DIANE FREEDMAN (1942-2020)
Diane Freedman, retired Career Counselor, died July 23, 2020 of cancer at her home in Philadelphia. She was highly regarded as an expert career professional by many colleagues at ACP/ PACDA.
Diane had a true gift for helping clients achieve success as they faced the hurdles of career change and managing their careers in an unpredictable market. Many of Diane’s clients continued to work with her throughout their careers benefiting not only from her skill but also from her insight, positive energy, compassion, warmth and sense of humor. Her 35 years of experience combined with her natural counseling ability made Diane a distinctly valued professional and for this reason, Diane’s expertise and knowledge was frequently sought out by her colleagues.
In 2001, Diane formed a partnership with PACDA member, Jane Finkle, opening a private practice, Career Visions, in Center City Philadelphia where she coached adult clients through all phases of career choice and job transition. During this time, Diane also served as an organizational consultant, creating and facilitating workshops for non-profit and public sector organizations on team building, conflict management and using the MBTI in the workplace. Her clients included Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning; Philadelphia Futures; National Park Service; University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Philadelphia Foundation.
From 1986-2001, working along side PACDA member Beth Wilson, Diane demonstrated her counseling talents supporting women in career transition and job search at Options in Center City Philadelphia. She also designed and implemented career development projects for seniors and high school and college students. During her tenure at OPTIONS, Diane earned certification in the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory and was the resident expert on psychological type. Diane proved to be a great ambassador for the organization as countless clients who were grateful for her career advice referred their family and friends.
Networking and professional development were an integral part of Diane’s persona and work life. She was one of the founders and a board member of the Philadelphia chapter of the Association of Career Professionals International (ACP). Diane held a variety of leadership roles including Professional Development Chair and was influential in initiating and leading Conversations, a discussion group targeting the latest research and literature on career development. Acting on her lifelong mission to impact Philadelphia education, she served as Community Service Chair for ACP and created a collaborative program with the non-profit organization, Philadelphia Futures. Generous in spirit, Diane graciously shared contacts from her wide professional and personal network with colleagues.
Diane also worked as a High School English teacher, a career counselor at the Lifelong Learning Center (Free Library of Philadelphia) and a career counselor at Temple University. She earned a Master's in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University and a Master's Degree in English from Columbia University, Teachers College.
After retiring from Career Visions, Diane’s creative energy and her will to contribute didn’t stop there. Her fascination with art and art history led her to the Barnes Foundation, a modern art museum, where she became a docent after extensive study. It proved to be one of many joys in a long and rewarding lifetime of sharing her enthusiasm and talent.
Diane supported several charities in Philadelphia through “giving circles” in which friends pooled their philanthropic contributions to have maximum impact. The recipients were typically female entrepreneurs with a startup business plan but no funding. She was also active in supporting the Curtis Institute of Music.
Despite her tough battle with cancer, she was determined to live her life as fully as possible. She will be remembered not just for her courage and strength in fighting this battle, but for her creative style and generous wisdom that supported and helped those around her develop and grow.
Diane is survived by husband her Bob, a daughter, Elizabeth, sons Paul and Jonathan, five grandchildren and a brother.