Lifetime Achievement Award
Diane Sparacino, ASID
2012 ASID CA/OC Liftime Achievment Award Recipient
Like the honorees before her, Elaine Redfield, Jason Titus, Karen Ziccardi, LeeAnn Tamarabuchi, and Marianne Kreter, Diane has generously given her time, talent and the benefit of her experiences to our chapter, her family and community.
Diane Sparacino is the eldest child of four born to Ralph and Norma Allen in Riverside, California. Her modest, middle-class home life includes a sister, Linda, and two younger brothers, John and David. Her father was a certified welder and her mother a homemaker until all her children left home. She then became head cook and menu planner for the Rialto School District. She was raised in a home where luxuries were few but there was always plenty of food on the table and money for the bare necessities.
Diane aspired to become a teacher from early on in her life; however, she knew her parents could not afford college. Diane married right out of high school and one year, and one month later she gave birth to her first child, Gregory. You see, during those times Planned Parenthood was simply unheard of. Diane came up with the idea to go to a trade school so she could receive training for an occupation in which she could work to raise money for her long stretch to become a teacher. So, she started school for Cosmetology. After completing the course and receiving her state license she began working saving every nickel. Then a surprise visitor appeared – she was pregnant with her second child, her daughter, Dana.
Still her desire was to become a teacher, so she became a licensed Cosmetology Instructor. While working and raising her family she enrolled in the local community college to prepare herself to attend California State University San Bernardino. While still attending CSUSB working on her Bachelor of Science degree in Education, she was promoted to the position of Educational Director for a private trade school enterprise. She directed the curricula and practicum for 7 different programs for fifteen different schools in three states for the next 18 years of her life. She and her husband grew apart and divorced and she continued with her education to later earn her Master’s degree.
She met her husband, Michael in 1989 and knew right away he was the one she wanted to bring into her life with her son and daughter, two grandchildren Brittany and Justin and Great Grandson, Christopher.
She made her wedding dress, which had 32 buttons down the front, so the wedding date couldn’t be set until all 32 buttons and buttonholes were finished. They were finally married in the early summer of 1991.
After her marriage to Mike, Diane took off some time from teaching and found she wanted to explore the right side of her brain by doing something creative. She had always used her spare time to paint on canvas with acrylics and she had sewn her own clothes – that is, until the 32 button dress. After that, not so much. Often she was asked by her friends to bring together the design of their homes. With the encouragement from Mike and her family and friends, she enrolled in classes at the Interior Designers Institute in 1992 and soon achieved her Associates Degree in Interior Design. She began her business in interior design while working on her degree and now owns Bay Design Group, a successful interior design firm located in Costa Mesa, Long Beach and Las Vegas. Her designs and re-models range from mid to high end.
Diane has been an associate member of the Designer IV, a support group of interior designers, for the past 8 years, an association in which Marianne Kreter started over 20 years ago.
Diane joined ASID in 2000 and immediately became involved. She sat on the Board of Director as Ways and Means Director under Mary Swift and continued under every President until 2008 serving as the Financial Director, Membership director and President Elect and then as 2008-09 President. Now that’s a lifetime achievement right there, or at least it probably felt like a lifetime. During these years she served on the following committees: Strategic Planning, Nominating, Design House, Designer Runway, Community Service, Chairs for Charity, the Gala Event, The Lifetime Achievement Award, The Dream Home and Tradeshow and is currently a member of the Past President’s Council.
In addition she participated in Entertainment by Design. She assisted Jamie Namanny in chairing the Ladera Ranch Design House and chaired the Tustin Design House in 2007-08. She has participated in designing rooms of four different Design Houses.
In 2007, Diane passed the NCID exam and the California Codes and Regulations Exam. She has held the State of California Contractor’s “B” license since 2003. Diane is also a member of IDCC and served as a member of the cookbook fundraising committee.
Diane has found her experience with the Cerebral Palsy Society and the Special Children’s League rewarding while working with their fundraising committee from 2000 to 2006 and in the designing and staging of their group home in Stanton, CA. In addition she worked on the 2004 ASID community service program designing a space for the Ronald McDonald House’s Labor of Love project.
Diane credits her travels abroad as having been one of the highlights in her career. She has traveled to Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, the Island of Murano and Bruano, Portugal, Spain, South America, and Great Britain. In these places she has found the inspiration and accomplishments in her designs. She enjoys travel and mingling with the locals in her stops. Along with traveling she enjoys puttering in the garden.
Diane says one of the highlights in her life has been her service with the Orange County ASID. “I have made many friends, all of which have enlightened me. They have truly been a compliment in all my achievements. You see, I consider the society as one big happy family and we have worked together to make this chapter the success it is today.”
The spirit of teaching has been a constant theme throughout Diane’s career. She openly shares her experiences, knowledge and learning curves with her colleagues. Her desire to help designers achieve success in their businesses was the theme of her Presidential year.
For all the members of this Society she shares a quote from Colin Powell, one she has used as her philosophy in her business and life in general and that is: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”
The ASID California, Orange County Chapter commends Diane for her years of dedication. We are pleased to present the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award to Diane Sparacino, ASID.
Past Liftime Achievment Award Recipients
2011 – Marianne Kreter, ASID
2010 – Elizabeth Tamaribuchi, ASID
2009 – Karen Ziccardi, ASID
2008 – Jason Titus, ASID
2007 – Elaine Redfield, ASID