Chief Marketing Officer
VyStar Credit Union
“Doing Good for Community & Members”
Dana Karzan, Chief Marketing Officer of VyStar Credit Union, has a depth of branding experience, including designing and launching brands across global financial and technology products. This experience has led her to become a people’s leader. Dana has taken her team to new heights with her strategic insight while also remaining true to her passion for serving the community.
In her role at VyStar, Dana is responsible for driving growth, awareness, engagement, communications and public relations, and community engagement. At the same time, she lives out the credit union’s purpose – ‘Do Good.’ “We do good for employees, members (customers), and our community. For employees, we focus on competitive wages, outstanding benefits, training and development, and opportunities to volunteer in the community,” explains Dana. “For members, we focus on financial wellness supported by products with great rates and low or no fees. For the community, we focus on building resilient communities through giving through volunteerism, mentoring, board membership and financial giving. We grow because of the good we do, and as a not-for-profit, the more we grow, the more good we can do.”
In 2020 and 2021, Dana led the development, creation, and launch of VyStar’s new brand and tagline, Do Good. Bank Better.SM This message is much more than a tagline, these are the words that VyStar lives by each day, and this new tagline allows the credit union to elevate its promise.
The idea for the new brand started in 2020 and took over one year to develop and launch. The end product resulted in an integrated marketing campaign featuring several television and radio commercials, streaming videos, billboards, digital ads and organic social media content. The campaign included the people, places and organizations that are a vital part of the community, including one of VyStar’s local branches, nonprofit organizations and small businesses. This campaign's success helps to define VyStar in its existing and growing communities. With a strong brand identity, VyStar can help to influence change and create positive, lasting impacts in every community it serves. Today, VyStar is the 13th largest credit union in the country, with over 850,000 members and over $13 billion in assets. VyStar’s growth is vital to the credit union because it allows VyStar to do more good and enables more people to bank better. The credit union can better provide for its members and communities and invest in its people because of its strategic growth plan, which focuses on serving member needs, scale and efficiency, diversification, and stability.
While supporting the growth of VyStar, Dana remains keenly focused on personal development planning for her entire team. “Each marketing team member develops an annual plan with their managers that they collectively work through during the year. We review the plan and discuss key opportunities both internally and externally that can help the team member gain skills and experience,” says Dana. “Additionally, I focus on team level development across key skills like communication, influencing, trust and conflict resolution.” Dana also continues to mentor upcoming leaders outside of the organization.
In addition to her role at VyStar, Dana serves on the Board of Directors for Groundwork Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Symphony, two of Northeast Florida’s integral institutions. Groundwork Jacksonville’s mission is to “bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement, and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being.”
VyStar actively supports Groundwork Jacksonville’s efforts on the Emerald Trail, which will connect urban core neighborhoods and create a healthy and sustainable community for everyone. Dana has taken a leading role in VyStar’s partnership, which supports the credit union’s desire to improve the places where its employees and members live, work and play. Similarly, the Jacksonville Symphony is a cultural landmark within the community. Dana helps drive VyStar’s support of the arts in all forms, inspiring residents and visitors of all ages to think and live creatively.
Before joining the VyStar team in August 2020, Dana held various positions at large companies such as Wells Fargo, Citi and Facebook. Dana has experience leading multiple teams in product marketing, brand strategy, customer segment growth and engagement, customer management, and more. This experience led her to VyStar, where she works hard to improve the world around her.
“My advice to everyone is to determine your strengths and passions. This may be a ‘trial and error’ process where you try new things and see what you are good at and enjoy,” she says. “In my experience, my biggest growth opportunities came where I leaned into change or challenging situations. Don’t be afraid to take these on. While difficult initially, you learn so much through the journey.” WL
Chief Marketing Officer
VyStar Credit Union
VyStar Credit Union is the second-largest credit union headquartered in Florida and now serves over 770,000 members with assets totaling $11 billion. VyStar is the largest mortgage lender in Northeast Florida and one of the major employers in the region with over 2,000 employees.