Mr. Jody Johnson is the County Extension Director for University of Illinois Extension in the Alexander/Johnson/Massac/Pulaski/Union Unit. He has a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in business management from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
In his role as County Extension Director, Johnson supervises over 15 staff conducting programming in four broad areas: community and economic development; agriculture and natural resources; nutrition, family and consumer sciences; and 4-H/youth development.
In 2006, Jody was appointed by the Governor to the newly created Broadband Deployment Council; whose purpose is to aid the processes and evaluate to expand Illinois broadband infrastructure across Illinois; in 2013, he was reappointed to the board. Jody was a founding member of the Connect SI initiative in southern Illinois. Connect SI started in 2006 as a 20-county broadband initiative, serving the 20 southernmost counties in southern Illinois. The initiative has expanded to cover several key areas: Healthcare, Natural Resources, Tourism, and recently Youth Leadership. Connect SI dissolved in 2015 having completed its purpose of helping a local company achieve a $53 million fiber-build in Southern Illinois.
In June 2007, Jody graduated from the Delta Regional Authority's - Delta Leadership Institute where he completed a project concerning the use of Telemedicine in the Delta region. While attending the training, Jody was inspired during a tour of New Orleans destruction from hurricane Katrina. He has since hosted three disaster preparation conferences (2008,2009, and 2011) for six midwest states. Jody accepted the role as chairman of SPARC, the Shawnee Preparedness and Response Coalition (SPARC) to assist the organization with Strategic Planning. DLI graduates from the region have populated this board in an effort to better prepare southern Illinois for the next disaster. Jody concluded service on the board around 2013. University of Illinois Extension helped SPARC with strategic planning in 2014 and continues to be a valuable partner in southern Illinois.
Since 2002, Jody has served as an elected official for the Village of Goreville. While on the village board, Jody has assisted with several development projects in Goreville; negotiated water contracts with water districts, and been directly involved with the creation of both of Goreville's TIF districts. Using contacts with University of Illinois, Jody leads an effort to see Goreville participate in the strategic planning process to prepare the community for long-term development and be better prepared for short-term problems.
Jody is an active-father of three boys -- Connor, Tyler, and Peyton "AJ" Johnson of Goreville. In his words "They are the fuel that gets me up every morning! Working to make Goreville and southern Illinois a better place with an ambition of creating opportunities for them and other youth in our are is what pushes me forward..."