Meet Dr. Allen Butts. “I wanted to be a doctor since I was 3 years old. I would put on a tie when I was 3, the tie made me a daddy and a doctor.” He is a Red Elephant and attended Emory University. At Emory he met Valerie who was visiting Emory as a Senior in High School. He said meeting Valerie was the single greatest gift of his life. “When she came to Emory that next year, I was waiting for her at the front door!”
Allen and Valerie were married in 1986. They have been married for 33 years and have 3 children: Jim is in Brooklyn working as a video editor for Sports Illustrated; Jessica is in Pasadena working for Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Pay Pal; and Kari is as an ICU Nurse at Erlanger in Chattanooga, but recently enrolled in Baylor’s school of nursing to get her doctorate of nurse practitioner.
Allen has had a very successful career as a surgeon at The Longstreet Clinic. He is now consulting with NE Georgia Medical Center and planning to teach surgical residents simulation surgery skills. The exciting residency program will begin this summer in Gainesville with 6 surgical residents and 20 internal medicine residents.
Allen is a confident and positive person. He told me something that I completely agree with when he said, “happiness is a choice and some just cannot make that choice.”
We want to thand Dr. Butts for recently spending time with our own Brad Abernathy and telling us more about his life and love of Hall County.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: “My father was also in medicine. He is the smartest and most influential man I know. He took great pride in being a great doctor. He had a tremendous influence on me. I wanted to be a doctor since I was 3 years old.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “I could not choose between several favorites, but I must say that my wife is an excellent cook. I love what she prepares!”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I have been in Gainesville my entire life. I am a 1980 graduate of Gainesville High School and after high school I attended Emory University.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “I would say Spain or Alaska. Alaska is my favorite state. I love fishing and flying float planes there. Spain is a place we love and have been to several times. We have completed the 800 km Camino de Santiago (The Walk or Way of Saint James) and I would do parts of it again. It is an amazing place and the walk is a journey. We walked it 2 weeks at a time for 6 years. It was a bucket list item for me. The walk is a pilgrimage. Jesus told James to take my words to the ends of the earth and he walked west to the Atlantic, which is where they thought the world ended.”
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: “'Gladiator.' It always has been. I really liked his leadership.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Treasure your family and friends.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “I would love to travel in camper or RV to several state and national parks and spend some time hiking them.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “I love the Eagles, Journey, and Paul Simon.”
Q: What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Hall County?
A: Without hesitation he said, “The Cake Box.”.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Hall County would you have lunch?
A: “I am breaking the rule here and choosing someone I wish I could have had lunch with before he died. Steve Jobs. I think he was a terrific dreamer. He was an outside the box thinker. He figured out what we all needed before we needed it.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “I love the people of this community, and I loved taking care of them in my career.”
Q: You are a pilot. What’s the furthest destination you have ever flown?
A: “To northern Michigan and several times to the Bahamas.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “I will always be here as a home base, but I will be traveling around to visit with kids and grandkids.”
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: “It would be me and Matt Damon”
Q: If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: “Physical Fitness Trainer”
Q: What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Family, Friends, Lake Lanier”
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.