CEO, editor and publisher, i4 Business
Diane Sears of Orlando, Florida, is the CEO, editor and publisher of i4 Business, a monthly print and digital magazine that covers the people, projects and priorities shaping Central Florida.
Sears also is the founder and president of DiVerse Media LLC, founded in 1999, which assists clients with marketing strategy projects, including nonfiction books, research, white papers, TED Talks, executive speeches, scripts, executive newsletters, event planning, media relations and online marketing. She is the author of the books Tapping Your Inner Entrepreneur: Making the Move from Employee to Business Owner and Inside AP: A Guide to Today’s Accounts Payable Profession, as well as thousands of magazine and newspaper articles.
A career journalist, Sears previously served as editor-in-chief of Financial Ops, an award-winning magazine for professionals in accounts payable, accounts receivable and procurement; and of Venture Woman, a national magazine for women business owners. She wrote for Florida Trend magazine and its sister publications Florida Small Business and Business Florida for nine years, producing monthly columns and feature articles on tourism, healthcare, economic development and entrepreneurship. Sears previously was as an editor and the workplace beat reporter at The Orlando Sentinel newspaper, where she also covered city governments and the Florida Legislature. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor with Florida Today newspaper in Melbourne.
Sears is co-founder and co-chair of Go for the Greens, an annual international economic development conference for women entrepreneurs established in 2007, and is a founding director of Go for the Greens Foundation Inc., a Florida-based nonprofit. She serves as the Central Florida regional director for the Women’s Business Development Council of Florida, which certifies companies as women-owned for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. She serves as the historian for the Central Florida Chapter of Women In Defense, is a founding member of the governing body for the ATHENA PowerLink program in Central Florida, and previously served as the Orlando Chapter chair of Women Presidents’ Organization. She also served on advisory groups in Orlando for the National Entrepreneur Center, the Orange County Regional History Center, the Women’s Leadership Summit, the Minority/Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, Leadership Orlando, and the YaYa Network.
For her work in helping develop businesses internationally, Sears was awarded a 2015 World of Difference 100 Award by The International Alliance for Women. She was inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame in December 2015 by the American Institute of Diversity & Commerce. She previously served as the national Economic Development Forum chair for the National Association of Women Business Owners. For her work in mentoring women and building community relationships, NAWBO twice named her National Member of the Year in 2006 and 2009.
Sears was a co-founder and chair of The Beacon Awards: Celebrating Diversity in Greater Orlando’s Workforce, which resulted in The Beacon Diversity Network for diversity and inclusion practitioners. She is a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class 70.