After a highly successful career managing a wide variety of recreation, business, and customer service agencies, Sylvia Allen is now focused on sharing the lessons and insights that she has learned along the way as a motivational speaker, conference trainer, and management consultant.
The wife of a career military officer and professional historian, Sylvia has lived and worked in numerous U.S. and overseas locations. Most recently they lived in England for four years during which time she taught customer service courses and became a popular conference presenter. Topic titles included: Customer Service Matters – A Lot!; Cultural Awareness Tool Kit; Taming the Angry Customer; Bridging the Generation Gap; The Changing Face of Volunteerism; Oh, Lighten up!; and You Go Girl! Tips for Making It in a Man’s World.
Sylvia and her husband are avid tourists who took complete advantage of the ten years that they lived overseas to “see the world”. Not content to just experience foreign cultures as a casual tourist, Sylvia has done extensive research into the wide diversity of customs, thought, dress, body language, religious traditions, etc., which she enjoys sharing through her presentation entitled International Bloopers - Do’s and Don’ts for the World Traveler.
Sylvia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration and a Master’s degree in Human Relations. Her areas of special interest are quality customer service, inter-generational issues, and multi-cultural awareness.
The quality of her work, as well as her positive, can-do attitude earned numerous local, state, and national awards for both her and her organizations. Her personal honors include both the Fellow and Executive Fellow Awards from the Armed Forces Recreation Society, twice named “Best in the U.S. Air Force”, four times “Best in Military Airlift Command” and “Civilian Supervisor of the Year” awards.
Sylvia’s professional experience has included supervising over 90 facilities, 500 employees, annual cash flow of $10 million per year, and over $100 million of federal appropriations These facilities included restaurants with entertainment and catering services; 193-bed hotel; 18-hole championship golf course; 16-lane bowling center; pro shops; snack bars; lounges; recreation centers; outdoor recreation centers; fitness centers; sports fields complexes; libraries; performing arts centers; aquatics and boating programs; tennis courts; beaches, parks and picnic areas; swimming pools; youth programs including before-and after-school care, year-round sports, instructional classes, summer camps, and social programs; teen center; senior center; specialized programs for the disabled; Information, Ticket and Tour office; audio/video sales and rental store; arts and crafts shop including a ceramics shop, fine arts center, framing shop, auto hobby shop; mug and T-shirt store; resale store; wood hobby shop; rod and gun club; recreation equipment rental; military dining facilities serving 1500 meals per day; child care center; family (in-home) child care program; and support services including financial accounting office; human resources office; marketing and publicity office; training and curriculum office; information technology services; logistics; facility maintenance; motor pool; special events office; emergency management; mortuary affairs, and a central warehouse.
Other highlights of her career have included:
- Personally responsible for municipal parks and recreation department receiving national accreditation honors
-- First agency in thirteen western states to be accredited
- Developed comprehensive marketing plan, risk management plan, and recreation operational plan which were published as “best practices” by national professional association
- Ensured every activity met or exceeded its financial and operational goal
-- Transformed consistent monthly losses into 12 - 15% monthly profit
- Developed and executed plan to reduce department by two thirds while continuing to perform vital support functions and remaining financially solvent
-- Resulted in agency being only one in Europe to complete reduction in a healthy financial condition
- Represented management in contract negotiations with employee union
- Aquatic center named “Best Public Outdoor Family Aquatic Center of 2005” by Aquatics International magazine