About Us

Your Gainesville Caregivers

Southern Companions is a locally owned company started by an experienced nurse, Tara Jernigan (BSRN, ACLS, PALS) who has over 22 years of experience in critical care and nursing supervision. She has also taught in the nursing programs at Brenau University and North Georgia College. She is joined by two Gainesville businessmen, Tim Taylor and Allen Jernigan, who have over 40 years combined experience in the financial industry. Together the team sees a need for home companion services that will improve the quality of life for the elderly and disabled.

Through the many years of experience that the team has within those aspects, Southern Companions was established in 2009 in Gainesville, GA. The team developed a strong base of caregivers that they believed to be exceptional and have continue to recruit and employ these compassionate individuals to offer the utmost care to each and every client with their specific needs being met.

We Inspect What We Expect

We perform random pop-in visits to our clients homes while our caregiver is on duty. This ensures that We Inspect What We Expect!

Our Leadership Team – Caregiving Is Our Specialty

Allen Jernigan

Founder & Co-owner

  • Certifications: BS Indiana Univ., Graduate Banking degree University of Oklahoma.
  • Background: 20 years as a commercial lender in the banking industry.
  • Co-founder of Southern Companions
  • Deacon First Baptist Church of Gainesville
  • Georgia Assoc. of Community Care Providers executive board member
  • GACCP Legislative Committee Chair
  • North Georgia Senior Resources Ex-Officio President
  • Gainesville Kiwanis Club Executive Board member
  • North Hall Track Booster Club VP

Tim Taylor

Founder & Co-owner

  • Certifications: AS Young Harris College, BS Mercer Univ.
  • Background: 20 years as a private banker. Avid sailor and fisherman. Community volunteer. Personal experience with caretaking for grandparent with Alzheimer’s.
  • Co-founder of Southern Companions

Marketing and Sales Development Team

William (Bill) Whalen

Executive Vice President of Marketing

  • United States Navy Veteran
  • Background: More than 20 years of leading product development, apparel production, manufacturer representation, team building and business development.
  • Father of three, avid cook, wannabe fisherman and weekend woodworker.

Christine Carroll


My career as a Registered Nurse spanned over 2 decades in Florida,where I  specialized in Pediatrics and Oncology. I have a passion for caring for the very young and the elderly population. In my recent years,I chose a path in Healthcare sales and marketing. I enjoy being a part of the community where I can help others find services that will improve their quality of life.

During my free time, my children and I spend much of our time with our rescue horses, and our dog, Duke.

I look forward to my new role at Southern Companions and building new relationships in our community.

Kayla Drake


Born and raised in Athens, Ga. I have worked with seniors for over 8 years and my specialty/passion is Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I am actively involved in community programs for teens and also a part of local organizations to help seniors find resources they may need. I love taking part in local fundraisers.  I enjoy traveling to local communities and doing activities with seniors. In my spare time I love hiking and spending time with my husband and puppies!

Why Wait Any Longer Than You Have to For Your Family?

Schedule a complimentary consultation with Southern Companions today!

More information is just a phone call away! We would be happy to discuss the needs of your loved one by offering you a FREE no obligation consultation!

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