Diane E. Bastian

Former Owner, Panera Bread Franchise, Eastern North Carolina

Diane E. Bastian is a former owner of the Panera Bread franchise covering the Eastern North Carolina market.  Diane and her husband decided to pursue an entrepreneurial venture in 1999 after leaving senior financial management positions in corporate America.  They formerly operated sixteen bakery cafes which employ over 800 employees.  Their business ventures permitted them to be active participants with charitable organizations and educational institutions where they strive to make a difference in the communities where their bakeries are located. The Bastians were selected as Featured Franchisee by Panera Bread in 2009 based on their operational excellence, dedication to the brand, and community service.

Diane has recently been appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue to serve as a member of the Public School Forum Board of Directors for the state of North Carolina. The Public School Forum of NC is a partnership of business leaders, education leaders, and government leaders that provides research and work in the public policy arena and oversees programs in communities across the state including the North Carolina Teaching Fellows initiative.  The Forum, working in partnership with the NC Teaching Fellows Commission, oversees the selection process of 500 scholarship recipients each year as well as coordinating summer enrichment programs for the 2,000 prospective teachers located on public and private campuses across North Carolina.

Diane is actively involved with the School of Business Administration at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, where she has established the Triangle scholarship program and serves as a mentor to the undergraduate students.  She is deeply committed to making a difference for urban college students to encourage them to pursue their career goals while facing economic adversity.

Prior to moving to North Carolina, Diane spent four years living in Hong Kong with her family where her husband held the position of Chief Financial Officer for Allied Signal International.  Diane worked as an expatriate relocation expert helping expat families transition during their moves to Hong Kong.  She experienced first-hand the importance of educating students in America to become global leaders in a rapidly changing economic landscape and made the commitment to bring this awareness to students on U.S. campuses.

Diane was Senior Vice President, Finance, for the Paint Finishing Operations at Asea Brown Boveri, a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation based in Zurich, Switzerland, where she was responsible for the financial and IT functions for their global business operations.  She held several senior financial management positions at The Bendix Corporation in their global automotive business sector with operations across the U.S., Europe , Australia and South America.  Ms. Bastian began her financial career as a Financial Management Trainee at Ford Motor Company. 

Diane received her Associate’s degree from Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI and her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University.  After completing the Financial Management Training Program at Ford Motor Company, Diane earned her MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  While matriculating at Wharton, she was a teaching fellow in the International Business department.

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