Neil Asks seeks to connect
leaders, learners, and doers
who emphasize not me and
today, but us and tomorrow.


Neil Asks, "In what ways can music be a gateway to the holy and unite people in a shared vision?"

featuring Pam Driesell, Norman Mackenzie, and Dr. Jeremy Begbie.


Dr. Jeremy Begbie

Thomas A. Langford Research Professor in Theology

Duke Divinity School
» Download Bio

Pam Driesell

Senior Pastor

Trinity Presbyterian Church
» Download Bio

Norman Mackenzie

Director of Music and Fine Arts

Trinity Presbyterian Church
»Download Bio

Sunday, March 1, 2015

4:00pm - Panel Discussion: Featured Presenter, Dr. Jeremy Begbie - Response by Pam Driesell and Norman Mackenzie. Reception to follow.

- All are welcome
- Reservations are requested - by phone 404-237-6491 or online


Trinity Presbyterian Church
3003 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA 30327

Childcare provided by request -- by phone 404-237-6491


L. Neil Williams  1936 - 2012

It truly is valuable to learn when one is young that there is a direct correlation between hard work and high achievement, that there is a huge difference between doing something and doing it really well.”

Neil Williams was a leading Atlanta lawyer, corporate director, advocate for arts and education, and mentor for both young lawyers and older executives.

His life of service and leadership, fueled by a hearty zest and optimism, sound judgment, and commitment to excellence in a common purpose, had a regional and national impact that was both far-ranging and deep. Born on March 22, 1936, to Thelma and Neil Williams, Sr. in Charlotte, North Carolina, he attended public schools there where he met his wife Sue.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University with distinction in history and membership in Phi Beta Kappa in 1958. He received his J. D. degree from Duke Law School in 1961. That summer, Neil and Sue moved to Atlanta where Neil began his distinguished, thirty-eight year legal career with the firm of Alston & Bird LLP. In the legal profession, he rose rapidly in a practice that focused on business law, particularly corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He was an acknowledged leader in the profession, a trusted confidante to clients, and the law firm leader who built Alston & Bird from an important Atlanta law firm into regional and then national preeminence. When he retired from Alston & Bird, Neil became the first General Counsel of Invesco, one of the world's largest independent global investment management firms. Neil served as a corporate director at a number of companies, including the Attorneys Liability Assurance Society, an insurer of many of the largest U. S. law firms. At the time of his death, Neil was a respected director of Printpack, Inc., Acuity Brands, Inc., and Invesco Mortgage Capital, Inc.

He participated fully in the Atlanta community with particular interest in the arts. He and Sue sang in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw. He was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Symphony and chairman of that Board from 1987-1990. From 2002-2008 he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center, which awarded him its first Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. The Atlanta Chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 2006 presented him the Learned Hand Award in recognition of his contribution to the legal profession and the broader community.

Nationally, Neil served as a member of the Mountain Conservation Trust in Jasper, Georgia, and the Board of Directors of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, where he had earlier studied string bass for six summers. In 2010 Brevard honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award . During the 1990s he was an active member of the Directors of the American Symphony Orchestra League and served as its chair for five years.

Neil felt great loyalty to his alma mater and worked enthusiastically for Duke University. He chaired the alumni associations of Duke Law School and Duke University. From 1980-1993 he was a member of Duke's Board of Trustees and Chairman from 1983-1988 and founding director of the Duke Management Company, serving until 1997. Duke University awarded him its Distinguished Alumni Award in 1990, and the Law School awarded him the Charles Rhyne Award of leadership in the legal profession in 1993.

Neil's work with philanthropic foundations included serving for years as a Trustee and Chair of The Duke Endowment, which serves needs in North and South Carolina, Chair of the Vasser Woolley Foundation in Atlanta and Trustee of the Halle Foundation in Atlanta, and trustee member of the investment committee of the Presbyterian Church Foundation in Louisville. He was an active member and trustee of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

He was the proud father of Fred Williams and Susan Williams and grandfather of Taylor Williams and Alex Jacobson.

Sponsors & Partners


The Vasser Woolley Foundation, Inc.


Advisory Committee

Sarah Batts

Principal Major Gifts Officer and Foundation Director, Piedmont Heart Institute

Piedmont Healthcare

Barry Berlin

Managing Director

Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management

Kenzie Biggins

Founder and President

Uniquely Defined

J. Veronica Biggins

Managing Director

Diversified Search

Janine Brown


Alston & Bird

Kate Buchanan

Assistant Dean, Alumni and Development

Duke Law

Pam Driesell

Senior Pastor

Trinity Presbyterian Church

Brien Faucett

Associate Manager of Individual Giving

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Martin L. Flanagan

President and Chief Executive Officer

Invesco Ltd.

Virginia Hepner

President and Chief Executive Officer

Woodruff Arts Center

Ben Johnson

Retired Managing Partner

Alston & Bird

Celise Kalke

Director of New Projects

Alliance Theatre

Philip I. Kent

At Large

Dennis Love

President and Chief Executive Officer

Printpack, Inc.

Rosemary Magee

Vice President and Secretary of the University

Emory University, MARBL

Arthur Morehead

General Counsel

The Duke Endowment

Michael T. Petrik


Vasser Woolley Foundation

Richard Riddell, Ph.D.

Vice President and University Secretary

Duke University

Virginia Shearer

Eleanor McDonald Storza Director of Education

High Museum of Art

Ginger Smith

Director of External Affairs

Emory University Libraries

Sue Williams


Neil Asks

Taylor Williams