The universe handed us an opportunity
Jeff and I became such believers in gratitude that we designed gratitude journals as gifts for all of our wedding guests. They were a huge hit and seeing their enthusiasm over the journals made us decide to build a movement to introduce gratitude into the lives of everyone we meet. As an experiment, we took the extra gratitude journals from our wedding and made them available to purchase. They sold out immediately. We then reprinted a batch and those sold out as well. Since then, we’ve sold daily gratitude journals every year, designating a percentage of profits to charity. The success of the daily gratitude journals sparked a passion in both of us, and for over two years we would occasionally brainstorm our mission: tell the world about the power of gratitude.
Unfortunately, with Jeff’s radio show and Callie’s two careers, there just wasn’t enough time to give it the attention it needed. We did, however, use our respective platforms to share our own experiences as a way to encourage and support others through theirs.
In May, Jeff was fired. While it was disappointing, we both knew immediately there WAS something to be grateful for. We knew there was an upside to this huge change in our lives. We had just been given the gift of time to start the movement we’d been dreaming of. We could now infect the world with gratitude and make finding the positive in every situation, for every person, a reality. And what a perfect springboard… finding the upside in a sudden job loss and turning it into a life-altering opportunity.
So here we are. Our upside is now THE Upside and it’s not only a brand, The Upside is a group of people doing their best to make the world and themselves better every single day. It’s a community of people who realize that no matter what life throws their way, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. That progress, not perfection, is the goal.
We aren’t extraordinary people with some sort of higher power. We’re two people fortunate enough to have found gratitude and the platform to shout it louder. We’ve learned how to find the upside in every situation and it makes us happier, better humans. We believe life is too short to be any other way and we want that for everyone. The reality is Jeff and I are both negative people by nature, but we’ve used daily gratitude to completely transform our mindset and our outlook on life. We’re not going to tell you that life is sunshine and rainbows. In fact, I’m not afraid to say that sometimes life sucks, but there is ALWAYS an upside to every situation and we’re going to find that upside together.
The Upside podcast and weekly newsletter launched August 8, shortly followed by a positivity-inspired line of merchandise and after that, events. Our podcast is meant to start your day on the right foot. In the theme of spreading good energy, we’ll send subscribers a weekly email with a few of our favorite things that just make us feel good. They will both combine laughter with conversation about pop culture, current events and real-life ups and downs. Our favorite part? We don’t have bosses who dictate content or force us to stick to a show schedule. This is truly a show we can build around the community, with no constraints. We get to build this movement together! You’ve been asking for it and here it is…
Callie Dauler has worked in entertainment for the better part of 15 years. She started her career in Artist Management doing day-to-day management and tour marketing for artists such as STYX, Don Felder, Blackhawk, Outlaws and Robin Meade. After leaving the music world, she dove right into TV as the right hand to Robin Meade, the longest-running morning news anchor on television. After Jeff started his own radio morning show, she turned her status as a talking head on Instagram from a hobby to a career and has worked with major brands such as Vital Farms, Hallmark, RaceTrac, Coca-Cola and Pottery Barn, among others.
She’s a lover of dry shampoo, therapy, gratitude, rescue dogs, yoga, chardonnay and podcasting. She lives in Atlanta with Jeff, their baby daughter Ellie and their two rescue dogs (who think they’re humans) Sadie and Lily.
Jeff Dauler is a stand-up comedian and media personality with more than 25 years of morning radio and production experience. He worked in Syracuse, Philadelphia (Chio in the Morning), Tucson (Mojo and Betsy) and Boston (Baltazar and Pebbles) before moving to Atlanta where he was the Executive Producer and co-host of the nationally syndicated morning show, The Bert Show. After his departure from The Bert Show, Jeff went on to host his own morning show at Atlanta’s Star 94 before being fired (#reallife #radio) and starting his own podcast with Callie. Jeff’s broadcasting experience led The Upside with Callie and Jeff to top ten list on Apple Podcasts in its first week and to the #1 spot in Podcast Magazine’s Hot 50 list for 6 months.
Jeff loves making people laugh, his Big Green Egg, the beach, black t-shirts, chocolate chip cookies, The Beatles, videos of people falling and his family.
Katie Burk is a journalist and freelance writer with a background in local news, both on-air and behind the scenes. Passionate about storytelling, she studied broadcast journalism at the University of Alabama, which is where she met her husband, Patrick. Katie’s greatest joy in life is her daughter, Brooklyn. She loves making people laugh and relies heavily on wine as well as Amazon Prime.
Real life: Katie most likely forgot to brush her teeth today because #momlife.
Jennifer “T Bird” Gabriel is a Professional Best Friend who’s passionate about connecting humans through their shared interests. T Bird spent over a decade touring with multi-platinum GRAMMY Award-winning artist Zac Brown Band where she was responsible for the design of a new kind of fan club, one that was led by an actual face to the fans and not a corporation. Her genuine love for human beings and doing good has made her a perfect fit for The Upside where she spends her days connecting with the community, organizing charitable projects and attending meet-ups. T Bird believes strongly that we are all part of the same human family and regardless of our race, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability, we all deserve the same love and respect! She builds all of her communities on the Golden Rule… Treat others how you wish to be treated.
Meggi Hetzel is a sports broadcaster and the right hand to Callie and Jeff! She studied sports broadcasting at Kennesaw State University and grew up right outside of Atlanta. Meggi worked for the University of Alabama & SEC Network for four years before moving back to live with her Fiance full time in Atlanta. Meggi’s soon to be husband, Jake, currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons! Target pickup orders and her OCDness are the only things that get her through crazy football seasons. Oh, and ranch water… all of the ranch water. Reach out to her for that awesome recipe!
Real-life: Meggi is probably perusing through Trader Joes for snacks for Jake… aka her.
Brooklyn Burk became famous in the Upside community when her contagious belly laugh was featured as the show close on THE UPSIDE with Callie and Jeff in March 2020 after she allegedly pooped her pants. Brooklyn’s vibrant giggles can turn even the biggest frown upside down. In her spare time, “Brookie” loves drinking milk, taking baths, blowing kisses, and watching Mother Goose Club on Netflix. Did we mention she’s extremely ticklish?
Ellie is a rainbow baby from Atlanta, GA and a constant reminder of the beauty that follows rain. She loves swaddles, bottles and naps.
Currently reading: Moms on Call
Sadie is a rescue beagle from the Humane Society in Atlanta, GA. Sadie has been on the team from day one with an original role of Sunbeam Location Scout. Following tremendous success at sitting with her back to Callie and Jeff while they record, she transitioned to her role as Vice President of Nonchalance.
Sadie enjoys scratches on her own terms, naps and peanut butter. In her free time, you can find Sadie protesting thunderstorms outside the gates of the National Weather Service…unless there is thunder.
Lily Dauler is a rescue potcake originally from Turks & Caicos. When not studying for her citizenship test, Lily can usually be found in one of the windows of the Callie and Jeff studio protecting the team from dangers such as package delivery drivers, squirrels and other dogs down the street.
Lily enjoys hunting for crumbs, sniffing her human sister’s butt and irritating Sadie.