Diana Parent – Past-President –Fort Wayne Chapter
STEERED FAST-GROWING CHAPTER WHILE HEADING REAL ESTATE FIRM, PARENTING FIVE
Diana Parent, the outgoing president of Legatus’ Fort Wayne Chapter, led one of the most vibrant and rapidly growing Legatus chapters in the country. She did that while being a high-performing CEO and president of SVN/ Park Group, a full-service commercial real estate corporation, and a mother of five children who range in ages from 8 to 20.
Diana and her husband of 24 years, Chad, are active in their community and were co-owners of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, a professional team in the NBA’s development league. Diana has also served on a number of community boards and organizations, and she and her family are active members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She recently spoke with Legatus magazine.
How did you become acquainted with Legatus?
We were looking for something to get involved in. There was no Legatus chapter near us so we actually ended up joining Young Presidents’ Organization. We’ve been in YPO for ten years, and then came the opportunity for Legatus to open up a Fort Wayne chapter, so we jumped in head-first.
How would you describe your experiences so far with Legatus?
It’s been wonderful. It’s really allowed us to focus on our faith together as a couple in a much deeper way than we definitely would have without Legatus.
What is it about the Fort Wayne chapter that makes it so vibrant?
Our membership is extremely engaged. I think 80 percent of the members made at least 75 percent of our meetings last year. Everyone just enjoys being together. We’re very grateful for Legatus. It’s already a big part of our community.
How did you approach the demands and responsibilities of a chapter president?
We have a wonderful chapter coordinator. And we have a really good board that’s very engaged. My goal as president was to bring in new members, integrate and engage them and all our members to get to know each other. I spent most of my time building things around that. I also started a new-member orientation meeting.
How did you develop a strong Catholic faith?
I’m a convert. I converted in 1999 from Methodism. I was looking for an opportunity to deepen my faith, and my husband was already Catholic. We found a great home at St. Vincent’s, which is a very charismatic, Catholic parish.
How do you integrate your Catholic faith into your daily work life?
I think Legatus is a great monthly reminder of our civic responsibility as employers – for keeping in mind our influences and our responsibility to witness.
How did you and your husband get involved in co-owning a professional basketball team?
We’re both avid basketball fans. It was part of economic development for our community. We support our community in several different ways, especially where we can on the economic development side. Chad is a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sports medicine orthopedics. So when the opportunity was presented to us, we were just kind of a natural fit.
We sold the team three years ago to the Indiana Pacers. We owned them for nine seasons. We won a championship, and we had a championship runner-up year. It had a big impact on our community. It was a very interesting experience.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
Basically managing the schedules of five children. It dictates what our hobbies and interests are for that particular year. We enjoy quality time. We have a lake home with the kids.