Flint Brenton '77
Job Title: President and CEO
Minor While at Mount Union: Management
Degrees earned/Colleges attended: M.B.A., Rice University
Employer: AccelOps, Inc.
I set the strategic direction and am responsible for the execution of the business plan leading to successful operations of our venture-backed, cloud IT analytics company. My favorite part of my job is leading and working with a great team of people.
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
Favorite Part of Job
I enjoy leading and working with this great team of good people.
With my team, I am most proud of building a company (Tidal Software), growing it into a large, highly profitable enterprise and selling it to a larger company, Cisco. Once we were in Cisco, we became their cloud operating software platform, which is now sold all over the world.
I was a senior vice president of engineering and cloud and systems management at Cisco.
Mount Union Preparation
Mount Union prepared me on three dimensions: I learned to live and enjoy life with a very diverse group of people; I learned how and when to compete; and I developed the technical skills in accounting and technology that built a strong foundation for my career.
My favorite professors were Dr. Patricia Matthews and Hugh Pinney. Dr. Matthews, who is a professor of finance and health care management, was engaging, caring, young, easy to relate to and was able to explain why the subject matter was important to my education.
Hugh Pinney was a professor of accounting who taught me valuable lessons about how to live a successful life by building relationships with others.
Mount Union is a liberal arts college, but it has an engineering department and other science departments as well. In Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat, the globalization of everything is analyzed. Globalization going on today really means that people have to develop world-level big pictures. While at Reed College, Apple’s Steve Jobs studied whatever he wanted to. He had a diverse education and well-rounded world view that he brought to his career. That diversity of education and experience enables a person to solve problems others may not. That’s why Jobs was so successful. In fact, he credits the calligraphy class he took at Reed for the Mac’s success. He says that without the fonts and the new design, the Mac wouldn’t be what it was. The diverse liberal arts education at Mount Union enabled me to be successful at Cisco because we were able to solve problems others could not. It gave me the perspectives that I needed to succeed.
Advice to Students
- Discover your interest and your passion.
- Study a curriculum that allows you to follow your interest and passion.
- Get a job that allows you to use your education and pursue your passion.
- It doesn’t matter how much you make, just spend less then you make, learn as much as you can, and you’ll be happy.
The diverse liberal arts education at Mount Union enabled me to be successful at Cisco because we were able to solve problems others could not. It gave me the perspectives that I needed to succeed.
- What is number one on your bucket list?
- Live a life of service to others as I finish my career.
- Who is your hero?
- I have two. My father, Samuel Brenton (who happens to live in Canton, Ohio), and my wife, Meg Gerlach Brenton (whom I met at Mount Union).
- If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you choose and why?
- Hillary Clinton. I would talk to her about why I believe she would make a good candidate to succeed Barack Obama, primarily because of her experience as first lady and diplomat.
- What occupation did you want to be when you were a kid?
- Aeronautical engineer
- If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
- Teaching college students at a university in the United States, and consulting to non-profits in my spare time.
- What’s your favorite quote or motto?
- Treat others as you would like to be treated. The Golden Rule.
- Favorite book?
- "Ulysses" by James Joyce.
- Where is your favorite vacation destination?
- Lake Tahoe, Nevada