Diana Deibler is a business strategist who is as comfortable helping organizations face crises openly and honestly as she is playing nightly games of “Jeopardy” with her son and walking her big dog. 

Born in Texas, Diana Lamm grew up in small-town Iowa, Donnellson. Her family had 200 acres, which meant working crops and livestock — “just enough to smell bad and keep the boys away,” she says with a laugh. 

Later, she became one of the youngest news directors in TV’s top 100 news markets. She’s especially proud of hiring WHO sports icon Keith Murphy.

She has been known as a calm force, expecting the unexpected and helping others prepare for it, whether they happen to be dealing with bribery in municipal government, product recalls, class-action lawsuits, database hacks or tainted food. People who know her say she seems fearless.

She considers herself lucky.

“At every turn of my life, everything that has happened has turned out to be the best thing in my life,” Deibler says. 

Her only reservation — that job in Chicago. She was thinking about leaving Iowa. Gov. Robert Ray heard she was in Pittsburgh interviewing for an executive producer job and would likely be traveling to Chicago for another opportunity. He called Deibler before she could schedule the Chicago interview — for a position as producer for Oprah Winfrey’s show — and arranged a “please stay in Des Moines” meeting over ice cream at the Des Moines Club. Deibler ended up accepting a job from Ray at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and called Winfrey’s people and turned down the interview.

“Wouldn’t that have been interesting?” she asked about the “Oprah” job. “But it would have been all-consuming.” 

Deibler started her career path thinking she would be a speech pathologist, after working through some impediments herself. She eventually won a coveted R.J. McElroy scholarship from Waterloo TV station KWWL. “More than anything I wanted to be a TV anchor,” Deibler says with a smile. “There was just one problem — I didn’t have the talent.” 

But her boss told her she was a natural leader. “I believed him.” 

Deibler spent a decade as a broadcast reporter and producer. She later worked for Ray at Blue Cross, and as vice president of sales and marketing at Holmes Murphy & Associates, which grew rapidly. She was president of Porter & Associates before starting her own consulting business.

Her professional ethics say a lot about her. She strongly discourages clients from avoiding reporters or the public. She tells her clients to be honest and transparent. She wants her team members to be responsive, clear and concise, and to “never bury the lead,” by which she means “provide the listener or reader with the topic or purpose of your communication right from the beginning.”

“Remember that responsiveness is an indication of respect,” Deibler notes. 

Three Areas of Influence

  • Acting as an adviser and mentor to influential business leaders and up-and-coming talent.  
  • Helping guide efforts to improve affordable housing through her client, the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.
  • Serving nine years on the board of Mercy Medical Center, and nine years on the board of the Mercy College of Health Sciences, for which she was board chairwoman.