Dana Callan's volunteerism continues legacy of selflessness

Dana Callan with her family (left to right): son, Clay Callan and his wife, Alexis Callan; Dana Callan; daughter, Chloe Callan; and Dana’s husband, Shane Callan.

For many years, volunteering has been a way of life for Dana Callan, vice president and retail marketing manager at Synovus. So much so that she has contributed nearly 300 hours to help others. She grew up watching her parents volunteer, which had a profound impact on her life. “My mom was always involved in anything that meant she was helping others while meeting new people,” Callan shares.

Her mother, who is no longer physically able to volunteer, gave much of her time while also being a mom of three and working a full-time job. To Callan, her mom made it look easy. And her 82-year-old father has also been volunteering for 10 years with The Community Thrift Store in Pickens and other nonprofits.

To continue their legacy, Callan has carried and passed on the love of volunteering to her family’s next generation. “I always wanted my kids to see me give my time to others, and over the years, they have volunteered as well,” she shares. In fact, her college-aged daughter is a Young Life leader for high school girls.

For a family dedicated to giving back, the impact of helping others came full circle one life-changing day in 1992 when a tornado damaged her home and the community of Woodstock, Georgia. “The Red Cross came around and gave us hamburgers because our kitchen was damaged. It was the best hamburger I have ever eaten,” Callan recalls. “It really meant something to me.” She then promised herself she’d do even more for others facing life’s setbacks.

Shortly after the tornado, Callan began her banking career as a teller at Synovus, working in various departments and advancing to retail market manager 32 years later.

“I manage the Jasper branch, but I spend most of my time in business development and small business lending,” the mom of two says. “I have an amazing team and their teamwork allows me to go out and look for new business opportunities.”

“Over the years, people have told me I take on too much and should learn to say no. But why say no if I get joy out of doing for others? It’s a passion, and I want to continue to do what I can.”

Callan has managed countless fundraising events for organ transplant patients, served as liaison for the United Way at Synovus, and volunteered for booster clubs, school advisor councils, Relay for Life and many other organizations. Currently, she serves as secretary and president-elect for The Rotary Club of Jasper, Georgia, secretary of the board of directors for North Georgia Family Partners, a chapter of Prevent Child Abuse – Pickens, president-elect for Pickens County Chamber of Commerce and chair for the adult and youth leadership programs at the chamber.

(Left to right) Dana Callan with John Sneve and Angie Jones enjoying the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce Annual meeting.

Regardless of her schedule, Callan still carves out time to be with her family for fun and relaxation. “I play cornhole a couple of nights a week. It’s a different way to meet people and have some fun,” she says with a smile. “I drag my husband along every chance I get, but he knows I love it, which makes him happy.”

“Over the years, people have told me I take on too much and should learn to say no. But why say no if I get joy out of doing for others? It’s a passion, and I want to continue to do what I can,” she explains.

Callan is committed and driven to make an impact in her community and shows no signs of stopping. “I always said if I retired, I would want to work for a nonprofit. It’s not work, it’s fun,” she says.

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