Karyn Nixon and her family almost moved out of Augusta; then they met Deke Copenhaver.
"We had started looking at different options when I met Deke. His words were that Augusta has too much potential to not take advantage of it, and that he was going to run for mayor to make a difference," she said. "I have young kids and I wanted them grow up here. I wanted them to be proud of where they're from. So, I began working for Deke on his campaign."
Since January 2006, Mrs. Nixon has worked for Mr. Copenhaver as his executive assistant.
"I get to do a little bit of everything. I focus on what he focuses on and help bring things together. I'm a background person," she said. "Deke is up front, and I'm there behind him, supporting him."
Her duties include meeting regularly with community partners and businesses, assisting with the mayor's prayer breakfasts, helping to organize events such as the Christmas Light-Up Spectacular and communicating with neighboring communities to achieve regional goals.
"Every day brings something new and exciting. That's one of the reasons I love my job," she said. "There is always something going on in the community, and I get to be a part of it."
Mrs. Nixon said she also enjoys watching Augusta grow and sharing what the city has to offer with others.
"On a day-to-day basis, you see more of the potential Augusta has, and each day you see it growing toward that potential," she said. "What I tell people is that you should take advantage of all opportunities you have here. You have to be curious by nature and see what's out there."
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLIC SERVANT OF THE MONTH: KARYN NIXON
FAMILY: Husband, John, and children Caroline, 10, and Jack, 8
POSITION: Executive assistant, office of the mayor of Augusta
HOW LONG IN POSITION: Since January 2006
QUOTE: "Did I ever think that I would be working as a public servant or working for the mayor? No, I have a background in banking. So, what I've learned is to never pigeonhole yourself, because you never know what you may end up doing."