Lila Kelley, Partner at Henderson Kelley, LLC

Lila was nominated for The Faces of Suwanee because like many great women here, she takes on life and makes it better for everyone. She is a very talented designer/builder and serves on the City Planning Commission. With lots of Southern charm, we had a great conversation about why she loves what she does and where she lives.

What inspired you or led you to your current career?
In high school my aspirations were to be an architect. At the time, technology meant there was no way to revise drawings (like what can be done now) and the idea of sitting at a desk did not fit my personality, so I scrapped that and studied retail marketing and management. Later, I circled back to design because it is what I love.

What is your favorite restaurant in Suwanee and what do you love there?
Sushi Nami for the flavors and variety.

How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
16 years

What has made you want to stay?
The good schools are what drew me to Suwanee, as well as the charm of a small town which is how I was raised.

How big is your family?
I have three children. My oldest daughter lives in Greenville, South Carolina. I have another daughter attending UGA, and a son who is a senior at North Gwinnett High School.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
Several whom I admire for various reasons.  Suwanee is a great place to meet lots of different kinds of people.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would like to go to Croatia because of the incredible scenery.

What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
Yellow Submarine

What advice would you give a crowd of people?
Slow down and trust yourself, listen to yourself, take time to make big decisions. Don’t hurry through your life, and look out for one another.

What is something on your bucket list?
I want to go to Spain for the culture, lifestyle, food, and climate. It is very attractive to me. Also, I want to go to Africa and stay in a safari tent to see wildlife and experience life in the bush.

What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see?
Ballad folk-style with an alternative style base. Led Zeppelin, Prince, and U2.

What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
I would say my house does because of its history. It reminds me of the house I grew up in, and the woman I purchased it from lives in Suwanee and reminds me of my mother who passed away a few years ago. The house was special to her.

Choose anyone (past or present and a non-relative) with whom you would love to have lunch.  Where would you go locally for this lunch?
George W. Bush!  I would likely take him out in Suwanee to a nice restaurant.

What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
The people.

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
I have a lot of options in the next 10 years and plan to take my time deciding what to do in the near future.

What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I have lived in Georgia all my life and about an hour from where I grew up.



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