Dora Jane Flesher Sets Stage for Opus XXVII

What you notice first about Dora Jane Oudin Flesher are her sparkling blue eyes and radiant smile. But her beauty transcends the physical. Flesher’s enthusiasm for life and the nonprofits she selflessly lends her time and resources to is stirring, to say the least. When she talks about her causes, we–and many others–quietly, intently listen.

A native of Pine Bluff, Flesher lived there until she left for college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She started as a piano major, but after her first year the social butterfly switched to accounting. “I realized I was much too outgoing to spend my college days in a small practice room with a tiny window facing an empty hallway,” she said.

After graduation, she accepted a position as an accountant with Frost & Co. CPA, where she met her husband, Greg, also an accountant, on the very first day of work. The couple just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and have three adult children: Paxton, 24, and Whitney, 22, who both live in New York City, and Andrew, 19, who attends Harvard in Boston. “We are finally empty nesters!” Flesher exclaimed.

Even with the kids out of the house, though, she’s still got plenty to keep her busy. She maintains one accounting client and is the volunteer chief financial officer of Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids (PARK), a title she’s held for 17 years. She also donates her time and resources to several organizations that mean a lot to her: Single Parent Scholarship Fund, Second Presbyterian Church and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO).

“I have been so blessed. As a young person, I was called by God to give back to those less fortunate,” she said. “I have chosen to do this by supporting programs that stress education. An education lasts a lifetime and changes your life forever.”

One of the biggest priorities on her philanthropic agenda is the ASO’s annual Opus Ball, of which 100 percent of the proceeds helps fund the youth education and outreach programs and musician support, she said.

This year’s Opus Ball will be held on Saturday, October 29, at the Capital Hotel. Dr. David and Errin Dean are the evening’s co-chairs. The ASO and the ASO Youth Orchestra will perform, and after dinner, guests will enjoy dancing till midnight to the music of the ASO Big Band.

New to Opus Ball this year is another event, Standing Ovation. “This fun after-party (Opus Part 2) will target the younger generation of supporters,” Flesher said. “Guests for Standing Ovation will arrive at the tent at 9 p.m. and enjoy cocktails, savor tasty creations from the Capital, dance to the ASO Big Band and special guests and bid on silent auction items.” Guests to the ball will complete their dinner and continue to celebrate in the evening in the tent.

Flesher serves as chair of the ASO’s finance committee and a member of the executive committee and the board of the ASO Foundation. “I have been part of a total transformation of the organization,” she said. “When I became finance chair in February 2009, the ASO was struggling financially. I served on the search committee that hired Christina Littlejohn, and what a great hire she has been! Her leadership, along with renewed board participation (led by Martin Thoma), put the ASO on the road to recovery. A year later, the arrival of Music Director Philip Mann re-energized the musicians and audiences,” she said.

“And let me brag a little by saying the ASO has even shown a small profit the past two fiscal years. While orchestras across the country are failing and struggling, we are becoming more intentional and disciplined in what we do, while improving the musical product.”

ATTEND OPUS: Tickets for the Opus Ball are $400 per person and $75 for the after party: Standing Ovation. Both may be purchased at ArkansasSymphony.org or by calling Pammi Fabert, Opus Ball coordinator, at 666-1761, ext. 114, or PFabert@ArkansasSymphony.org.

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