OWATONNA, Minn.--The Wenger Corporation formally announced that Christopher S. (Chris) Simpson has accepted the position of President & CEO, replacing William L. (Bill) Beer who retired October 14, 2011.

 Over the last six years, Bill Beer guided Wenger through both good times and difficult times, always with a steady hand and always with personal and professional integrity and a strict adherence to Wenger’s core values. Wenger has been fortunate to have had Bill Beer lead our business during these challenging times.

 Over 18 months ago, Bill Beer informed the Wenger Board of Directors of his intent to retire in 2011. Bill worked closely with the Board to accomplish a smooth succession process and we are pleased to announce Chris Simpson as President & CEO of the Wenger Corporation.

 Chris Simpson has had an extensive and successful career with the Pella Corporation in Pella, Iowa, and with the Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Most recently, Chris served as Pella Corporation’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. Chris joined Pella Corporation in October of 1997 as Vice President, Direct Sales, and has held several different positions of increasing responsibilities since then. Prior to his current role, he served as Senior Group Vice President and had responsibility for all aspects of Pella’s Architect Series® and Designer Series® wood product lines, as well as the Entry Systems Division.

 Prior to joining Pella, Chris was with Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Michigan, for 13 years where he served in many areas of increasing responsibility in various Whirlpool divisions and locations. His last position was the General Manager of the Whirlpool Brand, where as a Corporate Officer, he was responsible for the strategic direction and all the marketing activities of the company’s largest brand.

Chris earned his B.S. from Michigan State University in East Lansing and his M.B.A. with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Michigan.

Chris and his wife Judy have four children and will be moving from Iowa to Minnesota in the coming months.

About Wenger Corporation

Wenger Corporation provides innovative, high-quality products and solutions for music and theatre education, performing arts and athletic equipment storage and transport. For more than 65 years Wenger has been listening to what our customers need and then designing and manufacturing innovative, durable and functional products to meet those needs. Products for music and theatre spaces include: pre-engineered acoustical doors, sound-isolating music practice rooms, acoustical shells, stage rigging systems, acoustical wall and ceiling treatments, instrument and equipment storage cabinets, audience seating, portable stage platforms and staging systems, music posture and portable audience chairs, orchestra pit fillers, makeup stations, tiered risers and music furniture.

 In addition to headquarters in Owatonna, Minn., Wenger Corporation has international distributors. In August 2011, Wenger acquired the stage rigging company, J.R. Clancy, Inc., of Syracuse, N.Y. www.wengercorp.com.

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