Tuesday March 6, 2018

From Barista to CEO

by Madelyn Allor, '19 and Jeanne Zeek

Three years ago, Jon Allen could be found brewing coffee in the Roesch Library basement, behind the counter of The Blend. Today, he is CEO of Flyer Enterprises (FE), the $1.2 million student-run company that oversees The Blend and 9 other divisions. FE gives UD students the opportunity to be hands-on and apply concepts learned in the classroom to real-life business situations.

“I honestly never thought I would end up the Chief Executive Officer of Flyer Enterprises,” Allen recently admitted. “It still sounds insanely weird to even say it. As a 1st year student I was pumped just to land a job at The Blend where I could meet people and learn a little bit about running a business.“

Sitting at a table in the newly renovated Art Street Café, Allen expressed how much of a role Flyer Enterprises played in his decision to attend UD. A Marketing and Entrepreneurship double major, he knows it was the right decision, and believes that the corporate experience he is obtaining through Flyer Enterprises will be one day help him start and grow his own business.

When asked what has been the most valuable lesson learned through FE, Allen didn’t hesitate. “The development of my management skills. From day one, the FE leadership team truly played a transformational role in refining my management style.”

So just what is Allen’s management style? “I would say that key to being an effective leader is how well you listen and work to find balance in differing thoughts and opinions. I try to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and valued.” Allen credits much of his success to the “phenomenal FE employees" and the passion and work ethic that each of them demonstrates in whatever role they play. “I make an effort to understand what everyone else’s goals are, and I work to help them succeed. That is where I grade my success as a leader.”

Whether conducting a business meeting, participating in a class group project, playing a competitive game of handball at the RecPlex, or leading 200 student employees in the 4th largest student-run company in the country, Allen exemplifies leadership and collaboration, skills that are helping him give back to future generations of Flyer Enterprises staff and management.

Learn more about Flyer Enterprises or contact Jon Allen directly at CEO@flyerenterprises.com.

Do you have a person, event, announcement or achievement to suggest for a future SBA News blog? Submit ideas to SBA_publicity@udayton.edu.

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