Diana Richards began her career in the vacuum cleaner industry as a door-to-door sales person in 1972. Three years later, she opened and co-owned Richards Sweeper Center in New Castle, PA. Diana became manager of Forest City Vacuum in Cleveland, OH in 1992 and managed five vacuum cleaner sales and service centers. In 1995, she founded and is President and CEO of Vacuum Systems International.
Vacuum Systems International (VSI) began with a single client wanting a resource for store associates to call and troubleshoot vacuum repair issues. It has grown into North America's largest vacuum cleaner remanufacturer, assisting nearly 70,000 facilities in five countries to manage their floor care equipment. VSI's call center, The Vacuum Helpline, is staffed by highly trained support specialists who trouble-shoot vacuum repair issues over the phone. If other repairs are needed, VSI offers its Vacuum Rotation Program, sending a replacement and completely remanufacturing the broken vacuum cleaner. This program helps protect the environment by saving a yearly average of 250 tons of waste from entering landfills.
Diana has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career, including Women's Business Enterprise National Council Certified, Women's Business Enterprise 2006-7, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year-Regional Award Winner and Finalist - Northeast Ohio in 2006, National Association of Women Business Owners’ Top 10 Women Business Owners of N.E. Ohio in 2003 and 2006, Enterprising Women Magazine - Board of Directors, Retail Construction Magazine Top Facility Maintenance Providers in 2006, DiversityBusiness.com Top Small Business and Top Woman Owned Businesses in Ohio in 2006, Sterling Jewelers Specialty Maintenance Vendor of the Year in 2006, YMCA Women of Professional Excellence in 2004 and Weatherhead 100 Award - Outstanding Growth Companies in 2000.
2008 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee