Timothy Allen, Reilly, Penner & Benton, LLP
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Timothy Allen, firm administrator, Reilly, Penner & Benton, LLP.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most challenging and most rewarding aspect is helping our staff grow and develop as professionals. There are so many different challenges on any given day or week that are based on a wide variety of factors — age, gender, tenure, position, etc. — that no two situations or individuals are the same. I take great pride in helping staff develop and watching them succeed in their careers. I love the fact that no two work days are ever the same, nor are they boring.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
There are a lot of individuals who I admire; some I know personally and some I have never met. If I had to pick one, I would say Patrick Lencioni. He is a management consultant, author, and speaker based in the San Francisco Bay area. His books, and my limited conversations with him, have always made me think on a different level and start to see things from many new and different angles. Reading and speaking with him has made me better at critical thinking and a better manager.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Personally, I’m the type of person who always tries to take something positive from every interaction and every position I’ve held, but I would say the high point in my career was when I was hired by Reilly, Penner & Benton LLP to be the firm administrator. I am challenged each and every day in my role and so grateful for the trust that the partners have placed in me and the opportunity they have given me to lead such a great organization.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
That’s an easy one — don’t be afraid to network. Building a network of professionals who can help you learn and grow as you go through your career is one of the most important things you can do. Along with building a network, I would also tell my 21-year-old self that you really don’t know as much as you think you do, so be quiet, listen, and learn as often as you can.
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
There are so many things about Dane County that make it a great place to live and work. If I had to choose one, I would say it’s having all of the amenities and opportunities of a big city while being able to thrive in a somewhat smaller community. There are so many great parks, restaurants, concert venues, microbreweries, and other attractions like the farmers market, Henry Vilas Zoo, Concerts on the Square, Taste of Madison, Forward Madison FC, and the Madison Mallards that there is no way you should ever be bored here.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
Secret talents? Nothing that I think would stand out too much. But I think many people are surprised to learn that I was an avid percussionist and drummer earlier in my life and I played in a few bands that played some gigs in and around Madison. It’s actually how I met my wife.
What are your guilty pleasures?
My guilty pleasure is being able to have the time to be a part-time freelance writer. I am an avid car and motorcycle fan and I have been given many opportunities to speak to many different and interesting personalities in the automotive and motorsports industries. Being able to tell their stories to new people in new ways is really exciting. I even had the chance to talk with Patrick Dempsey and Fabio!
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