When Diane Michael got a call from her father asking for her to fly to Port Orange to take care of him post-op from having all arteries to his heart replaced, she dropped everything left San Diego the following day. After spending a week cooking and cleaning while taking care of her dad, this energetic entrepreneur decided to contact the local Humane Society and host a fundraiser while she was in town.

In San Diego, Michael ran a successful business where singles met and made a difference by attending popular events that auctioned off men and women date packages for charity. Buy Me Love Benefits created “The Puppy Love Party” and the local shelter welcomed this new concept into their fundraising efforts. In three weeks, Michael made the rounds and auctioned off 25 locals, including Sherriff Chitwood, Marc Bernier, Roseann Tornatore and many others, all to raise funds for the animals. By becoming familiar with the community and spending time with her father, Michael wondered how she could start a business that would work in Volusia.

Michael and her dad, who was the area’s first economic development director for Volusia County, wrote down ideas on a yellow pad of paper and together created The Callan Group (CGC). What started as a ghost-written newsletter company turns 10 this month and has expanded in ways never imagined.

Now a boutique business development and communications firm, CGC manages marketing, outreach and events for industries and associations of all kinds and sizes. Callan Group has also fueled local events such as the Marketing Next Expo, a MomPreneur franchise program and the creation of the local food truck movement.

With an office at Fountain Square Mall in Ormond Beach, Callan Group has an experienced team made up of local employees and contractors that have expertise in their designated fields. The client roster has grown to over 500 and many have stated that they feel like the “only client” when working with CGC.

A very different world than San Diego offered Michael but when asked if she would ever go back she stated, “Daytona is a unique community and I have loved building multiple businesses here. I believe if you can make a life for yourself in Volusia County, you can anywhere in the world. Because of Callan Group I have been able to travel all over and wouldn’t change a thing. I feel completely blessed to live close to my dad and have the support of my clients who trust my direction and believe in my vision. I am very happy here and excited to celebrate 10 wonderful years of growth”!

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