Judy Shelley Gets in Gear To Make 2011 Heart Ball a Success

Whether she’s cycling or sailing with husband Michael, spending quality time with their three children and 11 grandchildren, organizing large dinner parties or volunteering with local organizations or her church, Shelley stays occupied both physically and mentally. When she and Michael were approached to chair the 2011 Central Arkansas Heart Ball, themed “Young at Heart,” the couple signed on without hesitation. As co-chairs, the Shelleys are responsible for helping make the Heart Ball a hit.

“Our primary role was to recruit the committee of volunteers,” Shelley said. We have pulled together a strong group from the community to ensure this year’s ball is a success. In addition, it is our responsibility to recruit the 2011 corporate chair, who will serve as the 2012 Heart Ball co-chairs. We turned to our good friends Hugh and Michelle McDonald for this.”

This year’s ball will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Statehouse Convention Center. Guests will enjoy a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner, sweetheart presentations, a live auction, awards and dancing to The Rockets. Dinner will be a pepper-crusted filet with brandy demi glace and wild mushrooms, served atop creamy polenta. According to Shelley, the décor will take on rich red and eggplant tones, accented with splashes of orange and bright green. “This will set the canvas for five beautiful, monochromatic arrangements by Tipton & Hurst,” she added.

The Heart Ball is far more than just another volunteer project for Shelley. Since both her grandfather and father died of heart attacks, heart health is vitally important to her. Supporting American Heart Association (AHA) programs to spread awareness and prevention of heart disease are at the top of her philanthropic to-do list.

Born and raised in Decatur, Tex., Shelley graduated with a BBA in accounting from the University of North Texas, where she met Michael. “We met in an English class in college,” said Shelley. “It was an advanced writing class that I took thinking it was ‘normal’ sophomore English—big mistake! I am a math girl and do not care for English. Michael was in the class on purpose; he loves to write. I spotted him right away and cast my net, though I let him think he was doing the chasing. We were engaged a couple of months later and married eight months after we met.”

In 2004, Michael was recruited by U.S. Bank, and he and Judy moved from Houston to Little Rock, where the Texans settled easily into Little Rock’s embrace. “We love Arkansas and know we are home,” said Shelley, who is a CPA at Flake & Kelley Commercial, where she serves as chief financial officer.

In addition to her involvement with AHA, Shelley is also a volunteer and board member for the Red Cross. “Michael and I ran the financial support portion of the service center here during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath,” she said. “We are active members at Immanuel Baptist Church and sing in the choir. Michael is past chair of both the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Baptist Health Foundation, and we are very involved with both organizations.”

www.inarkansas.com to view the full article written by Amanda Hoelzeman.