Introduction - How it All Began

The Influence of Ruby's Legacy

It all started with the Founder's Volunteer work with the Florida Federation of Music Clubs, Orlando Chapter.

The year 1998 I volunteered to be a monitor for the FFMC Music Festival held at the University of Central Florida. This was the most exhilarating experience for me. Since migrating from my homeland in 1980, this was my very first American Music Festival. It had been 18 years since I last attended a Music Festival. I grew up participating each year in The National Music Festivals in Guyana. My siblings and I studied music with Ruby, our mom. I did not realize how much I had missed the life of music.

As an immigrant, my life in America had been totally transformed. I was now focused and centered on corporate life. This festival had given me a great boost of inspiration. And now my tentacles of observation were very astute. I wanted to become involved. One important fact I observed at the festival is that 95% of the students who participated seemed to be quite affluent, and this made me curious as to how I can reach students whose parents cannot afford to pay for music lessons.

Ruby's legacy was beginning to surface. I researched and worked with a Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club to find a club that would like my service. This led to my volunteering with the South West Orlando Boys & Girls Club. I began teaching a class of 23 students from February 2002 through December 2003. Many of these students subsequently transitioned to my private studio. And thus, began Ruby's legacy. The doors of opportunity were opened to children who wanted to learn music regardless of their age, financial or social status.

The Ruby Holland Foundation for the Arts was formally established in 2006 in honor and memory of our mother Martha Ruby Holland (Educator, Entrepreneur, and Humanitarian)

Motto: "Equality in opportunity for music education."

Abigale Örnevik - Strategy & Business Planning

Abigale, granddaughter of Ruby Holland is a former management consultant who works as a Program Manager implementing strategic finance initiatives at Swedbank, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, she lives in Stockholm, Sweden with her 16 year old son Milo. Abigale assists with benchmarking and analysis. She is fluent in German, Swedish, Spanish and English.

Ruth Alice Patrong - Advisor, Public Relations and Event Planning

Ruth Alice Patrong, daughter of Ruby Holland, spent her early years in Guyana South America. She studied music with her mother Ruby, sitting for many of the preliminary examinations with the Royal Schools of Music. After graduation from High School in Guyana, Alice continued her education in Toronto, Canada, taking courses in Harmony and Music Composition at the Toronto Conservatory. Upon completion of her music courses, she pursued studies in Business Management. Upon completion of college, Alice accepted the position of Foreign Agreements Representative with SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada).

Now retired from SOCAN, Alice is a 38-year veteran of her company and has an exceptionally knowledgeable background about the music industry. In her career, Alice was a vital asset to the musical performing rights sector. Always leading by example, she ensured that the distribution of royalties to SOCAN members and affiliated performing rights organizations were accurate and correctly disbursed.

Today, Alice continues to be a strong supporter and advisor of the RHSM School Board and the Ruby Holland Foundation for the Arts and travels each year from Toronto to assist with the finer details of managing the School’s annual Recital and Awards Ceremony.

Edward Fullington - Advisor, Systems Support

Edward was a Senior Systems Analyst and administers the network, computer infrastructure and e-mail for Orange County Clerk of Courts until his retirement in 2012. Prior to his moving to the United States with his family in 1980, Edward was a teacher of Linguistics in Guyana, South America. He and his wife Elizabeth have been married for 36 years and are the proud parents of three children. Edward is also a strong supporter of his wife’s music studio and school and serves as an advisor on software selection and use, and maintaining the smooth administration of office procedures. He is a prolific reader, whose first love is literature and linguistics. He is also fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English and has a great passion for raising and training dogs.

Elena Crosby - Board of Directors, Advisor/Philanthropic Initiatives

Elena, an accomplished executive in the compliance industry, joined the Ruby Holland Foundation in August 2008 where she will be serving in philanthropy initiatives. Ms. Crosby also serves on the board of directors of The Crenshaw Guild, where she gives support and advice on many of the school’s philanthropic activities. In 2007, Ms. Crosby served as Compliance & Contracts Officer for Connextions, Inc., a private company, until June 2008. Prior to that, Ms. Crosby served as Corporate Secretary of Digital Fusion, A NASDAQ Company, since December 2000. She also served as Director of Legal and Government Affairs until October 2005. Prior to joining Digital Fusion, Ms. Crosby served as Corporate Paralegal for PowerCerv Corporation, a NASDAQ company, handling corporate, securities and intellectual properties issues. Prior to working for PowerCerv, Ms. Crosby spent six years as Compliance Manager for two major brokerage firms where she was responsible for NASD and securities compliance. Ms. Crosby speaks at conferences on the importance of corporate compliance and ethics.

Esther Alana Francis - Officer, Account Manager

Esther began music studies for the violin when she was six years old with Martha Straub of Rollins College and performed for concerts and church functions until she was 14. Esther obtained her associate degree in Business Administration from Valencia College in 2005. Prior to her acceptance of the position of Office Manager with RHSM, Inc. Esther held several management positions in the Insurance industry. She is highly personable and comes with over eight years of experience in account management and customer service. Esther is currently working to complete her doctorate studies in pharmacology as she supports the administrative functions of the Studio on a part-time basis.

Loris Holland, Executive Vice President - Producer, Songwriter, Performer, Composer, Arranger

The locus of the Holland musical family, Loris’ musical exploration journey began at the age of two. He excelled as a pianist through his boyhood years, performed with a variety of popular bands, and then completed his formal training at the Royal Schools of Music in London, England, and at the Aaron Copeland School of Music (CUNY) in New York. Loris’s professional experience includes composing music that covers a wide variety of styles including Classical, Jazz, R&B, Adult Contemporary, Rock, Reggae, Gospel, and Hip-Hop, leading to 75 million records sold, two Grammy awards, and three Emmy Awards.

His work has been aired all over the world and has received award-winning accolades across numerous genres, including jingles, television, movies, and even video games. An annotated listing of his celebrated clients includes George Clinton, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige.

Loris’ ever deepening and evolving love for music has expanded to include growing future generations of musicians, thus his commitment to the Foundation. He freely shares his musical and coaching talents, encouraging developing musicians to embrace the whole person to create the richness of soul called for in musical excellence.

Phalmeh - Videographer, Digital Media Producer

Grandson of Ruby Holland, Phalmeh (aka the Lebron of Entertainment) provides his expertise as videographer and photographer for both the Ruby Holland Foundation and the Ruby Holland School of Music. Born in Flushing, Queens New York, Arley moved to Orlando, Florida with his parents when he was three years old.

Surrounded by musicians all his life, his interest in music began while singing in High School with Apopka Gospel Choir and experimenting with all kinds of music. Inspired by the Greats, he plans to be one of the greatest entertainers, producer, singer/songwriter, comedian, rapper, R&B Soul/Hip-Hop ROCKSTAR artist “of all time.”

Phillip S. Fullington - Advisor, Consultant

Philip is a Manager at the D.C. WIC State Agency and is originally from Guyana, South America. At the age of seven, he began piano lessons with Mrs. Ruby Holland. His interest in music later moved to the guitar and trumpet which he studied for two years. Philip immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was thirteen, completing his High School education in White Plains, New York. After graduating High School, he joined the Navy where he worked as a Hospital Corpsman. Upon completion of his Navy Training, he enrolled at Howard University where he graduated as a Physician Assistant. As a P.A., Philip held many exciting and challenging positions in the Medical field. Philip’s greatest passion is teaching and privately tutors students in the study of mathematics.

Chantalle J. Couba - Board of Directors, Strategic Advisor

Chantalle Couba has advised and delivered to Fortune 20 financial services companies to form blue sky strategy and to accelerate product and sales growth for nearly two decades. Chantalle earned a Master of Science degree in Instructional Design and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Florida State University. She anticipates the completion of the doctoral degree (EdD) in education from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019.

Chantalle’s love of all art forms began as early as three during a performance to see the opera Carmen at the Met and is witnessed through her avid visual arts collection, love of creative writing and music. She is passionate in her stance that the arts changing lives and music education should be accessible, compassionate and familial, thus her support of RHFA.

Chantalle’s love of all art forms began as early as three during a performance to see the opera Carmen at the Met and is witnessed through her avid visual arts collection, love of creative writing and music. She is passionate in her stance that the arts changing lives and music education should be accessible, compassionate and familial, thus her support of RHFA.