The Rest of My Story:
Believe in it until it hurts. That’s been my mantra for Macon, Georgia, the place I’m so proud to call home. By believing in my midsize city, the possibilities have been endless. I earned a career in community relations and event promotion through the wild success of the College Hill Corridor. Together, with my husband, we operate Rock Candy Tours, a music history tour company. I’ve run for office. I tell clients’ stories. My talent is giving those stories meaning. My mission is making sure that meaning is heard.
I am a proud company of one, making a living as a writer, communications guide and community outreach expert who can help you and your organization tell the right story. Scroll further for my full bio based on a 20-year career of passionately believing in what I do.
Macon native Jessica Lanier Walden is a dedicated community advocate who has lived her entire life in Central Georgia. She is passionate about the sense of place and purpose instilled by her region, which has defined her nearly 20-year career in communications and community relations.
Born to a family synonymous with southern music, Jessica developed a deep-seated loyalty to her hometown of Macon, Georgia through its music heritage and untold stories. In 2011, she formed Rock Candy Tours LLC, a music history tour company now owned and operated by Jessica and her husband, Jamie Weatherford, a third generation candy manufacturer.
Jessica’s career began in public relations and events at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. She later worked as a writer and editor for several local print publications, including Houston County Magazine and Macon’s 11th Hour alt-weekly, where she served as the publication’s first editor. In the fall of 2009, she accepted the position as the director of communications and outreach for the College Hill Alliance, the administrative office for the wildly successful College Hill Corridor project that leveraged over $200 million in a two-square-mile area of Macon’s most historic neighborhoods.
After the sunset of the College Hill Alliance in 2015, Jessica now works independently with a primary focus in writing, creative direction, community-centered public relations and strategic planning, emphasizing her talent in content development and storytelling.
Jessica is a graduate of Leadership Georgia (2013) and Leadership Macon (2009) and currently serves on Leadership Georgia’s Board of Trustees. She also sits on the Otis Redding Foundation Board of Directors and the Twiggs County Development Authority.
In 2018, Jessica took her commitment to her community to the next level by joining the record number of women running for office. After qualifying to run for an open seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, she earned the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary race. Although she was not successful in the General Election, she remains committed to encouraging emerging new leaders to run for office.
That same year, Jessica wrote and co-produced a grant-awarded, sell-out musical on Macon’s rich music heritage. Other successful side projects she dedicated to Macon’s music history included a regular newspaper column in the Macon Telegraph and a radio show interviewing fellow children of music lineage called “Love Child of Rock” on the Creek FM.
Jessica, husband Jamie and their young (and throughly entertaining!) son live just outside of Downtown Macon on a hilltop home in Twiggs County, Georgia with a menagerie of rescue pets.