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Nominated by Elizabeth G. Dineen, JD, CEO of the YWCA

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” — Lao Tzu

Diana Guzman, VP of Human Resources, much like the YWCA of Western Massachusetts, has always been on a mission. A mission to serve her country, a mission to help and serve her community, and ultimately a mission to uplift, empower and inspire young women. A United States Marine Corps veteran, Diana enlisted when she was 17 years old, and served 4 years from 2005-2009, where she eventually worked Admin or as she calls it, “the Marine Corps’ HR”.

“I did training and promotions, separations, data entry, and Personnel Changes of Assignments and Stations,” said Guzman. “When I got out, it just felt like a natural and logical move for me [to continue doing administrative work]. I figured, I’m good at it, and I enjoy it, so let’s stick with it!”

A beloved member of the YWCA staff, who just celebrated her six year anniversary, Diana started out as a Temp Receptionist through United Personnel before transitioning into Human Resources a month later. “To be honest, when I came here as a temp I did not know about the YW,” said Guzman. “However, once I saw what the agency was all about, and the opportunity came up to work here, I knew I had to stay. It has its challenges, but then again, every job does. I just take each challenge as a learning opportunity.”

“Diana is the consummate professional,” said Elizabeth G. Dineen, CEO of the YWCA. “The YW is extremely fortunate to have her as the VP of Human Resources. Diana leads with integrity, emotional intelligence, and compassion. I appreciate her dry sense of humor, incomparable work ethic and unrelenting passion for growth.”

All roads led Diana to the YWCA for a reason, and once she became enmeshed in the day-to-day operations and saw firsthand the work the YWCA does within and for the community; she related to the work not only on a professional level, but on a personal level too. “Growing up, I saw my mom go through domestic violence and be on the verge of homelessness because of it,” she said. “I also have my own experiences that mirror many of our clients’ experiences. Seeing the work the YW does for people like myself and my mom filled me with hope. I always feel proud when I tell people I work here.”

Ultimately, it’s the “human” in Human Resources that drives Diana. Not only does she feed off the energy of the people she works with, but she loves the people and the work they do every day to help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and/or human trafficking. “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with so many accomplished women that have an incredible work ethic, and that motivates me to do my best so I don’t let them down or disappoint them,” she said. “I love the YW and I just can’t see myself anywhere else.”

“Forget my job in HR,” Guzman concluded. “The YW is changing the lives of countless survivors, and that means the world to me.”