James Ady has joined Ballet Memphis as ballet master. In his new role, Ady will teach morning technique classes, assist with community outreach programs, and rehearse and coach dancers for upcoming performances.
Experience: Danced with American Ballet Theater in New York and Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia after having completed early training at North Carolina School of the Arts for high school and the San Francisco Ballet School. After retiring in 2008 due to a foot injury, Ady studied journalism at Boise State University and graduated magna cum laude in 2012.
Favorite quote: “Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” – Voltaire
Favorite movie: “The Color Purple” and “Pride and Prejudice,” both very grand and colorful in their scope and execution, and “Overboard” – it’s adorable.
Favorite sports team: Usually a Roger Federer fan, I was recently rooting for Andy Murray to win at Wimbledon. He donated all of his prize money to cancer research – very cool.
What’s playing on your stereo right now? Mazzy Star, Dave Matthews, Fun, Pearl Jam, and Bizet’s “Symphony in C.”
Activities you enjoy outside of work: Reading, playing tennis, dining out, cooking, and exploring Memphis.
What talent do you wish you had? Although I feel like I was blessed with many gifts in this life, a singing voice was not one of them!
What attracted you to Ballet Memphis? Many things attracted me to Ballet Memphis: the forward thinking artistic director, Dorothy Pugh; the warmth and generosity shown to me by the artistic and administrative staff; and, of course, the talented and hard-working dancers.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment while in ABT was doing a page bow (front of the curtain) at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York after a performance of Lar Lubovitch’s “Artemis” and also being promoted to principal dancer while in Pennsylvania Ballet.
What do you most enjoy about your work? One of the things I most enjoy about working with dancers is watching them attempt and execute something that they didn’t believe they could originally do. Seeing people extend themselves beyond what they think is possible is intensely gratifying.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? If I could give one piece of advice to young people I would tell them, “It’s not enough to just want something in life. Although that’s a part of it, you have to work hard and be persistent to achieve your goals.”
Elizabeth Mensah has become a full company member of Ballet Memphis, where she formerly danced as a trainee. In addition, Ben Slayen, Anwen David, Alberto Gaspar and Charles Cooper have joined Ballet Memphis as company members, and Michelle Presler and Hannah-Ashley Davis have joined as trainees.
Erica Vick of the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has been named a senior public policy adviser for the firm statewide. In her new role, Vick will work with lobbyist Dick Lodge to lead the Tennessee state public policy section of Bass Berry’s government advocacy group.
Steven King has been elected treasurer of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. King is an attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.
Charlotte Knight Griffin has been elected vice president of the Tennessee Young Lawyers Division Fellows, an organization that promotes the division’s objectives and encourages young lawyers to participate. Griffin works at Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division. Effie Bean Cozart of The Hunt Law Firm has been inducted as a new member of the organization.
Tim Verner, an engineer with Fisher & Arnold Inc., has been appointed treasurer of the board of directors of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee. Patrick Neal, a principal at Pickering Firm Inc., has been named director at large for the organization.
Daniel W. Chancey, vice president, senior asset manager with Commercial Advisors Asset Services LLC, has been named secretary/treasurer of Building Owners and Managers Association International. Chancey previously served two terms on BOMA International’s executive committee and as president of its local chapter for three terms.
Memphis Athletic Ministries has added two board members: Tavarski Hughes, government and community relations liaison, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; and Scott McFarland, chief information officer, MEGA Group USA.
Six Memphis attorneys have graduated from the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law program: Ahsaki E. Baptist, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP; Margaret F. Cooper, Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell PLLC; Robert C. “Cam” Hillyer and Ben J. Scott, Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada PLLC; Carrie E. Kerley, The Landers Firm PLLC; and Adam C. Simpson, Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston PC.