Charise Flynn
Charise Flynn
Age 29  |  Chief operating officer, Dwolla Corp.

Charise Flynn jumped into the business world at the age of 12 – a farm girl, she started her own small herd of cattle – and followed that with a nanny business during college that involved both hands-on work and the collection of “finder’s fees.” Still, she didn’t appear to be on a business career path; she majored in philosophy and religion at Simpson College.

Something had to give, and in the end Flynn chose the business and entrepreneurial route. “I’m intrigued by learning, and I thought I was going be a professor,” she said. “But I get passionate about building and creating.”

The Odebolt native got plenty of building experience in 4 1/2 years at Nelson Development. Working as a project coordinator, she participated in projects such as the construction of the e300 Apartments and the AP Lofts and Liberty Building rehabs. Flynn also helped start 10 businesses through her work with two entrepreneurs.

In August 2009, she started her own business, a consulting firm called c.Results. Just recently, Flynn made another move and became the chief operating officer of Dwolla Corp., a Des Moines-based company specializing in innovative ways to handle money electronically. She said c.Results will transition to a partner.

“I think I’m getting the complete fix of creating and building at Dwolla,” Flynn said.

Flynn served on the Young Leaders Advisory Council of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines in 2009-10. She was a co-founder of 100+ Chicks for Charity and currently serves on the board at Children and Family Urban Ministries and the Des Moines Social Club.

She has participated with the Refugee Cooperative Service since 2007 and continues to speak to college classes on entrepreneurial topics and her career experiences.

Flynn and her husband, Rory, live in a downtown condominium. “We enjoy live music, and that’s the great thing about living downtown,” she said. “There’s always music within walking distance.”

They also like to travel, and in April plan to hike to the base camp on Mount Everest in Nepal. They’ll be part of a group organized by Des Moines attorney and adventurer Charlie Wittmack.