40 Under Forty: Caly Bryan

Name: Caly Bryan

Age: 27

Title/Company or main life pursuit:  Risk Advisor at Angie Lewis State Farm

What is your word and why did you choose it? 

“Grace” is my word of the year.  I originally chose it as a reminder to extend forgiveness and goodwill in every way that I can because we can all benefit from a little grace.  Throughout the year, this word has evolved into a reminder that all people I meet have their own struggles that I’ll never understand.  It’s a reminder to listen, ask questions, and have empathy for those whose plights I am fortunate enough to have not experienced.

What aspirations do you have for yourself in the next 40 years?

40 years from now I would love to look back on my life and know that I’ve made an impact along the way.  Whether it be through my career, my music, or my compassion, I would love to be able to say that I’ve had a positive effect on my community and the people in my life.

Favorite way to give back to the community?

I’m lucky enough to work for one of the most philanthropic and community-minded people I’ve ever met.  Angie has provided me with many platforms and opportunities to give back to Ocala. I’m on the Associate Board for the Reilly Arts Center, which is one of my favorite organizations in town.  Through quarantine they’ve started a Digital Series so that we could all still experience live music with our friends and family while socially distancing.  I’m very fortunate to be able to work with their team and help bring that experience to our community.  I’m also on the board for Young Professionals Ocala, and am so blessed to be able to network with so many like-minded individuals who all want to see Ocala flourish and grow. 

What do you love and/or hate about the Ocala area?

I hate the “slow-cala” stereotype.  There’s actually so much to do in our little town!  We have the Ocala Downtown Market, live music at the restaurants and bars downtown almost every night of the week, First Friday Art Walks, and so much more!  Next time you hear someone say that there’s nothing to do in Ocala, send them my way!  We’ll go to a concert at the Reilly and I’ll change their mind.

A few albums and movies you’d bring to a deserted island?

I’d bring Johnny Cash’s At San Quentin, Billy Joel’s The Stranger, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, and Shania Twain’s Come On Over.  I would definitely forfeit any movies if it meant I could bring more music.

You never leave home without:

A hair tie.

If you could tell your 16-year-old self one thing:

I would tell 16-year-old Caly that she’s not that cool, and she should stop taking herself so seriously.  Life gets so much easier when you stop trying to impress people. Believe it or not, you get way cooler when you stop trying so hard to be cool.  Also, break up with the boy you’re dating – he’s no good. You have terrible taste in men.

Anything else you’re super passionate about that you’d like to tout?

While my full-time position is at Angie Lewis State Farm, I also play in a musical duo called Caly and Megan on nights and weekends.  We mostly play stripped down acoustic covers, however, we’ve recently been focusing on writing our own songs and we are so excited to share them!  A great opportunity to hear them would be at our Couch Session July 10 at Workspace Collective!  Keep an eye out for tickets. 

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