XENIA — For Carole Braun it was a case of putting family first.
The long-time Xenia resident and administrative assistant of the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce for the last five years is leaving to move back to her hometown of Louisville, Ky., to become a full-time nanny for her new grandchild.
It wasn’t an easy decision. Yet at the same time, it was a no-brainer.
“We sort of had a family discussion about it,” Braun said. “It’s something I need to do to help my daughter. We did make plans for all this. (But) the baby came a little sooner than we thought. I was hoping to retire May 1 and have a leisurely summer of packing and moving.”
Instead, Sarah Braun-Hefley had an early labor and Braun has been shuttling between Kentucky and Ohio.
“It’s hard to be up here for couple days,” Braun said. “It tears my heart out to leave.”
Braun has lived in Xenia since 1985. She moved to the area with her then-husband, radio personality Bucks Braun, who worked at WBZI. Braun first worked at the Xenia Daily Gazette in editorial and circulation. She later ran the media center at Antioch College for 22 years before retiring from that position and moving on to the chamber.
“I really enjoyed working here,” Braun said. “I’ve gotten more involved with the community. I’m kind of a busy body. I like to know everything.”
One thing Braun knows for sure is that she will miss living in Xenia.
“It wasn’t easy and I’m still very sad to leave all my friends here,” she said. “The small-town atmosphere was a great place to raise my kids. Xenia should be proud of who they are.”
Braun’s official last day was April 6.
“She’s been a big asset for me and the chamber,” said President/CEO Alan Liming. “She’s my right arm. It’s a two-person shop. We both depend on each other a lot. Last year alone we did 60 events. I leaned on her a bunch. The chamber, as well as myself are going to miss her a lot.”
Mary Burr, who has worked with the chamber and chaired several committees, will be taking over Braun’s position.
Braun, meanwhile, will most likely find a way to get involved in her new city.
“I’m just going to have to dive in,” she said. “Because I know that’s what will make me happy.”
That, and taking care of her grandchild.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.