Jaime Ashby-Maw is a hometown girl who bucked the trend and came back home -- and she couldn't be happier.
"My husband and I moved back here about one-and-a-half years ago from Tempe," the 1994 Payson High School graduate said. "My family has been here a long time. Hale is my mom's maiden name, and my dad is an Ashby.
Ashby-Maw originally moved to Payson with her family when she was 5.
She, and identical twin sister, Julie went through the local school system together.
"We're dead ringers, and I remember when we were 7 or 8 and attending Julia Randall (Elementary) we would switch classes," Ashby-Maw said.
"(Johnny) Ketchem was the principal then, and we'd get sent to the principal's office. He'd try to reprimand us, but you could see he was chuckling."
Ashby-Maw's mother also went to JRE -- during the era when the recently uncovered bones were placed in the crawl space beneath the Rock Building as a practical joke.
"Mom knew all those boys," Ashby-Maw said. "She remembers Duane Kaufman (who hid the bones) was the class clown."
Now 27, Ashby-Maw left Payson when she was 18 to attend college on a softball scholarship. She attended Pima Community College, Ricks College in Idaho and Brigham Young-Hawaii.
"I played catcher," she said. "My freshman year in college we were ranked in the top 20. My second year I made all conference and our team went to nationals. Then I went to Hawaii and had a good time."
She believes attending college in several different states provided a rich cultural opportunity.
"It's good to move around and be introduced to new cultures," she said.
"It was much needed, because when you grow up in a place like this you can be very naive."
Ashby-Maw, who majored in marketing, came back to Payson to be with her family.
"I appreciate it so much more now than I did when I was a kid," she said. "I love the quaintness of this town. I love that there's old traditions and old families still here.
"But within that, we need to continue to change and grow as a community -- to raise the bar a little bit."
As you might expect from a marketing person, she pinpoints specific areas that she believes need to be addressed.
"I'm not going to talk badly about this town, but I do think we need to be a little more open-minded in terms of what we can do. We need more antiquing, boutiques, little cafes -- things that will keep people here for a day.
"Shopping is a huge downfall. Wal-Mart just doesn't cut it for everybody."
Ashby-Maw believes Main Street is a big part of the equation.
"I am definitely pro Main Street," she said. "I would love to take those old historical buildings and restore them to get weekend traffic in here, to get tourists in here. Tourism is what we want."
Ashby-Maw, who has her real estate license, has just taken on a new challenge as a loan officer for NationSource Financial.
"The company has been here since December. I joined them in February. We do mortgages, refinances, construction loans, commercial loans -- all within the building industry," she said.
Unlike some companies that are riding the refinance market, NationSource Financial is positioned for the long haul.
"As interest rates have gone down, there are tons and tons of new mortgage brokers in town," she said. "A lot of people have become very wealthy doing nothing but refinances, but that's not going to be the stable business that comes in to you month after month.
"It's developing realtor relationships, relationships with contractors, attorneys, accountants, the type of people that have information about people who are purchasing, selling, that sort of thing because that business will always exist."
In her spare time Ashby-Maw still plays softball in the women's league, and she's a voracious reader.
"I like mystery novels and self help/psychiatry kinds of books.
What I've decided as I've gotten older is that I really love to learn in whatever format that comes in. I could be a professional student now."
She also hopes to have children one day, and raise her family right here in Payson just like her parents did.
"I've seen my parents go through thick and thin and they're my inspiration," she said. "It's all about keeping your nose to the grindstone. You work as hard as you can, you do whatever you need to do to make it, and in the end it will work out if you keep on task."
Name: Jaime Ashby-Maw
Occupation: Loan officer
Employer: NationSource Financial
Family: I have two wonderful parents, Jeff and Barbara Ashby, and am one of six children, including my identical twin sister, Julie, as well as Luke, Jodi, Jessica and Tommy. I am also married to Andy and we have a new pug named Oscar.
Personal motto: It's better to try and lose than to not try at all.
Inspiration: My parents are my inspiration because they have taught me to never quit and love one another.
Greatest feat: Marrying my wonderful and supportive husband, Andy.
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Sports of all kind, reading.
Three words that describe me best: Enthusiastic, happy, outgoing.
I don't want to brag but ... I was an accomplished collegiate athlete.
Person I'd most like to meet: Eleanor Roosevelt
Luxury defined: To live the American dream -- family, a home and success.
Dream vacation spot: Cayman Islands
Why Payson? I grew up in Payson and love being near my family and friends and very much enjoy the community spirit and environment in which I live.