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John Jarrard Foundation hires director
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The John Jarrard Foundation has hired an executive director, the first step in expanding the foundation into more than an annual benefit concert.

Joseph R. "Jody" Jackson, formerly the manager for country musician T. Graham Brown, will use his experience in the music industry to lead the foundation full time.

In his role as executive director for the John Jarrard Foundation, Jackson will be responsible for promoting, coordinating and organizing the annual John Jarrard fundraising concert and work toward the development of additional concerts. He also will help guide the foundation’s direction in the future.

The foundation will hold three concerts in 2009, adding two additional shows along with its annual benefit concert.

The main benefit concert is scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Smithgall Arts Council Depot.

Jackson currently lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children and has plans to relocate to Hall County. He is a 1988 graduate of West Georgia College, with a bachelor of arts in mass communications.

The annual concert event honors John Jarrard, a Gainesville native and country songwriter who died from complications from diabetes in 2001.

Jarrard wrote a number of hit songs for musicians such as George Strait, Alabama, Diamond Rio, Tracy Lawrence and others. The concert raises funds for local charities such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County and Good News at Noon.