For Women’s History Month, we feature Diana Diaz a Hispanic immigrant who made a name for herself in tv news and is making history in the business world, a true American success story
She is a household name in South Florida. Anyone who’s watched tv news over the past two decades recognizes Diana Diaz as the award-winning anchor of the most-watched program on WSVN-Channel 7. But when she stepped away from the #1 rated show after nearly 24 years to focus all her time on the data analytics company she helped build from the ground up, she took everyone by surprise.
Why did she leave a successful journalism career, what drove her to start up LifeWallet (formerly MSP Recovery), and what are her plans for the future? We have the answers.
How Diana Diaz took an unlikely road to WSVN-7 Fox News
Diana Diaz was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and fled the country as a child during the Sandinista revolution. Leaving everything behind and starting over in the U.S. was difficult for her and her family. But she had the support of her parents and was inspired by her mother who worked several jobs and taught herself English by reading the newspaper while taking public transportation from one job to another.
Diana on the other hand learned English thanks to her Kindergarten teacher who spent extra time teaching the shy little girl the language while other kids played during recess. She also encouraged her to watch television which is why she grew up watching Channel 7 News.
The Nicaraguan immigrant was dedicated to her studies. She excelled at Coral Gables High School and was the first member of her family to go to college. She also majored in Telecommunications at the University of Florida. While on the UF dance team, she also juggled multiple jobs, like reporting for the radio and television station, WUFT in Gainesville. The hard work paid off when she landed a job as the main anchor and News Director at WWCI in Vero beach. Right out of college, she was already the youngest known News Director in the country.
Not long after, she reached another milestone and goal. Her dream of one day working at the station she grew up watching, came true. WSVN-Channel 7 hired her, making her the youngest reporter in South Florida at the time. Diaz went on to work at WSVN for almost 24 years before stepping down from her anchor position in 2021 to take the private company she helped build for 7 years, public on the Nasdaq.
Why did she decide to move on from Channel 7 News?
In addition to delivering the morning news, in 2014, Diaz started building a business with Miami attorney, John H. Ruiz. He saw that she was talented, intelligent, a great communicator, and a beloved public figure. Diaz was exactly what he needed to get his idea for a healthcare data and legal company off the ground. Ruiz reached out to Diaz to help him launch MSP Recovery, a company that recovers improper payments for healthcare entities from responsible parties.
Diana Diaz spent the first months learning about the U.S. healthcare reimbursement process, including the laws affecting Medicare and Medicaid, and why the flawed system was unable to discover improper payments which lead to the drain of federal dollars meant to help Americans. Then she focused on creating all the messaging and marketing to educate consumers, industries, and clients about the important work being done by MSP Recovery. Diaz is credited with executing the initiatives and business development strategies that led to the company’s unprecedented growth and being integral in turning MSP Recovery into a company that is publicly traded, making history in the process, with the second-largest SPAC transaction in U.S. history.
“Diana has been an asset to our company from day one and a key member of our leadership team, “said LifeWallet CEO, John H. Ruiz. “She played a pivotal role in helping execute what is now the second-largest SPAC deal in the U.S. (valued at nearly $33 billion). She has impressive business acumen and on top of it all, she has an unbelievable work ethic,” Ruiz continued.
In addition, it was Diaz's execution of marketing strategies involving collegiate athletes’ Name Image, and Likeness to promote MSP’s LifeWallet application that was so successful it led to the creation of the country’s leading NIL platform, LifeWallet Sports. Shortly after that MSP Recovery rebranded as LifeWallet due to the prominent national recognition it received.
Where does she see herself in the future?
Diaz plans to continue innovating solutions to help people while serving as LifeWallet’s Chief Communications Officer, overseeing corporate communications, marketing, production, events, and NIL divisions.
Being an immigrant that depended on the kindness of others, made her committed to giving back and “paying it forward”. She has dedicated much of her time and resources to charitable organizations including the American Nicaraguan Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami, and Habitat for Humanity.
She’s grateful for the support of her husband, David Darcangelo, and her three children, Gabby, Don, and Daniella, who she hopes will learn from her journey. “I didn’t want my parents’ struggle and sacrifice to be in vain,” said Diaz.“ “They brought me here for a better life and I strive to make them proud by making a difference in the lives of others, as a thank you to my parents and this country for the blessings it has given me.”