Q&A With Diane E. Ferry, M.S., RHIA, NAWBO National Board Member
“It’s not about me. It’s about helping women and girls succeed in their lives while being productive, honest individuals.” —Diane
With wellness the theme of this issue of NAWBO ONE, there was perhaps no better NAWBO National board member to highlight than this woman entrepreneur who is part of our nation’s complex health care industry that is focused on delivering “wellness” to us all: Diane Ferry.
Diane started Star-Med, LLC more than 15 years ago to provide customized solutions in health information management services to hospitals and physicians’ offices. Diane is a former director of health information management at several academic medical centers and was chief operating officer of a national health information management company before starting Star-Med. She twice served as president of the Delaware Health Information Management Association and was twice elected as president of NAWBO-Delaware.
We recently spoke to Diane about NAWBO:
Tell us a little bit about your business and your “why” as a woman entrepreneur.
I have a health information management company that specializes in the release of health information. We provide very high quality, personalized services to our client organizations and to the patients and communities that they serve. We also train health care organizations on HIPAA, the release of health information and on how to provide great customer service.
I formerly worked for a national company and I was having success, but I felt like I could do a lot more. I had the passion and the drive to do it myself. I started the business for the following reasons:
- I am able to follow my passion to be a success based on my own hard work and skills.
- I am in control of my destiny.
- I can connect more directly with my clients and partners.
- I can manage my own work/life balance.
I am passionate about entrepreneurship and its daily challenges and triumphs.
How long have you been a NAWBO member, what first attracted you to join and why have you remained?
I have been a NAWBO member for over eight years. When I first met several NAWBO members, I was impressed by their enthusiasm and energy. They were passionate about their businesses, but they were also passionate about supporting and helping other women business owners. I liked that very much. I have been fortunate to meet women business owners from all over the world and learn and be inspired from their experiences and success. Being a member of NAWBO is a very rewarding experience.
How do you describe NAWBO when talking about it to other women entrepreneurs who would benefit?
NAWBO is a true sisterhood for women entrepreneurs. We support each other and celebrate our successes together. NAWBO is about connections, learning and building relationships. I always tell women entrepreneurs about all the benefits of NAWBO. It is a great resource for connecting women business owners and helping them to be successful.
Why did you want to serve on the NAWBO National Board and what do you hope to accomplish?
A vision of assisting women business owners and entrepreneurs on a global basis to succeed and grow their business is a personal goal of mine. At a national level, this can be done through meaningful educational programs, mentorship, advocacy and building partnerships. I believe we must empower women entrepreneurs. I am working to enhance NAWBO’s efforts to make each women business owner feel valued and create a sense of “sisterhood,” to help women business owners understand the importance of supporting other women and to be successful in promoting more women to top leadership positions and organizational governance.
What other women’s or community causes are important to you and what are you doing to support them?
I am a founder of the Fund for Women in Delaware, which has been making a difference in the lives of women and girls in Delaware. I work to see more women in the top ranks of management and more women at the board tables locally and beyond.
If you could tell every NAWBO member one thing about making the most of their membership, what would it be?
Come and network at the National Women's Business Conference and meet women from all over the world. There are excellent resources there and thousands of other women entrepreneurs who are there to help make you a success in your enterprise. I know that you will be even more energized, inspired and excited about your business.
Why do you think every NAWBO member should consider taking on a leadership role with their chapter or at the national level—whether it’s on a committee or board?
NAWBO is all about its members. NAWBO gets better when the members are involved. Whether working on a committee or on the board, “You can make a difference.”
What’s something surprising that most people don’t know about you?
I am an avid reader and a member of four book clubs and I am in the process of finishing my first book entitled, “Where Have All the Manners Gone?”
What do you do to ensure your personal “wellness” as a busy entrepreneur, and how has it made a difference in your life and business?
I love to laugh and have a good time. I believe in living each day to the fullest. I want my employees to enjoy what they’re doing, too. Bringing fun and laughter to the workplace is a must for me.
More from this issue
- Apply Your “Oxygen Mask” First
- Nanci Landy’s Not Afraid to Get Her Hands Dirty With MST Dumpsters
- Making “Work” Work in the 21st Century
- She Said/She Said: What’s Your Wellness Strategy?
- WHAT’S YOUR “NO SMALL THING?”
- Celebrating HERstory—Women: Getting Things Done!
- Celebrating the Life & Impact of a Remarkable WBO: Julie Weeks