A Conversation With:
Van Nuys Airport
Public & Community Relations Director
How long have you been volunteering in the community?
I have been volunteering in the San Fernando Valley since I first moved out here in 2007, however I have always enjoyed volunteering for various organizations even as a child. My parents taught me the importance of giving back.
How long have you been volunteering for The Valley Economic Alliance?
Kenn Phillips was one of the first people I met when I started working at Van Nuys Airport (VNY). He introduced me to The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA) in 2006 and I have been involved ever since.
Tell us a little about yourself.
For over 24 years, I have worked in the marketing, public and community relations field. Most recently, I worked as the Public and Community Relations Director at (VNY), one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world. I have been with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) for the past 18 years. I am currently responsible for all facets of the airport’s community, media and public relations outreach.
My team plays a key role in building the community relations activities at LAWA and VNY including forming Team LAWA (an employee and tenant volunteer group), starting the airport’s Aviation Careers Education Academy (a summer camp program), growing Job Shadow Day, establishing an online newsletter, and creating a social media presence. I believe it is important to foster partnerships with various community groups because together much more can be accomplished.
Van Nuys Airport has received several community awards, including the Champion of Education Award in 2011 and the Valley of the Stars Award in 2013, both from TVEA. The airport also received the Mid-Valley YMCA Philip Smith Pillar of the Community Organization Award in 2013, the Community Award of Excellence from the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2012, and was inducted to the Valley Industry and Commerce Association Hall of Fame in 2016.
I have been very fortunate to receive several personal recognitions including the 2016 Pillar of the Community Award for the Mid-Valley YMCA and the 2011 Champion of Education Award from TVEA. I was also past Chairwoman of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce. I currently serve as President for the Encino Chamber of Commerce, Foundation Board Member for Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Board Member for The Valley Family Center, and Vice-Chair for the Mid-Valley YMCA.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends. My favorite pastimes include hiking, playing soccer, traveling, and projects around the house.
As a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where I served as Student Body President from 1991-1992, I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
For more information visit my LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/diana-sanchez-0898a57
What is one of your Passion Projects that you are working on?
My passion projects include working with children. I think it is important to expose students to the myriad of careers available so they have avenues to pursue their dreams.
At Los Angeles World Airports two of my favorite projects include the Aviation Careers Education Academy which is a two week long summer camp introducing students to careers in aviation, and Aviation Career Day which is a one day career fair for high school students. We bring together industry professionals, colleges, career counselors, and students.
Why do you continue to be a member of The Valley Economic Alliance?
TVEA is the conduit that brings together business, community, students, veterans, and non-profits. It is the common link that allows for introductions and partnerships. I believe that much more can be accomplished when working together to benefit our community.