Jared Bailey is stepping down as executive director of AthFest Educates at the end of January, according to the nonprofit's board of directors.
The announcement means that Bailey, who founded AthFest 18 years ago, will no longer be at the helm of the annual music festival, either. AthFest Educates—which raises money for arts and music programs in local schools—is the umbrella organization for the concert as well.
"Bailey intends to shift his focus to public service, as well as other business and family interests," according to a statement from the board. He also serves on the Athens-Clarke County Commission and is up for re-election next year.
The board is "evaluating the organization's staffing needs and plans to begin a search for new leadership...
"The decision to step away from his leadership role with AthFest Educates comes after guiding the organization to heights previously unthinkable, and it is the goal of the Board of Directors to do everything possible to cement his legacy with the organization," the statement says.
In addition to starting AthFest, Bailey co-founded Flagpole and co-owned the 40 Watt Club. More recently, AthFest Educate's AthHalf Half Marathon has grown to include more than 3,000 runners, raising more than $150,000 to date for music and arts education.