CEO CORNER: Diane Flynn

Diane Flynn is Cofounder and CEO of ReBoot Accel, a program that helps women return to the workplace after a career pause. ReBoot Accel organizes classes to get women current, connected and confident by teaching essential workplace tech skills, building community and placing women in jobs. Flynn also consults with Fortune 500 companies interested in tapping the pipeline of women returning to the workplace. She previously served as Chief Marketing Officer of GSV labs and a marketing executive at Electronic Arts. 

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What is your favorite college football team and why?

Most definitely that would be Stanford, my alma mater. I always enjoy football more when I know some of the players and having the team right in our backyard (we live in Menlo Park) means that I get to know many of them and host them for dinners. They are a great group of scholar athletes, leaders on-and-off the field. For me, football is more than the game. It’s the individuals and their stories.

What is your favorite memory from following your team?
It has to be “The Play” in 1982 against Cal, when the Stanford band stormed the field after the crazy last-second kickoff return. None of us in the stands knew what was happening, given all the confusion on the field below. The Golden Bears used five laterals to score the winning touchdown and earn a disputed 25-20 victory, taking possession of the coveted Axe trophy awarded to the winner of the Big Game. Yes, Stanford lost. But the sting of defeat was dulled when my friend, Steve Pierce, created a fake Daily Cal student newspaper that evening and distributed it all over the Berkeley campus the next morning—with the cover story declaring a victory for Stanford after the play was reviewed. The sweet taste of revenge.

In your mind, what is it about college football that makes it so compelling and exciting?
I now have a high school senior who views football as the highlight of his life. I’ve been able to see the camaraderie of the players, the discipline provided by the sport and the team-building aspects of working together under the leadership of great coaches. College football is the ultimate of this experience and the players I’ve had the good fortune to meet demonstrate respect, grit, discipline and a healthy competitive spirit that will serve them well in life.