Meet this month’s Woman on a Mission – Diana P. Kelly, COO and President – Bedrosians Tile and Stone in Orange, California USA
I am inspired to tell my story to help people persevere towards achieving their dreams. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and an executive that has a passion for taking care of others. I hold the responsibility of COO & President for Bedrosians Tile and Stone company. I served as the Regional Vice President of Home Depot from 2013 to 2018. Led a team of more than 16,000 associates in 82 stores across Southern California, Hawaii and Guam with sales in the billions. I joined The Home Depot in 1991 as a part-time cashier. My career at Home Depot included assignments in nine different states throughout the U.S., thus making me a strong leader capable of understanding different demographics challenges.
What do you enjoy most about your profession and why did you choose it in the first place? What was the inspiration for your company/project?
I am passionate about empowering employees. I held the responsibility for the Home Depot Western Divisional Woman in Leadership, which encompasses over 500 stores. This company program was designed to assist female leaders in their development and future career goals. My vision is to provide a platform for high-potential leaders to support their consistent efforts in delivering top performing results and to reach their maximum potential.
Tell us about any current or new projects you have coming up/previous projects you have worked on.
Just completed a project with Generatehope, an organization that supports the women that have suffered from sex trafficking. I worked with a full team to restore a transition home for these women and I am proud to say, these women will tremendously benefit from this. I am currently a Board Member for Los Angeles FBI Citizens Academy, holding the role of Vice President of Operations. This is currently a very fulfilling community project. Teaching, supporting and engaging the communities with the FBI.
What is a typical day like for you
I manage stores throughout the USA. A typical day will be traveling and connecting with employees to provide support, guidance, and inspiration to drive a successful business. The best part of the day is to see my son.
Tell us about your community involvement – what you are passionate about outside of work home and why/how you participate?
Most recent and current is my involvement with the FBI. I received the Assistant Director in Charge, Paul Delacourt Certificate of Appreciation for Community Involvement. Working with foster homes and homeless children led to a 2018 California Legislature Assembly: Recognition for service to the State of California. I “adopt” foster kids for the holidays, collect their Christmas wish list and go shopping. This is by far the most rewarding way to spend money. Providing simple request such as bathrobes for the kids is priceless. I also received the 2018 Congressional Certificate of Recognition for outstanding dedication to the community. Provided mentorship to USD and was nominated as a 2018 Honorary Coach for University of San Diego Basketball Woman’s team. I supported the Asian community with development and community projects, as a result in 2017 was awarded by the Asian American community with the Advancing Justice Corporate, Impact award. Worked relentlessly to support our fireman and police officers during tragic events, and fires, as a result, received an award in 2017 by Betty T. Yee, California State Controller, and Todd Spitzer, Orange County Supervisor for Community Involvement. Made a personal commitment to support our communities and homeless in San Diego, as a result, I was awarded 2016 Most inspirational San Diego Woman of the year. I have always sustained a passion to provide support to the community and those that sacrifice their lives to keep us safe, this led to a 2005 Award for excellence from Governor of Massachusetts
What is the biggest risk you ever took professionally and/or the biggest obstacle you have overcome?
Biggest risk has been moving my entire family across the country to nine different states. These were different assignment with my corporation. The biggest obstacle, coming to this country at the age of twelve and not speaking the English language, then having to persevere to rise up the ladder on the retail environment and corporate world. Becoming the first Hispanic female officer at Home Depot was the most rewarding outcome to all the obstacles.
From where do you draw inspiration? Who have been your role models, mentors, etc?
My grandmother was my biggest inspiration. Frank Blake, previous CEO of The Home Depot and Marvin Ellison current CEO for Lowes were both great role models and mentors.
What do you do to keep yourself sharp? What one thing have you done in the past year that has made a significant difference in your life/your business?
This past year I enrolled and took eight courses to receive my certification for Executive and Life Coach. This program has been significant in how I lead my teams and communicate with leaders, communities, and family.
What one thing would you like to learn this year?
I would like to learn sign language this coming year.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Either as the CEO of my current company or somewhere in Tuscany retired and learning the culture. International Executive and Life coaching will be practiced regardless of where I am 5 years from now.
What do you do for fun/relaxation/entertainment?
For relaxation and entertainment, I love to spend time talking with my son, watching movies, reading self-development books. I enjoy working on my saltwater fish tank.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
My greatest personal accomplishment was when I reached out to my mother 23 years ago and asked her to sell her home, quit her job and to move in with me so she never had worry about anything else for the rest of her life. We have been together ever since.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?