Diana understands the challenges Western New Yorkers face because as a small business owner, she faces them on a daily basis.
Born and raised in Batavia, New York, Diana attended public school in Genesee County. She saw first-hand the value of hard work watching her father work in her uncle’s tool and die casting business after his service in the Navy in World War II and then starting his own business, Pinnacle Manufacturing Company, Inc., for his wife and three children. Today, Diana owns and operates the business with her two brothers along with the guiding hand of her 91-year old father who still stops by every day to offer advice and counsel.
In 2014, Diana took a more active role in the company. She has made sweeping changes within the company since she became CEO. Her first goal was to ensure her employees had a decent wage that was above the national and state minimum wage at the time. She increased the starting wages of new employees to $10 per hour and raised the existing wages of her long-standing employees as well. Her workforce has grown to 45 employees. Even though her business had always offered healthcare for their employees, many could not afford it. When the Affordable Healthcare Act came into existence, she brought in a facilitator to help her employees find a more affordable plan, so everyone had the opportunity to be covered. She has gone above and beyond making sure her employees have a safe workplace and is constantly looking for ways to improve working conditions. She also created a career path for every employee in her company by asking them where they see themselves in 5 years. Diana believes the key to her employees succeeding in their goals is education, and she has instituted reviews and training to make sure every employee has a path to meet their goals.
Diana wants to see more and more jobs that were outsourced overseas come back to the United States. She believes American manufacturing can be strong again if more equitable trade agreements are negotiated. Diana will bring her small business expertise to Washington D.C. In Congress, she will work to help Western New York's small businesses, veterans, seniors, and families cut through the red tape and make government work for them. It’s time that Main Street got a break, not Wall Street, billion dollar corporations, and special interests.
Diana lives in her beloved City of Batavia with her husband, actor and comedian Hiram Kasten; her daughter Millicent, a 2016 graduate in Government from Cornell University; and their two rescue pets Kady, the dog; and Kit-Kat, the cat.