Click Here To Listen Nashville Business 100 Leading Women Sonya Hairston
Sonya Hairston is an experienced senior executive, with several years of success in financial management, production, sales, marketing and negotiations. Her general management background includes reorganizing and integrating new operations, team building, budget creation and management, establishing strategic alliances and joint ventures; while in every situation improving revenue growth and profitability. As a turnaround specialist, Hairston successfully focused on organizations in the entertainment industry – most specifically the Music, Film and Non-Profit Marketplaces. She is also President and CEO of her own companies, Classic Affairs, Inc. and Noteably Nashville, LLC.
Classic Affairs’ mission is to provide etiquette and protocol training to business executives traveling internationally and individualized training to underprivileged youth with a unique focus on the grace, values, and ethics of a more innocent time; and to provide superior, individualized event planning for affairs big and small. Noteably Nashville’s mission is to create the premier cultural event in the South highlighting beauty, fashion, music, visual and performing arts; showcasing the look and sound of the diverse cultures represented in the Nashville community. Noteably Nashville provides exposure for creative artists from visual to culinary artists, musicians, photographers, designers, models, hair and fashion stylists and makeup artists of varied experience levels; and financial gifts and visibility to select non-profit agencies.
A skilled and seasoned executive with an MBA in Marketing, Hairston has a wealth of experience working with both non-profit and for-profit companies. A Nashville resident, Hairston is also very active in her community, spending time on the boards and committees of several organizations, including WIFT, Board Vice-President; the Frist Center for Visual Arts, Marketing Council; Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee, Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Communication and Outreach Committee; Williamson County Child Advocacy Center, Legacy Ball Chair of Entertainment Committee and Printing Committee; the Junior League of Nashville Strategic Planning Committee, Public Relations Chair-elect, Chair Diversity Awareness; Celebration of Women Event Chair; and the Ronald McDonald House. Hairston also has been a member of several civic groups, including the Senet Society of the United Way, the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club, Young Leaders, Leadership Middle Tennessee and Andrea Walks.
Demonstrating a passion for women’s issues, Hairston served as one of the founding leaders of All About Women, an annual two-day event designed to connect women with the different health services provided in Middle Tennessee and to educate women about health issues. In its first year, the event raised in excess of $200,000 in monies and in-kind donations and attracted more than 100 vendors, each providing a free service or giveaway to every attendee that visited their booth.
Hairston also has a similar passion for youth issues, having volunteered with the GAP Youth Training Services, Junior Achievement, and the youth ministry at her church. In addition, Hairston has served as a mentor for inner city teen girls and has given her time to several other youth-related organizations in both volunteer and fundraising capacities.
Hairston brings this commitment, as well as a deep respect for truth, fairness, goodwill, and service above self, to her work and to every endeavor that comes her way. She has brought the same level of energy and passion to raising her daughter.
Hairston grew up in Connecticut. After high school, she attended the University of Virginia graduating with a BS with a History, English and Government concentration. She is very proud that her daughter followed in her footsteps and graduated from UVA in 2006 and Belmont in
2013 with a Masters in Non-Profit Leadership. Hairston says her ultimate mission in life is to create community and leave every endeavor better than it was when she arrived