Victoria attorney Diane R. Kliem has been recognized by the American Business Women’s Association as the 2020 American Business Woman.

A lifelong Victoria resident, Kliem is president of Kliem & Associates. In addition, she has a CPA certification and a mediator certification.

She is a graduate of the University of Houston-Victoria and the South Texas College of Law.

This is the first time a member from Victoria has been selected for the honor of being a Top Ten finalist and a winner. She was named the winner at the National ABWA Convention in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 2-5, according to a news release from the ABWA.

“I am very proud to represent Victoria as my community and that I brought home this award to my community and to my local league, which has a strong group of women,” Kliem said.

She wants her personal story to inspire others to achieve their dreams, whether that means finishing their education or opening their own business.

“I bring a mission of hope because I did things the hard way. I didn’t enter law school until I was over 40,” Kliem said. She was the mother of two young children when she graduated from the University of Houston-Victoria.

Her involvement in the community was a key to winning the national award, she said.

In addition to being active in Victoria Professional Express Network, which is a local chapter of ABWA, she also serves on the boards for the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Hope Child Advocacy Center. She has served on several other boards over the years.

She encourages fellow ABWA members to get involved in their community to help develop leadership roles.

“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and you will get a lot in return,” she said.

ABWA chooses the 2020 American Business Woman from the Top Ten Business Women chosen nationally.

The Top Ten Business Women will be featured in the National ABWA magazine, in the conference materials and on the website for the next year and will have more opportunities to speak to members throughout the year. All of the Top Ten Business Women serve as ambassadors for ABWA.

As the winner, Kliem will travel to fellow ABWA leagues to visit and speak. She will also speak to other groups throughout the year.

VPEN is a Victoria nonprofit group that supports the community in many ways, including education of members, awarding scholarships at Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria and assisting other charities and nonprofits in the area through fundraising activities. ABWA has two chapters in Victoria: VPEN and Women Growing Together Express Network.

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