr. Weidner. “These are challenging times for the arts following the pandemic, but very exciting times for Chicago Sinfonietta. We are prepared to seize the fantastic opportunities that lay ahead. I look forward to working with my Board Colleagues and Blake-Anthony Johnson as Chicago Sinfonietta heads into its next 35 years.


“I want to thank my predecessor Scott Hoesman for his inspiring leadership, and his ongoing commitment to our organization, Vice Chair Gehni Givings Bailey, and I look forward to contributing to the next chapter of this ground-breaking orchestra’s rich history.”


About James L. Weidner

Elected to Chair, Board of Directors of Chicago Sinfonietta, James L. Weidner is the former Chief Executive Officer of Cooperative of American Physicians (CAP) and the Mutual Protection Trust (MPT), retiring in 2015 after 20 years in the post. During his tenure Weidner oversaw the expansion of CAP’s services to physicians through its own insurance agencies and other programs to its reputation today as a national leader in bringing risk management and patient safety programs to its physician members.

Before leading CAP, Mr. Weidner served as Western Region Senior Vice President of the New York based Home Insurance Company (HIC) from 1983 to 1995, working on the company’s 24-hour medical coverage and managed care products. Prior to joining HIC, he held several posts with CNA Insurance Co., including Vice President of Human Resources and General Manager of company’s Phoenix, Arizona branch. Weidner began his career with Allstate Insurance Company in Chicago.

Other current board positions have included the City of Hope, a research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. Mr. Weidner has served as a Board member of Chicago Sinfonietta for 13 years. Past positions include serving as vice chair of the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA) board of directors, a trade association of more than 50 medical liability insurance companies owned and operated by doctors and dentists, as a member of the Board of Directors for Los Angeles’ Downtown Ketchum YMCA and as former chair of the Board of Governors for the City Club on Bunker Hill. Additionally, Weidner has worked with the NIIC for City of Hope (Los Angeles) in its fundraising efforts. California Governor Gray Davis appointed him to the Commission of the Californias in 2001.

Honors include the 2009 Spirit of Life Award, the City of Hope’s most prestigious philanthropic honor.

A certified insurance counselor, James L. Weidner received his psychology degree from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, and is an alumnus of the Stanford Executive Program. In his leisure time, Weidner enjoys golf and the arts. Mr. Weidner splits his time between Chicago and the West Coast.

About Chicago Sinfonietta

A tenured orchestra and acclaimed cultural leader that champions diversity, equity, and inclusion by creating community through curated symphonic experiences, Chicago Sinfonietta (CS) is a source of community through music, as well as ensuring and inspiring a continued investment in diversity and inclusivity in the genre of classical music to promote fairness and equity. Recognized as groundbreaking, dynamic and daring, with core values built around being culturally responsive and advocates of inclusivity in all aspects of the 35-year-old organization’s work, Chicago Sinfonietta’s unrelenting commitment to being at the forefront of innovation drives its high standard of symphonic experiences. CS takes pride in leading by example with immersive audience engagement activities, impactful career development, education, and extensive community outreach programs. Next season, the Orchestra begins its newly announced relationship with the historic Auditorium Theatre. Details on Chicago Sinfonietta’s full 35th Anniversary season can be found at

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