Marley Braun Joins the Team with Rural Forward NC

marley-braunOn April 15th, Marley Braun joined the staff of NC Foundation for Advanced Health Programs as the Administrative Manager for Rural Forward NC. We were able to sit down with Marley for a few minutes to learn more about her background and goals for this position:

Q:  Where were you before coming to work with Rural Forward NC?

A: I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last 13 years, and I have two children, ages 15 and 18.  I’m originally from Upper Marlboro, MD and went to Elon, I spent summers working in DC and hated the traffic, and I fell in love with North Carolina. My degree is in communications, and I’ve worked for an NBC affiliate and corporate communications role in The DC area, and then moved into a marketing role when I moved down to North Carolina.  I worked at FGI communications in marketing and then at Duke for 10 years, ultimately doing marketing for the Duke Health System.

Q:  What drew you to Rural Forward NC?

A:  After 13 years as a stay-at-home mom I knew it was time to work again. I started volunteering and decided I wanted to do something that made a difference in people’s lives. I’ve known Calvin for many years, and always found the work he does interesting, and very important.  When he moved to this job he seemed to be so busy, and I volunteered to help out any way I could. I was looking for somewhere I could really make a difference. Once I started working here, I saw that this was a place I could have an impact. I’ve always been interested in nutrition and health and those interests fit nicely into this role.

Q:  How have your first few weeks been?

A:  I feel like I’ve learned a lot in my time at home as a mom, and I’m able to contribute some of what I’ve learned from that perspective of being around kids and families in this role as I support Rural Forward. I’ve been a volunteer at the school and for the PTA for years, and can contribute knowledge I’ve picked up in those settings and apply them to projects here, for instance looking at an early intervention for kids in need. Now I can make a difference for many children, even indirectly.

Q:  What do you like most about working with Rural Forward NC?

A:  I’ve already in a short amount of time learned a lot about our state. And a lot about how, especially in Wake county, we have so many services; my kids have had so much more offered to them than most kids in these rural counties that are underserviced. It’s really not fair.

Q:  What are you excited for in this position?

A:  Last week the team went to a meeting in Rockingham County. Based on the 10-year plan, just in Rockingham County, it looks like Rural Forward might be able to bring the kinds of services Wake County kids already have to kids in Rockingham County, even within the next 10 years. They’re working really hard to get everybody in the community working together to offer these kids what they should be offered. Some examples of these services are parks and recreation programs, programs to teach healthy eating, after-school activities and even programs within schools.

Q:  What do you do when you’re not working with Rural Forward?

A:  I love yoga, I like to bike ride, and I love to travel. My favorite places are Italy and Peru, and right now I really want to go to Croatia – I’ve heard it’s so beautiful, and I want to do the Game of Thrones tour.