Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary taps seasoned political operative Brenda Cornelius as External Affairs Liaison

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Photo: Brenda Cornelius via ZOOM City Council meeting, July 27, 2020


Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary has appointed Brenda Foye Cornelius as Liaison for External Affairs to the City of Stonecrest.

Cornelius, who has over two decades of leadership roles in local, state, and national politics,  has been hired as an independent contractor for the city. She will be responsible for building and maintaining working relationships with community groups and stakeholders through meetings and events, and conveying the city’s priorities to the community at large. Cornelius will earn $15,000 for six months in the amount of $2,500 monthly. The contract with The Cornelius Group, LLC  includes an option to renew the agreement after six months. Cornelius will report directly to the Mayor of the City of Stonecrest.

The mayor announced Cornelius’ appointment at the July 27 City Council meeting, saying that Cornelius had close ties to the city. Lary said Cornelius would play a key role in working closely with the community, the city’s various authorities, MARTA and state legislators.

“She is one of the founding members of the city of Stonecrest. She was an original board member, she escorted us through the halls of the (state) Capitol to make sure that we could see the correct people for years and years that we worked to become a city,” said Lary. “As we continue to grow, we have to be mindful of our relationship with our different authorities such as our Housing Authority, Development Authority and our legislators…She will be the fantastic leadership arm that we really, really need.”

Cornelius said she welcomes the opportunity to serve the city and is looking forward to engaging with the community and meeting with council members to pick their brains and share ideas.

Cornelius said she believes in Stonecrest’s mission to self-govern.

“I’ve always admired Stonecrest…. It’s an honor to continue my support of Stonecrest,” Cornelius said.

Cornelius is regarded as one of the top strategic political operatives in Georgia. Since 1997, she has led regional community efforts in two Presidential campaigns (Kerry/Edwards, Obama/Biden) and served as senior advisor and consultant to Gov. Roy Barnes. Cornelius served as Director of Special Projects and Multicultural Outreach for the 1998 Barnes for Governor Campaign and following that appointment, she served as Commissioner of Human Relations for the State of Georgia under Gov. Barnes.

Locally, Cornelius served as an advisor and consultant for the last three mayors in the City of Atlanta (Shirley Franklin, Kasim Reed and Keisha Lance Bottoms) and for the last three CEOs of DeKalb County (Burrell Ellis, Lee May and Michael Thurmond). Most recently, Cornelius served on the 2018 team for Stacey Abrams for Governor as senior political advisor.

A graduate of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Cornelius received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Organizational Management. Cornelus is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Atlanta Regional Commission Leadership Institute, the Inaugural Diversity Institute for The Coca-Cola Company and Certified in Conflict Resolution.

After retiring from state government in 2003, Cornelius became founding President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cornelius Group, LLC, a community relations and public affairs consulting firm.





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