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Recognized as one of the 100 inaugural “National Women in Business to Watch” by BizWomen.com, Diane M. Simard is an angel investor in emerging technology companies and the founder of the Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence (COPE) at the University of Denver. She also serves as Sr. Vice President of Investor and Media Relations and is a shareholder and board member of Bye Aerospace in Denver, the developer of the “eFlyer” family of electric aircraft.
Her award-winning memoir, The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer, is her first book. It received third place in the memoir category in the 2019 Colorado Independent Publishers Association's EVVY awards and received five stars from Readers' Favorite.
After completing treatment for Stage III breast cancer in 2015, Diane founded COPE, the first specialty in the country to help train graduate-level clinical psychology students how to work with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Her career experience includes service on several corporate boards and she serves as a business mentor through private engagements. Diane has been a keynote speaker at numerous women in business leadership events and posts a monthly blog on her website, www.DianeMSimard.com.
A passionate advocate for accessibility to higher education, Diane previously served on the Dean’s Board of Advisors for Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver, where she was a guest lecturer and panelist on entrepreneurship. She is a Director Emeritus on the Community College of Aurora (Colorado) Foundation Board (Past Chair) and previously served on the Board and Executive Committee of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, where she was the first female to chair the Chamber’s Defense Council. In addition, she was one of 12 advisors to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a Presidential appointment where she represented Region 8 on the Executive Committee for the National Advisory Council.
In addition to supporting small businesses, Diane has been an avid supporter of the military. She attended the May 2008 Air Force National Security Forum (Air War College) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. In 2004, she was selected to attend the Dept. of Defense’s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) in Europe. She also represented the 460th Space Wing at Buckley Air Force Base in the commanding General’s Civilian Advisory Group for Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs.
Diane was named a 2019 Top Woman in Energy by the Denver Business Journal, the Ray of Hope Cancer Foundation’s 2017 honoree, the 2016 Outstanding Woman in Business in Technology and Telecom by the Denver Business Journal and received the Bob Cardenas Award for her support of veterans and the military. In addition, she was the Aurora Chamber Woman of the Year and a Mile High Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and was an honor graduate in business from Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska.
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