Paul Hogle, the ASO’s chief fund-raiser, a veteran of the business, sent this email earlier today. With remarkably little spin, it tells a story that’s making the rounds. It is fair to say that Hogle’s departure, with no executive director in place (Allison Vulgamore started with the Philadelphia Orchestra in January), complicates the ASO’s leadership future.
Here’s Hogle’s letter:
“I’m sorry for the impersonal email, but I wanted to share some news with you before it leaked through other means.
Nearly nine years ago, I had an unexpected conversation with then-CEO Allison Vulgamore which eventually led to my joining the Atlanta Symphony staff. As my wife and I — and our then pre-teen daughters — left friends and family behind in Maryland, we headed south and made Atlanta our home. The ASO’s energy, excellence, and youthful ambitions made it an attractive choice.
During these years, the ASO has accomplished a great deal. Annual giving is half again larger; aggressive major gift goals were set and achieved; the minority Talent Development Program endowment was doubled; and event income from our ball, golf tournament, and showhouse prospered. In education, a courageous step was taken which united fundraisers with educators bringing together two talented groups of professionals. And, of course, some $75 million in additional support was secured for the dream of an Atlanta Symphony Center.
As it relates to Atlanta’s appetite for our art, the past 12 months have been a year of learning, understanding, and acceptance. A different path may have to be charted. This is why last Fall, I began a slow, conscientious, methodical journey toward a new professional assignment. That sojourn is now complete.
On May 11, 2010, I will resign my position as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Learning of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, leaving behind some of the most talented men and women with whom I have had the privilege to work. Lauri and I will be “going home” to the Midwest, where I have been named Vice President of Patron and Institutional Development for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Max M. Fisher Music Center with responsibility for all earned and contributed revenues.
I will begin my new duties in mid-May, with my last day in the ASO offices being Friday, April 30. Like most American orchestras, Detroit’s is not immune from the pressures of our current times; however, the DSO’s Board is implementing a convincing blueprint for recovery — a plan which has earned praise and financial support from local and national funders alike. […]