When I began interviewing TechTown Detroit Staff for my Duke Engage project, I was able to hear so many great stories from people within the company. The one interview that I enjoyed the most was with the company’s Director of FInance, Diana Goode. Our conversation about my project, and her role in the company combined with her passion for the social impact space was what made me decide to write this piece on her.
Currently, Diana is TechTown Detroit’s Director of Finance, however, she used to work in a completely different department of the company about ten years ago, before working at Wayne State University. In our interview she did not go much into her previous role in the company but talked about how she was excited to come back to an organization that has and is doing so much good for the city of Detroit.
In a previous blog post I discussed what TechTown Detroit is specifically doing to help small businesses and local startups have a larger impact within the community, and Diana is currently a huge reason why the TechTown team has been able to operate so efficiently. As the leader of the Finance department, she controls budgets for all the different divisions within the organization, and overlooks so many moving parts within TTD.
During our interview about her work in the social impact space, Diana and I bonded on our shared love for sports, broadway theater, and New Orleans. When Diana found out that I was a “Dukie,” to put it in her own words, she and I shared a laugh about the Duke and UNC rivalry, since Chapel Hill is her daughter’s alma mater. We also talked about how we both thoroughly enjoyed New Orleans this past April, during the NCAA final four, although we were a little bitter when both our teams lost.
Overall, my conversations with Diana, was one that opened my eyes to a lot of the issues currently in Detroit. But what I took most out of our conversation was how much TechTown is truly doing to help support Detroit local businesses. Diana is not only one of the most influential people at TechTown, but also is one of the most interesting Detroit locals I have met during my stay in the city. I am excited for the opportunity to meet more people within the social impact space during the remainder of my experience on Duke Engage Detroit.