"Take risks. Be calculated and smart, but take risks," advises Allen Haley ('88, BA, Human Resource Management). "Be open to new ideas and offer those of your own. Spend time listening and when you identify a problem, have a solution."
Allen has built his career utilizing these skills. Born in Monroe, Michigan, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps after graduation and later obtained employment in the automotive industry in the manufacturing management and quality assurance fields.
"When I decided it was time to enroll in college, I applied and was accepted into Eastern Michigan University," recalls Allen. "Before attending, I thought it was in my best interest to take a couple of classes to get back in the swing of things and chose Lourdes since it was a small school and conveniently located.
"Well, those 2 classes turned into a 4 year education. I was so overwhelmingly impressed with the school. I became a full-time student in the second semester and never looked back."
Allen "never needed to look back" professionally either. His resume includes a wealth of sales and marketing experience and reflects the benefits of "taking risks."
For 10 years, he sold international logistics services for Emery Worldwide (now a part of UPS) to global companies and held positions in their offices in Cincinnati, Ohio; South Bend, Indiana; Atlanta, Georgia; and Japan.
"It was a great experience as I was able to travel the United States and most of the industrialized world," remembers Allen. "Over time, I was an account manager, a station manager, sales manager, area sales manager and director of sales."
From Emery Worldwide, he managed the national account program for Office Depot's Business Services Group in Dallas, Texas, before working as Vice President of Sales for Norwood Promotional Products (now part of Bic) and NCR before becoming the Senior Manager, Commercial Division at DIRECTV for Business.
Over the last 10 years, Allen says he has focused predominantly on managing "channel sales," working with licensed partners who sell DIRECTV into commercial applications. "My responsibility is managing our sales and marketing efforts to sell programming to organizations such as hotels, universities, government agencies, prisons, restaurants and bars, private businesses and retailers."
His region covers the 14 Midwest and Plains states. He and his wife Maggie, a nurse manager, and their two cats Katy and Coco, call Indianapolis, Indiana, home base while DIRECTV's Midwest headquarters are located in Chicago, Illinois. He credits Maggie for "what I do now and where I am at in my life. She is very supportive and is someone I can always talk with."
The Lourdes individuals who were instrumental in Allen's education include his science teacher, the late Sr. Mary Marcelline, OSF; Father Ronald Mrozinksi; Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences; Geoffrey Grubb, PhD; and former Dean of the Department of Business & Leadership Studies, the late Tom Wolf.
Allen remembers Tom's classes inspired him and pushed him to give his best. "I remember in the Business Communications class I tried so hard to get an A but he would always ding me for the little things or as he referred to them, 'attention to detail.'
"Finally, the last project, I worked tirelessly to make sure everything was perfect. In the end I received an A. I remember I was so proud I started to choke up. It wasn't because I had earned the A; rather, it was I had earned Tom's respect."
"A few years before Tom passed away, I visited him at Lourdes," recalls Allen. "Much to my surprise, I found out that he used two of my case management papers from the Business Management class as examples of great case studies."
Allen's appreciation of Lourdes convinced his brother Chad ('97, BA, Human Resource Management) to enroll. As alumni members, the brothers decided to honor their father by endowing a business scholarship in his name.
"Our father was very proud of our accomplishments," adds Allen. "He knew how much Lourdes meant to us. When he passed away, we thought what better way to support our school and remember our father. It was a simple discussion and one we are very happy we made."
He chooses to assist many communities including various veteran's organizations and projects that benefit the US Marine Corps Warrior Regiment. In addition, he is an active member of the Heritage Foundation and supports teaching students the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
One who advocates taking risks, he and Maggie enjoy traveling throughout the summer following drivers and teams who take risks in the IndyCar Series. The devoted couple are self-described "big open wheel race fans" and he quickly points out, "and that's not NASCAR."
In April, Allen enjoyed a once in a lifetime moment at the street circuit in Long Beach, California. As the winner of the IZOD IndyCar contest, he led the parade laps of the Long Beach race in a two-seater driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr.
Whenever possible, Allen keeps in close contact with his brothers Chad and Brian who live in Sylvania, his brother Darin and his family in Adrian, Michigan, and his brother Eric and his wife who reside in Hilton Head, South Carolina. "We are a tight knit family and we know who and what's important in our lives."