Columbus, GA native J.R. Olive came to Macon in 2004 to attend Mercer University where he earned a BA in public policy. During his time in college, J.R. spent most of his free time playing music in several bands and enjoying Macon’s music and culture scene during the early stages of Downtown Macon’s recent renaissance.

Following college, J.R. worked for the Bibb County School District with the Georgia Pre-K Program and deaf, hard of hearing students before taking a position with the College Hill Alliance neighborhood development project. During his time working on the College Hill project J.R. planned and implemented many programs designed to provide access to cultural and economic assets in Macon’s Urban Core.

When the College Hill project sunset, J.R. took over management of the Mill Hill: East Macon Arts Village project, another grant funded community development imitative of the Macon Arts Alliance. During this project J.R. oversaw the completion and programming of the Mill Hill Community Arts Center, completion of a neighborhood master plan, and creation of an artist village through the rehab of historic homes in partnership with the Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority, Historic Macon Foundation, and other partners.

After a brief stint as an insurance adjuster for Farmers Insurance, J.R. accepted the position of Workforce Programs Coordinator with the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce where he will help manage and grow the Greater Career Works platform, the Macon Works talent recruitment initiative, Leadership Macon, the Young Professionals Network and any new workforce talent retention initiatives. J.R. currently lives in Macon with his wife Maggie, daughter Julep, son Jack Jack, and dog Kazoo. He still enjoys making and recording music, working on cars, tinkering in the garage, and cooking meals for family and friends.