2015 Symphony Ball Advisors hosted at party

Front row (left to right): Patrick Robbins, Ed Rush, Nancy Colin (2015 Ball Chair), George Smith, Steve Thornton Back row (left to right):  John Johnson, Richard Van Valkenburgh, Ronald Reed, Skipper Colin Not pictured:  Randy Roper, Andrew Jeffrey Albert

Front row (left to right): Patrick Robbins, Ed Rush, Nancy Colin (2015 Ball Chair), George Smith, Steve Thornton
Back row (left to right): John Johnson, Richard Van Valkenburgh, Ronald Reed, Skipper Colin
Not pictured: Randy Roper, Andrew Jeffrey Albert

A long-standing tradition of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild continues in 2015 as Symphony Ball Chairwoman, Nancy Colin, named her Ball advisors for the year and hosted them at an end of summer social.

A select group of the community’s distinguished men in positions of civic leadership are chosen annually to provide business and financial advice to the Ball Chair and support the event.

The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild established the Symphony Ball as a major fundraiser for the orchestra in 1964, and since the earliest balls, advisors have stepped up to the plate, figuratively and literally.  To show appreciation for their service to the Guild, Nancy and her Ball Committee hosted the men and their wives at an Advisors’ Cocktail Party, held at the home of Jay and Dana Town.

A large silver stand filled with whole fresh fruits, including pineapple; watermelon; and grapes, decorated the center of the dining room table.  Cocktail food, provided by Ina Rosa of Chef on Call, included an assortment of scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and desserts, such as southwestern dip in mini tortilla cups, Cajun shrimp on skewers, beef teres major on crostini, chicken wrapped in bacon with apricot sauce, Caesar salad en croustade, pecan squares, lemon and key lime tarts, and chocolate ganache cakes.

The 2015 Symphony Ball advisors are as follows:

Andrew Jeffrey Albert is President and CEO of AJA, Inc.  His spouse is Ivy Downs Albert.  His civic interests include the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra; the Huntsville Museum of Art; Boy Scouts of America, past Board of Directors (Alabama); veteran’s organizations; and animal welfare charities.  His professional associations include Association of the U.S. Army, National Defense Industrial Association, and Project Management Institute.  He has earned numerous military honors.  His hobbies include golf, computing technologies, and cars.

Ernest Wellwood Colin, Jr. is retired after 32 years with Teledyne Brown Engineering in a variety of engineering disciplines and management positions.  He completed his career serving with the United Nations as Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq.  His spouse is Nancy George Colin.  His past civic interests include volunteering with Meals on Wheels, United Way of Madison County, Honduras medical missions, and Church of the Nativity and the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.  He has served as the Restoration Project Manager at Church of the Nativity (National Historic Landmark), where the project received 2 international awards and a local historic award.  He has also received a variety of other awards during his career. His hobbies include genealogy, travel, gardening, reading, music, sports fan, collecting art, and showing his classic automobile.

Dr. John Dee Johnson, Jr. is a neurosurgeon with Sports Med.  His spouse is Kim Floyd Johnson.  Their children are Emory Brennis Johnson, Elizabeth Marie Johnson, and John Dee Johnson, III.  His civic interests include Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, 2005-2015; Auburn University College of Science and Mathematics Advisory Board, 2005-Present; Leadership Huntsville/Madison Class 15; and Huntsville Committee of 100, 2004-2010.  His professional associations include Huntsville Hospital Chairman of Surgery, 2012-2014; American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 1998-Present; Southern Neurosurgical Society; and Medical Association of the State of Alabama.  His hobbies include travel and photography.

Ronald Elwyn Reed is a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual.  His spouse is Daphne Thompson Reed.  Their children are Ronald Douglas Reed, David Elwyn Reed and Sarah Catherine Reed.  His civic interests include past board member of Von Braun Center Board of Control, past president of Huntsville Council of PTAs, past trustee of Blue Ridge School for Boys in Charlottesville, Virginia.  His professional associations include the Million Dollar Roundtable, Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Huntsville Rotary Club.  Hobbies include family, golf, and working in the yard.

Patrick Adair Robbins is the Director of Professional Services Revenue Cycle Management at Huntsville Hospital.  His spouse is John Christopher Wesley.  His civic interests include Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, Church of the Nativity, and Thrive Alabama (AIDS Action Coalition).  His honors include Chairman of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees.  His hobbies include singing, pottery, reading and current events.

John Randolph Roper is the owner of Randy Roper Interiors.  He is president of Twickenham Historic District Association, member of the Weeden House Committee, past member of the Foundation Board of Huntsville Museum of Art, past member of Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, and past member of the Board of School of Interior Design at Auburn University.  Honors include Senior Center Path of Honor and Honoree for the first American Diabetes Association Roast.

Dr. John Edwin Rush is a retired physicist.   His spouse is Donna Lee Rush.  Their children are Michael Edwin Rush, John Robert Rush, and Victoria Lee Shirey Rush Hinton.  His civic interests include Friends of the Library, supporter of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and supporter to local brass bands.  Honors include Alumnus of the Year, Snead Junior College, 1972; Outstanding Young Men of America, 1972; NASA Summer Faculty Fellow, 1978, 1979, 1981.  His hobbies include music and reading.

George Autry Smith, II is a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP.  His spouse is Lee Anne Parker Smith.  Their children are Julia Bickley Johnson and Morris Malone Johnson, III.  His civic activities include member of Huntsville Rotary Club (Board of Directors 2013-present), member and Board of Directors of The Arc of Madison County, and member and Board of Directors of First Commercial Bank of Huntsville.  Professional Associations include member of the Huntsville/Madison County Bar Association and member of the Alabama Law Institute.  His hobbies are reading, running, and CrossFit training.

Steven Curtis Thornton is a founding partner of Smith Thornton Advisors, LLC.  His spouse is Patricia Bragg Thornton.  Their child is Abigail Claire Thornton.  His civic activities include current Commissioner of Huntsville Sports Commission; and Secretary, Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity of Madison County. Past activities include 2000 graduate of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County; Board of Directors, United Way of Madison County; President, Huntsville High School Soccer Boosters Club; and Board of Directors, Mayfair Park.  His professional associations include Investment Management Consultants Association and National Association of Plan Advisors.  His hobbies include golf, reading, water, and snow sports.

Richard Powell Van Valkenburgh, Jr. is President of Van Valkenburgh & Wilkinson Properties, Inc.  His wife is Nancy Wilkinson Van Valkenburgh.  Their children are Victoria Van Valkenburgh Norris, Julie Van Valkenburgh Lockwood (Mrs. Robert Carter Lockwood), and Sarah Lauren Van Valkenburgh Kattos (Mrs. Andrew Nicholas Kattos), each a Symphony Ball Debutante.  His civic interests include longtime member and past president (3rd generation) of Huntsville Kiwanis Club; member and past chairman of Historic Huntsville Foundation (HHF); past Chairman of HHF’s Harrison Brothers’ Management Committee; lifelong member of First United Methodist Church, member of Sanctuary Choir, and Trustee; member of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce CEO groups; and 2015 Huntsville-Madison County Masters’ Leadership Class.  His professional associations include holding all officer positions of the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS (HAAR), including President in 2004; served as State Director and in all executive officer positions of the Alabama Association of REALTORS, serving as President in 2013; served as Director of the National Association of REALTORS and on the NAR Communications Committee; member of the Council of Residential Brokerage Managers (CRB), including President of the Alabama Chapter.  Honors he has received include 2005 REALTOR of the Year for the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS and the Alabama Association of REALTORS, and 2010 recipient of the Robert Jemison Award for distinguished service to the Alabama Association of REALTORS.  In joint resolutions, the Alabama legislature commended Richard for his service to the Alabama Association of REALTORS, to his community, and to both he and Nancy on their golden wedding anniversary.  His hobbies include music (an accomplished guitarist), singing, and spending time with his 6 grandchildren.

   Jerry W. Nutt is the announcer and master of ceremonies for the 2015 Symphony Ball.  He is the Director of Development for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.  His wife is Dorrie Adams Nutt. Their children are Michael Scott Nutt and David Alon Nutt.  He is a past chairman of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board, Huntsville Community Chorus Board, and is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Greater Huntsville Humane Society.  His hobbies include singing with Ars Nova Opera, Huntsville Community Chorus, and the Nativity choir.

The Symphony Ball will be held October 24  in the Von Braun Center North Hall.  It will be the 52nd  Ball held to benefit to our community by supporting the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

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