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2022 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees

Diane Slattery Riley
2022 Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award


Awards Presentation

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The St. Regis Houston

Diane Slattery Riley is a life-long volunteer who has served in leadership positions with dozens of charitable organizations in New York, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Houston. She is, without a doubt, a force for good in our world.


Born in Syracuse, New York, Diane and her family moved to Houston in 1982. She has been a tireless volunteer for many local organizations, focusing on the arts and health and education issues for women and children, ever since.


Diane became involved with The Women’s Home, a long-term home for women in need,  early on and continues to serve in some capacity on the board and the advisory board. In 1991, she created and chaired its first major fundraiser. A virtual brunch she held recently for the organization was a huge success.


Diane has also done extensive work for The Women’s Fund, serving as president of the board of trustees for two years and helping to launch the Women and Girls Good Health Day Scholarship Fund in 1997 as well as the corporate advisory board in 1998. The latter focuses on the health needs of working women. Diane has also chaired the organization’s annual fundraiser luncheon and was instrumental in developing What About Me? a health publication for teenage girls.


An original member of the Breast Center Advisory Council for Baylor College of Medicine, Diane continues to serve and has chaired several events to benefit The Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center. Diane, herself, is an 18-year breast cancer survivor. In 2003, she served as chair for MD Anderson Sprint for Life, an annual fundraiser, raising over $1 million for the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program.


Ronald McDonald House is another worthy charity Diane has given her heart and soul to. She has been on its board, or advisory board, since the 1990s. In 2007, with her husband, John, Diane chaired The Greatest House on Earth Gala, raising $1,500,000 to fund and support the families and sick children who stay at Ronald McDonald House. In 2017, Diane was on the Leadership Capital Campaign Committee, which raised $25,000,000 for the building’s expansion and renovation. Diane also worked on the Capital Campaign Committee for The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in 2002.


Other organizations Diane has actively supported or continues to support are: Houston Grand Opera, The Salvation Army Women’s Guild, The University of Texas Health Partners for Nursing, Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Fine Arts Guild, Junior League, Houston Ballet Guild, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, St. Michael’s Catholic Church Guild, and The Cardinal’s Circle Board.

For her generosity and devotion to so many, Diane was chosen a Woman of Distinction by Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation in 2001 and was an honoree at the Houston PBS Speaking of Women’s Health conference in 2003.


Diane’s greatest joy is being married to her best friend, John, retired chairman, president, and CEO of Cooper Industries. Together they have supported many worthy causes. Here is a small sample: They chaired the United Negro College Fund Gala in 1999 and the Star of Hope Luncheon in 2001; they were significant donors for the vision to create Discovery Green in 2008; they have endowed a scholarship fund at Syracuse University for the Engineering MBA program. In 2005, the Rileys were honored by Houston Grand Opera. In 2012, they were named Houston Treasures for The Social Book, and in 2015, they were named Texas Children’s Cancer Center Community Champions.


Diane loves to travel with John and spend time with their three children and their spouses; their seven grandchildren; and their labradoodle, Otto.


It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Diane Slattery Riley has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2022. 

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