The Allen file Featured

8:00pm EDT April 25, 2010

Born: Kokomo, Ind.

Education: B.S. in accounting, Ball State University

What was your first job?

I started with Crowe Chizek right out of college in 1975. It’s a funny story — I came to Crowe because it was a small firm in a small town (South Bend, Ind.) and I didn’t have to travel. And so now I find myself living in Chicago and leading this large organization and traveling nonstop. But the firm’s values and mine were aligned then and now.

Whom do you admire most and why?

Paul Volcker comes to mind for his strong leadership historically — first as chairman of the Federal Reserve and currently as an adviser to the president — and his unwavering support of our country without anticipated reward for his efforts.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The best business advice I ever received came from a client I worked with over a period of probably 20 years: Make a decision and then move on. If the decision wasn’t necessarily the right decision, you don’t look back and point fingers and blame people, but you move on and you make the next decision. I was impressed with his ability to be always thinking about the future, not the past. Certainly, you learn from your mistakes, but you don’t look back and question the past. You don’t cry over spilled milk; you move on.

Your workday is off to a bad start. How do you turn it around?

I tend to start off the days pretty well. You know what I do? I try to exercise and read first thing in the morning, and that’s kind of a jolt to my day. If I can do that, I do not start any day badly.