Allen is a Navy Veteran, whose 22-year military career spanned from the enlisted ranks to the officer’s corps in the Naval Nuclear Weapons/Fleet Training Command. He then went on to spend 15 years in leadership positions with Defense and Federal contractors, before launching his own business venture. Omni2Max is a technology defense company that focuses on providing key government solutions.
Thanks so much for agreeing to participate in our Veteran’s Leadership Summit. We appreciate you sharing both your military and business leadership journey with our readers. Tell us about your business. What is Omni2Max and what was your inspiration to start this business?
Omni2Max is a small technology defense company that focuses on government solutions. My inspiration to start this business was to provide the highest quality of service back to the government that a company could possible do. Because this work is about the men and women that serve our country, it important that someone knows what our country’s positions are and how we need to support the troops.
Who is your ideal customer for Omni2Max?
The federal government is our primary customer.
What do you do to provide a unique experience for your customers?
Omni2Max provides personal and professional services that try to be in front of the issues.
What had been some of the biggest accomplishments and challenges you’ve faced as the CEO and founder of Omni2Max Inc.?
One of my biggest accomplishments was growing this company from 2 to over 50 employees in less than 2 years. My biggest challenge is to find and work with honorable and trustworthy companies.
Did you have an advocate that helped advise you and/or champion your efforts to launch and grow Omni2Max?
My biggest advocate to help and advise me to start this business was my government small business officer. She knew that I was not cut out to be a government employee and that I could better serve the government as a support contractor. Once started, I had very smart business advocates to guide me through the rough beginnings.
Let’s talk about your leadership journey. What was your military experience like before founding Omni2Max?
As a military man, I was a mustang who knew that if you were going to achieve anything in life and in the military, you have to take your career in your own hands. Be proactive and not rest on your laurels.
What positions or career did you hold before founding Omni2Max?
I was the Director of Operations for a small technology firm in San Diego. I was a government APM and later senior Project Manager for SPAWAR.
What impact did your military experience have on your career?
The military experience provided structure, determination, and understanding that nothing is given, all is earned.
What motivated you to found Omni2Max?
I was tired of working for inept and unqualified individuals.
What type of education and training did you obtain to help with pursuing your career or business ownership?
I went back to school later in life in preparation for leaving the military. I received an A.A. in Electric Technologies, a B.S. in Business Management, and a M.S. in Computer Information. All three degrees provided me with the confidence and assurance that I would require to be successful in the real world. I knew that just my military experience would not be enough to demand the level of professionalism/positions I was inspiring to become.
Describe a great day for you.
A great day is winning multiple contracts.
Let’s talk about your leadership style. How would your direct reports describe your leadership style?
My leadership style has changed over the years. Now my style is more educating and holding people accountable for the positions in life they represent.
How have you leveraged your former military experience in leading your own business?
The military training has been invaluable. The discipline, structure, and the ability to reason and understand the landscape all have been remarkable qualities needed to run an effective business.
What are some of the initiatives and programs you have in place to help your team members to develop leadership skills to contribute or improve your business?
I personally have leadership training within my organization. I’ve sought third party assistance to conduct leadership training. I get my team together weekly to discuss the business environment and my expectations of their support.
What is your perspective on the value or benefits of a person with prior military experience on pursuing leadership opportunities within a corporation or an entrepreneurial business?
I personally believe that individuals with prior military experience are exceptional. They listen, learn, they take directions seriously, and they are easy to work with during challenging times. They understand that not every day is going to be a sun-shining day.
What strategies and initiatives do you have in place to foster a high-performing culture at Omni2Max?
I set the example.
Let’s talk about mentorship and advisors. Did you have any, and if so who where your role models and mentors to help you in your journey to your current position?
When I was the Director of Operations for Fuentez Systems Corp., the owners, Ray and Patty Fuentez, was so inspiring. They paid attention to people and had a family environment within the company. I knew then, that if I started a company, I wanted it to be like that company.
What advice would you give to a young man or women who is leaving military service and has the aspiration of starting a business or obtaining a leadership position in private industry?
My advice would be to give yourself a little time to understand the transition of coming from the military. Learn the business that you want to enter and find a reliable and trustworthy mentor to provide that sage advice.
Is there anything you would wish you have done differently on your path to this position?
I wouldn’t change anything for the world. The reason: It takes time to understand and grow a business. One of the main reasons for failure are individuals are not mature enough in the understanding of what it takes to run a business and they want an overnight success. This doesn’t happen naturally.
What message of inspiration or encouragement would you like to share with the attendees of the Veteran’s Leadership Summit?
- You are here to learn (meaning seeking advice), 2. You are more qualified than you think, 3. Seek a former successful military member, 4. Do not be afraid of failure, 5. Don’t be afraid to take risk.
Read our introduction Blog here.