Dan Allen, Chief Opperating Officer
In every great company, there is an operations person behind the scenes who effortlessly makes it all come together. Walt Disney had Roy Disney, Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak, and Holloway has Dan Allen.
Allen is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for all of the Holloway Group encompassing its many different companies and business lines. He is most comfortable out of the limelight and in the thick of operations, getting things done. But he wasn’t always behind the scenes. For a majority of Allen’s career, he was in city government, first in water management and public works for the City of California City, and later as the City Manager for Wasco.
“I really enjoy being the behind-the-scenes guy,” Allen says. “When I was the City Manager, I was out front, but it’s just not as gratifying as being behind the scenes and making things happen.”
Holloway recruited Allen because of his vast knowledge of operations and city and county government. Allen and Vard Terry, Holloway’s President, were in the same Rotary and formed a relationship.
“I wanted something else,” Allen remembers. “I had been in government for 24 years and was in the Navy before that. Holloway gave me an opportunity to look at something else.”
For Allen, Holloway opened up a lot of new experiences he hadn’t had before. He was very drawn to the diversity of the company, from mining to ag, to environmental, to logistics, and he knew it could really expand his skillset. Additionally, Allen was able to draw on the inspiration of his father for this new career. Allen’s dad was in the mining industry for 45 years and Allen says that his father has been a huge mentor and bank of knowledge in guiding him both with the ag mine and the environmental projects.
“When I joined, Holloway only primarily had ag and mining – Environmental was just getting off the ground,” Allen says. “This was a huge opportunity to build a division and be on the ground floor.”
It was a perfect match. For the past seven years, Allen has been filling his ideal niche at Holloway. When he first started with the company, he was a Senior VP and was assigned to expand and develop the Environmental programs. Since Holloway Environmental had just come on-line, Allen and his team were responsible for getting more customers for the landfill and strengthening ties with the local jurisdictions of Kern County. A job Allen was particularly suited to because of his more than two decades in city government.
“My experience with local government and what they need and their goals helped my discussions around changing regulations and whatnot to get the landfill operations all lined out so that it was a win/win,” Allen said. “It was great because I got to be a creator and not just take care of problems.”
He quickly transitioned to COO as the companies under within the Holloway Group grew. As COO, Allen likes that he gets to touch a little bit of everything. Along with his right-hand guys, Jeremy Bowman, and Jeff Rodgers, they keep operational control and ease over all the moving parts at Holloway. They work together to solve problems and find solutions to barriers.
“Brian [Maxted, Holloway’s CEO] likes to say I keep all the trains on the track,” Allen laughs. “From ag equipment maintenance to future projects, I stay very involved on the operations side of everything we have going on.”
This includes looking for sites for future projects and evaluating if they will work operationally, from logistics to permitting. Allen primarily evaluates new projects from a sustainability lens, for example, can Holloway develop it; what is it going to take for long-term operations; is it reasonable? Currently, Allen and his team are doing an environmental impact report and looking at locations and permitting for an upcoming waste energy project.
“Brian [Maxted] has the 30-thousand-foot level, and as the operations guy, I think about it tactically and how we can enact the vision,” Allen explains.
Holloway strives to be a very thoughtful and forward-thinking company. For a business that has been around for almost 90 years, Holloway always has its sights on the future and how it can positively impact the state of California and its environment. Allen and the other senior leadership team evaluate their five-year strategic plan annually and make small adjustments to goals and targets. They look at the market and where Holloway is situated and make a decision to move forward with a project or table it for another time. This ensures thoughtful planning and decision making that keeps the company stable and growing.
As for what is making Allen the most excited for the future, it is Holloway’s development of waste-to-value projects.
“Waste-to-value is the future of the company, California and the nation,” Allen says. “To take a waste product and make energy or a renewal product is exciting. It helps the environment and our future. The waste energy projects we are working on will probably roll out a minimum viable product in the next two years.”
As with all past and current projects, Allen will use his ability to communicate with stakeholders to nurture partnerships and ensure safety and a positive outcome for Holloway and the cities and counties in which we do business. We feel very fortunate to have such a do-er behind the scenes helping Holloway reach the next level of effectiveness and sustainability.