Dianne Nelson

Areas of Achievement: 
Home Making
Social Service
Gourmet Cooking

Honored By

Honored by: GLHN Architects & Engineers, Inc.
Date submitted: November 14, 2008
Gift: Engraved Paver, Large

Dianne is a Great Spirit in our midst who has chosen service to others as her conscious purpose in life. The beneficiaries of her goodwill are countless and range from the inner circle of her close family to the local healthcare community, to the local business community and beyond to the national Nurses Organization of the Veteran Affairs. Dianne works tirelessly and graciously, often behind the scenes, to support the aspirations and development of others without care for repayment or hint of recognition. When called upon, she has accepted leadership positions and graced those organizations with her clear vision and organizational skills.

Dianne received her nursing degree from the University of Arizona in 1973 at which time she joined the nursing staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tucson. Dianne served our nation's veterans in the Surgical Ward, Dialysis Unit, Ambulatory Surgery Unit, and the Home Telehealth Program over her 34 year career before retiring in 2007. During her tenure at the VA she also reached out to the Tucson nursing community and co-founded in 1994 the Tucson Nurse Week Foundation which originated and promotes the 'Showcase of Tucson Nurses Conference', 'Healthy Fair', and the 'Fabulous 50 Gala'. The Showcase of Tucson Nurses is a sharing educational conference where each year over 200 southern Arizona nurses exchange innovative health care ideas during a continuing education offering, and includes an awards banquet to recognize outstanding nurses who have gone above and beyond their normal daily job responsibilities in demonstrating their concern for humanity, have made significant contribution(s) to the local nursing community. In 1997 Dianne was herself honored as one of the Fabulous 50.

Dianne walks in harmony with those around her. Her empathy for those in need, her desire to serve, and the depth of her character has changed the various associations to which she has belonged. In 1992 Dianne was elected to serve as President of the Tucson chapter of the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA); in 1995 she was elected to the national NOVA Board of Directors; in 1996 she was given the Secretaries Award for Excellence in Nursing; in 1998 she became National Membership Secretary of NOVA; in 2000 she served on the Nurse Qualifications Board, setting advancement standards for VA nurses nationwide; and in 2004 Dianne was elected National President of NOVA. As President, Dianne's team took a new approach to educating members of Congress regarding VA issues by holding legislative briefings for members of the House and Senate Veterans Committees' staff. As President of NOVA she made significant advancements and enhanced recognition for NOVA nationwide for their care of Veterans, our Heroes.

GLHN Architects and Engineers Inc, which proudly offers this recognition for Dianne, has been a major beneficiary of Dianne's enormous generosity and skills in countless ways, as she has hosted virtually every company social event over the last 25 years. She has single handedly planned, procured, prepared, and produced the annual GLHN Open House event which attracts business people from all over the country and has become renowned for its extraordinary range of unique and delicious foods -- all hand prepared by Dianne. She has hosted every company 'Camporee' weekend (17 years in a row??) atop Mt Lemmon ensuring that all employees and their families enjoy fabulous food while 'roughing it' at the camp site. She has provided food and beverage for enumerable GLHN functions and has hosted the company's Christmas parties in her home many times over the years. Her mastery of gourmet foods is amazing to all, and her selfless contributions to the firm are unequaled by any 'outsider' in shaping the vibrant and proud culture of the firm.

Dianne has had a passion for the tenets of the Catholic Church since her young adulthood and has found countless ways to support her Catholic community and live its values, not just in Tucson but throughout the whole of the Carondelet Sisters of St. Joseph organization. She entered the Sisters community in 1966 and received the habit and the name Sister Dianne in 1967. She followed her heart and left the CSJ in 1970 to discover other unknown opportunities which she soon learned included a life of nursing and marriage to William I. Nelson. Dianne and Bill were joined in Holy Matrimony in1971, a marriage that thrives to this day. With this union came the enjoinment of two diverse families to celebrate life's joys and share its sorrows. As the years have unfolded, Dianne's personal commitment to each of the family members has been unending; she is the rock of the family and creates peace among this unique and determined group of people. Bill still refers to her as 'his bride' and forever asserts that 'all things are good in life if you just do what the nurse tells you to do.'

Dianne and Bill made personal commitments to the Sisters of St Joseph Associates program in 1991 and over the years have dedicated themselves to living within the principals of the program as 'companions on a shared spiritual journey' and have worked continuously in support of the Sisters and other Associates. In 2002 Dianne became a member of the Associates Board and in 2009 she was asked to become the Los Angeles Region Director of Associates, a challenge which she accepted and into which she has plunged with the full measure of her considerable heart.