Collected Tales from our Life's Journey's




Karen Brennan


Where have you been? and what have you been doing? - - - family, school, career, pastimes, good times, etc.

I began college in elementary ed at Bowling Green and ended up graduating from Indiana University in education with an English major/ art minor. I taught in New Philadelphia for 9 years, advising the pep club, yearbook and helped with countless clubs, plays, proms, floats, carnivals, field trips, etc.
I loved it but changed course, got my MBA and became head of marketing for Max & Erma's Restaurants for 12 years before moving to Newport Beach, California to Coco's Bakery Restaurants.
That company declared chapter 11 after about a month (not my fault), and I stayed for the next several years until I started restaurant consulting going back and forth between CA and OH including cities in between with convenient plane connections, friends and family.
I moved back to Columbus in 2006 to join Bravo/Brio Restaurants, but went back to consulting in 2010 and am still doing it. I love what I do-flying all over, eating in great restaurants and helping people figure out how to be more successful.
So even though I've slowed down a little, I plan to take on interesting, fun projects that take me to fun places where I can connect with my big crazy family (which is spread all over the country) and my friends both from growing up and from my big crazy career.

favorite high school memory

I know this sounds crazy, but I loved high school. (I subscribe to the theory, "The secret to a happy life is good health and a bad memory.") I don't think I could pick just one because so many morph together. But the composite memory is one of being backstage crew (don't think I ever saw a show from the audience).
Being in the wings ready to change scenes, dashing out in the dark with Phil Wilson yelling at the "Elephants" changing scenes, the lights coming up and the show coming alive, that great sense of teamwork and 'being a part of something great' was wonderful.

standout event

I have seen many presidents starting as a small child on my father's shoulders seeing Truman on the back of a train, Kennedy and Johnson near our neighborhood in a motorcade on Broad Street, Gerald Ford, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. But I actually had a conversation with George H. W. Bush after he spoke at Mershon.
After the curtain closed, there was a reception on stage and I just happened to be sitting near the steps and ended up being the first one on stage, as was he. I walked up to him, shook hands, introduced myself and said, "You spoke at my commencement." He replied, "I knew I had an honorary degree from this place, but I didn't know when that was." I replied, "That would be 1983, Mr. President."
End of conversation as his handlers arrived on the scene.  

little-known fact

I am completely unable to resist peer pressure. In my consulting I often facilitate executive retreats and end up doing crazy things I would never do in a million years, but do it because it's a 'team building' activity: fly fishing in Utah, bare back riding in Santa Fe and holding a 12' boa constrictor at the San Diego Zoo.

You’ve come a long way in 55 years. Where are you going in the next five years?

During the pandemic lock down, I realized that almost my entire social life happened in a city other than Columbus, Ohio. So I tried on-line dating because I wasn't traveling as much and wanted to meet someone in Columbus. Even though I'll still be consulting and will begin traveling more, I doubt I'll be on the road as much as I used to be, so I may try it again. Just for fun...who knows?  







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