Diane Frisch ’87 is living out her passion of being a business owner. With a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and after years working long hours with spreadsheets and financial statements, Frisch found herself longing for something more exciting than debits and credits.

After graduation, Frisch worked in the accounting field as an auditor, then corporate accounting. After that, she stayed home to raise her two children with her husband, Mark Frisch ’86, a mechanical engineering graduate whom she met at Lehigh. His sister and brother-in-law also attended Lehigh.

“During that time, I became very involved in our community,” explains Frisch, a Dallas, Texas, resident. “I was president of the PTA, a Girl Scout leader, a CCD teacher at our church, room parent, sang in the church choir, and volunteered at numerous community events. I also took care of my parents in their final years.”

A Career Shift 

While it might seem like a significant shift, there are skills from an accounting degree that can be quite useful in the travel industry, such as financial management, analytical skills, and customer service.

“The logic of accounting and business in general appealed to me,” explained Frisch, owner of Diane Frisch Destinations. “In 2016, I wanted to return to work and decided to become a travel adviser. I realized that vacation time is precious to people, and I wanted to be able to elevate their vacations. What my business can do is reduce the stresses and risks inherent in international travel, crafting a seamless experience while abroad, and offering those extra ‘wow’ moments. My relationships with my suppliers abroad and my personal experience in destination are the two most important factors that make the magic happen.”  

Diane Frisch smiles under a lit up arch at a winter festival in Vienna

Frisch focuses on the luxury travel segment, especially in Europe and Africa, with a focus on customized land-based itineraries as well as luxury river cruises and ocean cruises. She finds the most reliable and knowledgeable local operators to help curate the best vacation experiences possible for clients. “Whether a river cruise or a trip to Spain, I believe extraordinary vacations begin with careful planning.” 

Frisch is devoted to ensuring her clients always have the most enjoyable experience — both before they leave and while they're away. “My business has enabled me to travel the world and foster friendships with colleagues in some wonderful locations,” she adds. “I have built an extensive relationship with boutique hotels, local guides and drivers, and the river and ocean cruise suppliers. This network and my training allow me to put it all together for the client into a customized itinerary that matches their individual needs.”

Fond Memories of Lehigh

Frisch, who was the social director of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, chose Lehigh for its strong business program, particularly accounting. “When I first visited the campus, it blew me away how beautiful it was. The classes and professors prepared me well for my accounting career, the CPA exam, and running my own successful company. Accounting professor James Largay was my favorite. Lehigh prepared me on how to run a business with budgeting, goal setting, marketing, financial analysis, and accounting.” 

She explains that the marketing classes she took have proven quite valuable in promoting and growing her business. “As an entrepreneur, I had to learn how to attract clients for my business. This is where I really learned to dig deeply into marketing, especially the use of social media. I had to market not just the idea of travel to beautiful places, but to get across the differences my services would provide to deliver a great vacation experience.”

She says that friendships cultivated at Lehigh have continued throughout her life. “You get to interact with talented and hardworking classmates at Lehigh. The classes may be challenging, but the learning process will prepare you well for the future. You will also get to do this with a lot of fun people who will be your friends for life.”