About Dawna Callahan, CEO/Founder
After incomplete paralysis at the age of three from transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that causes inflammation of the spinal cord, Dawna Callahan was the first student with a physical disability in her hometown to be mainstreamed into public school at the age of five. Dawna has always been active participating in regular PE and non-adaptive community sport programs due to the support and tireless advocacy of her parents despite numerous obstacles and naysayers. Dawna is a true believer in the power of sport as her own life has been a testament of how sport can positively impact one’s life.
Dawna has been involved with adaptive sport professionally for more than 20 years. In 2017, she founded All In Sport Consulting and has worked with numerous nationally and internationally known clients including the U.S. Center for SafeSport, Endeavor Games Series, Warrior Games and USRowing. In 2020, All In Sport Consulting presented the inaugural Adapted Sport Leadership & Business Symposium (LABS), a virtual conference aimed to advance the adapted sport movement.
Previously, Dawna was Director of Programs with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), which provides access to sport opportunities for people with physical disabilities globally. She has also held positions with the United States Olympic Committee, Paralympic Division as the Manager of Sport Outreach and Development and Manager, Paralympic Military Program. With both roles, she was vital in growing and developing the Paralympic movement across the United States. Dawna has also worked with national sport organizations Disabled Sports USA and Adaptive Sports USA.
A competitive wheelchair racer, Dawna placed fifth in the Boston Marathon in 2010. Her ability to successfully balance sport, career, and community leadership was recognized when she was selected as one of 25 elite female athletes for the Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) Mentoring Program. The WABN is a partnership between Ernst & Young and the International Women’s Forum, an organization of preeminent women leaders from 33 nations on six continents.
Dawna obtained her master’s degree in Recreation Management at San Jose State while also completing graduate studies in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at San Francisco State. In addition, she completed an Executive Certificate in Sport Philanthropy at George Washington University.
Dawna currently serves on the Lakeshore Foundation Advisory Council and the Sports Events & Tourism Association DEI Task Force.