He maneuvers, he swerves, he handles sales and accounts at breakneck speed. He’s Alan Walker, Senior Account Manager at Allovus. Luckily for us is, he is as adept at managing accounts as he is on the race track.
Originally from Liverpool, England, Alan has a long history managing cars and anything mechanically oriented. In 1996, he was a sales manager for an automotive machine company in Great Britain. Alan caught the racing bug when one of the race car drivers his company sponsored asked if he wanted to have a go in his car.
“That’s where it all started,” Alan said. “After that, I set up my own business importing automotive machinery and selling it. Having the business allowed me to buy and finish building my own car. I started racing on sealed surface roads. In 2001, I did some forest rallies including the Cambrian which is held in Wales. My goal was to do the entire Welsh Forest Rally Championship, which I did in 2002. I did it again in 2003, and I won it. I was first in class, and 5th overall.
Allovus: What kind of car did you race?
Alan: I rebuilt my own car—a Ford RS 2000 (1979) using late 90s technology.
Allovus: It sounds dangerous. Any close calls?
Alan: I rolled once and somehow removed the whole left corner of the car after hitting various solid objects. There were only two times I didn’t finish a race. One time I snapped the rear axle. I could have limped through the rally and finished, but it would’ve ruined the rest of the car.
Just for fun, here is a clip of the 2013 Cambrian Rally.
Allovus: How did you end up here in the Pacific Northwest?
Alan: My wife, Karen, and I moved here in 2005. (Karen is also an employee with Allovus.) I worked for Subaru doing vehicle logistics and budget management, but it was only a three month contract. Then I met with STI (Specialty Transport, Inc.) in Redmond. They hired me to be their national manager. I managed 12 locations with 12 managers; in total, a staff of 250 drivers. My job was to keep those offices on budget. We moved cars all over the country to the media—so magazines like Road and Track and Car and Driver could evaluate and write about them. I also worked on the event side of things where they launched the new cars. I did the logistics and management involved in launching them to the media and eventually the public.
Allovus: How do you use those skills while working for Allovus?
Alan: It’s all juggling! So, there really is no difference—well, except for the product. Just change out the cars for the design services. I have to keep our people happy, and make sure they are doing a good job for the client.
Allovus: What do you like about your job?
Alan: I like the flexibility; not doing the same thing every day—and I like talking to people. I don’t have a problem talking to anybody; even seemingly unapproachable people. Doesn’t matter what their title is, etc. I love building relationships—I really do enjoy that about the job.
Allovus: You don’t race anymore, so what do you do for fun?
Alan: Riding motorcycles and ATVs with my kids and my friends; and also working on my International Scout—it’s a precursor for the SUV and is 44 years old. I love anything mechanical—it’s a great way to “unplug.”
© MARTINA DALTON, Designer, Allovus