Serving Others Doesn’t Have to be Glamorous

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012

Diane (left) and Gabby Tassin, Vice President of the Deep South Section ITE

Our Louisiana Office Branch Manager, Diane Callahan, was honored this month by the Deep South Section Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) with a W. Hibbett Neel Award in recognition for outstanding service to the Section.  In true Diane fashion, she was completely shocked when her name was called while she was enjoying a bowl of bread pudding in the back of the room and cutting up with good friends.

I am so proud of Diane’s recognition.  The award, named for Hibbett Neel, is significant.  Hibbett is considered an elder statesman within our profession, and any award with his name on it is very well respected. He is co-founder of Neel Schaffer Inc., a civil engineering consulting firm headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi.  He has been a true servant leader in ITE and was recently elected Vice President of International ITE.

Diane’s involvement with ITE started when she came to work for Sain Associates in 2003.  She worked in our Birmingham headquarters for six years and while here became an active member of the Alabama Section ITE. In 2009, we were able to relocate her back to her roots in Louisiana to start Sain’s new office in Mandeville.  Soon after her return home, she joined Deep South Section ITE which covers Louisiana and Mississippi.

Any time you find yourself in a new group, it can be a challenge to fit in and find a place of service. Diane never seems to struggle with that though. She just jumps in and finds ways to be helpful.  Within ITE, she has helped with meeting registration, selling raffle tickets, serving drinks, and a variety of other small things that are needed by any organization.

One of the things I appreciate the most about Diane is her willingness to do any job that helps the team succeed.  She understands that grunt work is important work and always performs with a positive attitude. That is a priceless characteristic in an employee!

At work and at home, there are a lot of people that call Diane “mama.”  I think that’s because she demonstrates a desire to care for others.  Recently she told me her neighbor, a grown woman, was sick and wanted to come over and curl up at Diane’s house because she just needed her mama.  Diane lost her only son in childbirth, but every afternoon there are 10 kids playing at her house. They flock to her knowing she will look out for them.  She has plenty of love to go around.

Diane’s attitude of service and concern for people translate into her relationships with clients.  She exemplifies Sain Associates’ philosophy of placing client relationships in high regard by providing great service at all times.

Congratulations, Diane, on a well deserved recognition!

Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Cullman, Alabama, Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states.

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