Trey Allen: Path to Partner


Congrats on your promotion, Trey! What was the first thought that popped into your mind when you found out you were being promoted to partner?

“Be careful what you wish for, you may just receive it." Being promoted to partner is a great opportunity, but it’s also a lot of responsibility. I’m excited about the new step in my career, but I know I have a lot of learning ahead if I’m to succeed in this role.

What does being a partner mean to you?

It’s probably the biggest milestone I’ve achieved in my career since I earned my Navy wings more than 20 years ago. It’s taken a lot of work and the support of some great colleagues to get to this point. Now I’m focused on doing the best job I can to earn the trust they’ve put in me. 

Tell us what your path to partner has looked like?

I entered consulting thinking I’d get some interesting experiences, then transition to a corporate role somewhere. My engineering education and background in military aviation pointed me toward an interest in manufacturing but I didn’t really have a firm idea of what my perfect job would look like. After consulting for eight years, I was ready for a change and joined a start-up aviation company. Unfortunately, the business was hit hard by the financial crisis, which forced me to think about my next transition. I worked with some of the Kalypso leadership in my earlier consulting career and was interested in Kalypso’s specific focus on innovation, so I reached out to see if there might be a fit. Specifically, I was attracted to the idea of joining a smaller firm that was growing quickly, working with folks whose company I enjoyed, and focusing on innovation. 

Since joining as a senior manager almost three years ago, I’ve concentrated on learning as much as I can about our practice areas while honing specific expertise in our Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) practice, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR). I think my previous consulting experience gave me a good start, but it’s been a steep learning curve. I’ve learned a lot since joining the firm, but think I’ve only just begun my journey on the path to becoming a true student of innovation.  

What has been your most humorous encounter with a client?

One of my clients is a company that has very strong traditional values, and is one of the few national retail companies that has an ironclad policy of closing all of its facilities on Sunday. Thus, we were pretty surprised when the client project manager reluctantly called a steering committee meeting on the morning of Good Friday. Of all the clients I’ve had, I least expected this one to hold a meeting on Good Friday. But given the project timeline, as well as personal schedules, she really didn’t have a choice.

We arrived at the appointed time, and the meeting began as scheduled. Still, we couldn’t help but notice a large crowd of employees filing in to the next-door auditorium. I couldn’t imagine why so many co-workers would be getting together at work on a Friday morning, until I heard the first hymns. 

I’ve been in a lot of meetings in which there were some distractions present, but I can definitely say I’ve never been in one in which the speaker had to raise his or her voice to be heard over the sound of hymns being sung. Maybe this doesn’t qualify as a humorous encounter, but it was certainly a unique moment.

What is your favorite Kalypso value?

Characters with Character – I like this value because it is unique to our firm. It speaks to the emphasis we put on individuals and the fact that no matter your background, everyone has the same opportunity to succeed with Kalypso.

What is your golden “work” rule?

Be persistent. Take the initiative. I definitely think everyone who joins Kalypso has the talent and desire to succeed in anything they do, but some are reluctant to jump in and try. Our firm tends to push folks to the edge (and sometimes beyond the edge) of their comfort zones. If you take the initiative to learn and persist until you succeed, I don’t think there’s much that can stop you from an outstanding career here.

Where will you concentrate as a new partner?

Since joining Kalypso, I’ve managed several Agile PLM for Process projects and have worked closely with that practice. I’ve served several QSR clients, and am now leading that practice area for Kalypso. Over the next couple of years, I expect to focus on further building our food service practice and contributing to the growth and success of the PLM for Process practice.  

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About the Authors

Trey Allen

Trey Allen

Trey brings over 24 years of consulting, management, and entrepreneurial experience to Kalypso’s clients. He has extensive experience leading strategy, operations, and enterprise technology projects for A&D, manufacturing and CPG clients.
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Jamie Lahiere

Jamie Lahiere

Jamie specializes in Innovation Results Transformation as well as Change Leadership and Adoption. She is currently helping to author The Chief Innovation Officer's Playbook.
More Viewpoints by Jamie Lahiere

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