The Allen file Featured

10:20am EDT December 28, 2005
Born: Cincinnati

Education: U.S. Navy; University of Cincinnati, associate of applied business degree; Wilmington College, bachelor of arts degree in business; GE Crotonville Development programs

Employment: U.S. Navy Submarine Group; positions at General Electric, including manager of shop operations and structures, before joining O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt as plant manger in 1994

What is the greatest business challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
Changing the culture of the team. At O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt, it was changing from ‘I can’t’ to ‘This is what I need to do it.’ This took time (years) and is why this plant was successful in going from one M1114 (up-armored Humvee) per day to 30 per day. We never considered ‘I can’t.’ We went right to, ‘What do we need?’

What is the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?
Stay the course, keep things simple and build a strong foundation first. Never forget the basics — especially in yourself, no matter how high in the organization you go. Everyone needs to practice blocking and tackling, even the pros.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?
There is not a single individual. I admire leaders who show true passion in what they are doing, so the Jack Welches are at the top, along with successful football coaches Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, Vince Lombardi.