Diane Benson is as multi-faceted as the state she lives in; driving tractor-trailers on the pipeline one decade and co-producing films and videos on Alaska's issues and history.
Diane was one of the first women truck drivers on the Trans Alaska Pipeline. While reality TV show "Ice Road Truckers" may seem like a novelty in the lower 48, Diane helped blaze the trail for women Teamsters working on the line, and continued on in the 1980's as a concrete mixer driver in Anchorage. Known for her courage, she quickly made a name for herself and is remembered for her tenacious spirit in the Alaskan trucking industry.
In the 1990's, Diane ran her own business, Northern Stars Talent Agency, promoting Alaska's talent in film and commercials nationally and internationally. She received significant recognition from the Mayor, the State Legislature, and the International Committee for her success and leadership with the 1996 Arctic Winter Games held in Chugiak-Eagle River.
Diane continues to blaze trails; sharing the story of civil rights leader Elizabeth Peratrovich, that culminated into the movie, "FOR THE RIGHTS OF ALL", (a PBS Documentary); tenaciously addressing issues of violence and child sexual assault: and making history by acquiring over 41% of the vote, as one of only three to do so in 33 years of opponents running for the Congressional seat.
Diane is an adjunct professor, writer and proud graduate of Alaska's own university system. Diane has a lifetime of service on many boards and committees, and continues serving through her work as Anchorage Municipal Commissioner on the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Commission, Alaska Veterans Foundation, and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Military Committee.
She is an elected delegate to the Tlingit and Haida Central Council, past two-term President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp 87, and an active member of the National Congress of American Indians Veterans Committee.
Diane is the mother of Sgt. Latseen Benson who served in the Iraq war until he suffered a combat-related injury. Later, the months she spent at Walter Reed Army Medical with her son and visiting with other injured troops in Washington, D.C. motivated her to run for Congressional office.
On issues of domestic violence, as a survivor of violence, Diane faced the challenges of recovery with little support; and learned how silence feeds the problem. For over two decades she has been speaking across the nation to help inspire other women with their recovery, educate officials such as Attorneys Generals and Probation Officers to the realities of victims, and assist groups with educational media on the issue.
On issues of Veterans Affairs, as a mother of a severely wounded warrior, Diane knows the difficulties faced by military families. Spending several months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, she witnessed not only the bravery of the wounded, but also the struggles of the spouses and families with the system. Although her son lost both his legs and suffered other injuries, she was inspired to see him rise up and ski, scuba dive, hand-cycle and live. But he had the support of determined family. Sadly, not everyone has that. Diane knows that our country is only as good as our treatment of Veterans. As the only candidate who has had to contend with the trauma of war, Diane, as Lieutenant Governor, would do all in her power to improve outreach to our Veterans, and help to make Alaska's existing veterans health care system a model for improved state-level care and joint services for veterans and military families.