Photo cred: Kristine Alexander
Meet Nairika Cornett! Nairika is the Marketing and Arts in Schools Coordinator at The Art’s Council in Gainesville, a longtime Gainesville resident, Brenau University graduate, mother to two sons and married to Tom.
Nairika was born in Bombay, India, loves art, travel and is a women’s advocate.
She was recently chosen to participate in a favorite local charity competition called Dancing for a Cause. Dancing for a Cause is an event where local celebrities are paired with professional dancers to compete in a dance competition. Dancing for a Cause is Aug. 24 and for more information go to
“I really want it to be about the fundraising. It’s fun that we get to dance, but it’s about raising money for local non-profits,” she said.
Dancing for a Cause raises money for three local non-profit agencies: Alliance for Literacy, Center Point, and Rape Response.
Stay tuned to find out about events held prior to the dance competition where you can support Nairika and other Dancing for a Cause dancers! Nairika said she plans to have a few fundraising events open to the public including a Bollywood event, a bbq and more.
We want to thank Nairika for recently spending time with us and telling us more about her life and love of Hall County.
Question: How did you deciding to move to Gainesville from India?
Answer: “Brenau University. After my undergraduate I debated going back to India, because I missed the big city and with my student visa I wouldn’t be able to move. So, I took a year off to travel, and then I applied at Brenau to get my graduate degree, I ended up getting my MBA, and while I was there I met my husband, Tom Cornett.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “Luna’s, I love the lamb.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Hall County?
A: “I’ve been lucky to have several great mentors here. I would have to name Dr. Jim Sutherland, he was my first advisor at Brenau, a terrific intellect, someone who always encouraged me to keep learning. I would say Lloyd Strickland, as well. I met Lloyd in 1994, and ever since then, we have Sunday morning chats. He started Crystal Farms, an egg company that he started by borrowing 11 cents from his uncle. He used to sell eggs on Gainesville Square. He’s passed away since. He was on Berkshire-Hathaway’s board, and he was personal friends with Warren Buffet. He was just a fantastic, understated human being who really championed growing people. I could never understand why he took me under his wing, and would just chat with me about life and my dreams. He was much older than me, and actually ended up being apart of my wedding because he insisted on being there since my family was away.
“But, I am a women’s woman, and I love championing for them. There are a lot of women in Gainesville that are at the center of everything, and I’m not sure they get the credit they deserve. They step up and donate their time, money, and efforts to the events. You have the likes of Dixie Truelove, Carol Ann Daniel, Mimi Collins, and Carol Burrell. They are just terrific. They see that it is worth something to the community and they show up.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “Travel, travel, travel. There is not enough time or money for me to be able to travel. Iran and Israel are definitely on my list.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Things change. Accept change but don’t ever lose yourself in that. Stop judging, that’s the core of everything that is negative today. It’s perfectly OK for everyone to have a different opinion and different view.
Q: What three bands or musicians would you want to see perform?
A: “Tina Turner, Billy Joel and Andrea Bocelli.”
Q: What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
A: “Actually getting in trouble with my school principal when I was probably in kindergarten for talking too much. I was sent to her and she asked me why I was talking so much. I told her because, ‘I guess I had things to say.’ She said, ‘me too’ and gave me a chocolate. I think right then I developed my greatest idol in my life was that woman. She truly championed the student.”
Q: What was the first movie you saw in the theater?
A: “I don’t know if it was my first but I remember a Laurel & Hardy. And Hardy had a broken leg in their slapstick comedy and fell out of the hospital window. I remember just balling the whole movie.”
Q: What is something about you that most people don’t know?
A: “Really at heart I am a nerd. I really am. I read incessantly…I hate sleep! It is my number one enemy, it makes me feel like I’m missing out on life.”
Q: What three words mean HOME to you?
A: “Community, people, comfort.”
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