By Angela Higginbotham
Colman and Rachel Brodsky grew up on opposite sides of the world. Colman is a Jacksonville native, while Rachel’s childhood was spent primarily in Japan while her family lived on a military base. The two met through work and have been married for 11 years. Colman has spent his career in the insurance industry and is currently chief operating officer for Harden Insurance. Rachel is a busy mother, strong community advocate and PTA president. Together, the Brodskys will chair the upcoming 26th annual River Garden Gala. They have three children, Alex, Ansley, and Ashton and enjoy living in Julington Creek.
- What do you enjoy most about Mandarin?
Colman: It’s home for me. I’ve spent my whole life up and down San Jose Boulevard. It’s great to be close to the heart of Mandarin. We enjoy our friends and family in the area and watching the community grow.
- What is the River Garden Gala and who can attend?
Colman: The River Garden Gala is the Foundation’s major annual black-tie fundraising event. The Gala is on Nov. 17 this year. The home depends on this event to help subsidize the immediate needs of the people who call River Garden their home. Anyone can attend by making their contribution and reservation on the River Garden website.
- What is the theme of this year’s River Garden Gala?
Colman: “A Night Under the Big Top.” We had a list of ideas and when we watched “The Greatest Showman” movie, we decided that a circus theme was what we wanted to do. The entertainment we have lined up is exciting. No animals will be involved, but we will have an aerialist, a contortionist and other acts to entertain the guests.
- How did the two of you become involved with the River Garden Gala?
Colman: Rachel has been active with River Garden for about five years, but had never chaired the gala before. Through her engagement in the community, she has been drawn to River Garden for years. We have both been happy with how well they have treated and taken care of friends and family. In 2014, my grandmother celebrated her 101st birthday at River Garden. Rachel was asked to chair the gala and I was “voluntold” to help chair the event. I’m more than happy to do so.
- What do you enjoy doing as a family?
Colman: We are boaters and enjoy being out on the St. Johns River on Saturday mornings. We make our way to the Riverside Arts Market often. We love to travel, contributing to the community and just spending time together.
Photo courtesy Colman and Rachel Brodsky
Colman and Rachel Brodsky