Des Moines Symphony announces new board members for 2012-13 season

July 13, 2012



Joseph Giunta, Music Director & Conductor
Richard L. Early, Executive Director
The Temple for Performing Arts● 1011 Locust Street, Suite 200 ● Des Moines, IA 50309 

Date: July 13, 2012

Contact: Sophia Ahmad, Director of Marketing & Public Relations ● 515.280.4000, ext. 4011 ●


DES MOINES  – The Des Moines Symphony Association is pleased to announce its new board members for the 2012-13 75th Anniversary season:  Ben Bruns, Christopher E. Nelson, Ph.D. and Mary S. Edrington.

 Ben Bruns has worked for the last eleven years for The Weitz Company, specializing in educational projects for K-12 and higher education clients across the state of Iowa. He has been directly involved in more than 20 projects totaling $500 million worth of construction volume.

Bruns has been active as a board member of the Iowa State University Letterwinners Club and has served as its president from 2006 to 2008. As a board member of Children & Families of Iowa (CFI), Bruns was Vice President of Strategic Planning and President-Elect. He recently stepped aside from this role when Weitz was selected to do the renovations for CFI’s Building Futures campaign, which Bruns will help oversee. In 2009, Bruns was honored as one of the Des Moines Business Record’s “Forty Under 40” business leaders.

Bruns’ small-town upbringing in Denver, Iowa, allowed him to be involved in many activities throughout junior high and high school. He was a tuba player, vocalist, and actor who competed in solo, ensemble and large group band competition. But, he truly excelled in athletics. Today Bruns lives in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood with his wife, Kate, and their son, Clayton.

Christopher E. Nelson, Ph.D. is the Chairman of Amalyte and President & CEO of the Kemin Group of Companies, an organization of businesses aimed at improving quality of life through nutritional and health products. He is a graduate of Washington State University, where he received his B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Northwestern University, where he received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Chris and his wife Linda reside in Cumming.

Mary S. Edrington is Associate Professor of Practice in Marketing and Internship Coordinator at Drake University. She has served for many years on the Des Moines Symphony’s Marketing/Ticket Sales Committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and her M.B.A. from the University of Iowa.

The 2012-13 Board of Trustees officers include Christine L. Hensley, Des Moines City Council, as Co-President; Steven M. Nadel, Ahlers & Cooney PC, as Co-President; Eugene T. Meyer, Greater Des Moines Partnership, as Vice President, Vicki Hedlin, as Secretary; Richard C. Cohan Jr., Aviva USA, as Treasurer; and Stephen C. Smith, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. as Immediate Past President. View the entire Board of Trustees listing at

The Des Moines Symphony Association Board of Directors provides strategic direction and ensures fiscal soundness, financial viability and the continuity of the Symphony.

For more information, please contact Sophia Ahmad, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at or at 515.280.4000, ext. 4011.

The Des Moines Symphony is a not-for-profit, full-service professional orchestra formed in 1937 to enrich, educate and entertain the community by performing great orchestral music. The Symphony Association, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and operating on an annual  budget of more than $2.4 million, supports the Symphony Academy of Music and its numerous education programs including three youth orchestras, and supports the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra which performs seven pairs of Masterworks concerts, the traditional pops performance on New Year’s Eve, education, outreach and family concerts,  and other special events in its home at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. The Des Moines Symphony also produces and performs the annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert in July on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol, which this year attracted more than 100,000, the largest single day attendance of any concert event in the State.