Blairsville native Brad Ballard was recently promoted to Region 4 Manager within the Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites system. He will oversee operations of 17 sites in the middle/north Georgia area, including Panola Mountain, Fort Yargo, Red Top Mountain and Sweetwater Creek state parks. Region offices are located inside Hard Labor Creek State Park in Social Circle.
Ballard graduated from Union County High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Valdosta State University. He first worked for Union County’s recreation department, then moved to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2010 as assistant manager of Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp. He next managed Sweetwater Creek State Park near Atlanta, then Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth. Ballard is also a member of the DNR Search and Rescue Team and Cave Rescue Team.
“I’m really happy about this opportunity,” said Ballard, “and am looking forward to working with the great team of rangers that’s already in place.”
Ballard and his wife Patsy are currently deciding where to move, putting them closer to his new job and her educational pursuits. Since Georgia State Park managers live in housing within their sites, this will be their first home purchase.
“This is certainly an exciting time for us, since we’ll be starting new jobs, new classes and even a new home all at the same time,” said Ballard.