Diana Clemente has worked in the black car industry for the majority of her life–and it’s in her very blood. She began as an operator at age 16 and moved on to a dispatch position while studying at Baruch College. After graduating first in her class, Ms. Clemente was privileged to join the then “Big Eight” accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG). During her two-year tenure, Diana gained experience handling complex matters for such prestigious institutions as the Archdiocese of New York, Wagner College and Ticketron– all while working toward her CPA license.
Having honed her skills among Manhattan executives of every rank and industry, it was time for Diana to return to her roots. In 1984, at the age of 27, she became Controller of Big Apple Car, Inc., and the Company greatly benefited from her business acumen. Within five years, Diana was named a principal and President of Big Apple Car.
The Company flourished with Diana at the helm, acquiring many major clients and a strong reputation for its commitment to quality service. As client demand soon exceeded supply, the need for a fleet expansion became apparent. For this reason, in 1993, Diana acquired the assets of Cloverdale Transportation and formed a new entity, Cloverdale Car, Inc. Four years later, she created VIP Gold, an upscale, “umbrella, red carpet” ground transportation service.
The Company Diana built is one of the only New York State and New York City-certified Women-Owned Businesses in the black car industry. Big Apple Car is also certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Certified Women's Business Entity. Since 2002, Big Apple Car has consistently ranked in the Top 25 of “NY Area’s Largest Women-Owned Companies” by Crain’s New York Business, and has been in the Top 500 since 1998. The Company was also featured in Working Woman’s listing of America’s Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses from 1996 until it ceased publication in 2000.
Diana is the recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) 2002 Signature Award, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2000 Award, the 1994 Crain’s New York Business Small Business Award and the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission Columbia Association’s 2007 Woman of the Year Award. She is a past President of the Black Car Assistance Corporation, the industry’s only trade association, and currently serves on its board. She also served as a member of the Board of the New York Black Car Operators’ Injury Compensation Fund until completing the maximum allowable terms in June 2007. She is an active volunteer for the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hampton’s (ARF).