A Discussion with Allan Filip on how Motivation Breeds Success

Allan Filip was born in Kalamazoo Michigan. Allan was raised by a single parent until the age of 11, when his mother Joyce married Alton Harris. He grew up in Paw Paw Michigan and graduated from Paw Paw High School, where he began showing an interest in politics and economics. After graduation, Allan attended Kalamazoo […]

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Allan Filip
Allan Filip

Allan Filip was born in Kalamazoo Michigan. Allan was raised by a single parent until the age of 11, when his mother Joyce married Alton Harris. He grew up in Paw Paw Michigan and graduated from Paw Paw High School, where he began showing an interest in politics and economics. After graduation, Allan attended Kalamazoo Community College to pursue a dream of playing college baseball. During his semester there, he changed his focus and decided to move to Alabama to work and attend college. Allan started his career working third shift on the factory floor at the Decatur International Paper corrugated container plant while going to college during the day. Through his work ethic and integrity, Allan was rapidly promoted to design engineer and quality control manager at the Decatur corrugated facility. While in college, Allan was introduced through mutual friends to Janet Wilson, who would eventually become his wife in 1997. After graduation from Athens State University, Allan and Janet decided to move closer to his family in Michigan and accepted job transfers to the Detroit Metro Area. Allan continued his career in the paper industry while growing his family with a son born in 2000 and a daughter born in 2002. Allan interest in politics and good government continued to grow, and he eventually was chosen as Chairman of the Livingston County Michigan Republican Party. He later went on the become Chairman of the 8th Congressional District of Michigan Republican Committee and served two terms in that position. Allan also received a presidential appointment from President George W Bush to serve on the local selective service review board. In 2009, Allan accepted his first fulltime political job in the political department of the Michigan Republican Party. After successfully working with the MIGOP team to help elect a Republican governor, state senate, state house of representatives and two Michigan Supreme Court judges, Allan accepted the position of Director of External Affairs with the Michigan Department of State. Allan also went on to serve as Chief Development Officer for Work Skills Corporation in Brighton, MI. He held a position on the company’s board until 2017. In 2013, Allan found his way back into government with Congressman Mike Rogers representing Michigan’s 8th Congressional District. He stayed Chairman Rogers until his retirement in 2014, serving as his last chief of staff. After Congressman Rogers’ retirement, Allan continued to serve the 8th Congressional District as chief of staff to newly elected Congressman Mike Bishop. He held that role until 2019 when he accepted a position with a 501c4 organization with the mission to elect a new generation of principled veterans to congress. He currently serves as Vice President of the organization.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

I love having impact on the direction of our country. It is very important to elect leaders who stick to their principles but are civil and willing to work with others to get things done. Veterans have the common background of service before self. They don’t ask for political viewpoints of the people surrounding them when they fight together to accomplish a mission. We need people more people in congress who put principles and leadership first.

What keeps you motivated?

I am constantly inspired by the quality of candidates I work with. They have already sacrificed so much to serve our country. When I ask them why they want to run for office, the answer is always about continuing to serve our great nation.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my motivation from my family. They have always been there for me through thick and thin. I’m so impressed with the strength of my wife, she truly is a rock. I’m also so proud of my two kids, they both have great character and work ethic. They have a bright future in front of them and I am eager to witness their future successes.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

In my youth I looked up to my Uncle Tom. He was the only member of my immediate family to have graduated from college. After serving in the Air Force, he built a successful career at General Motors. He was the hardest working person I have ever known.

Also, while serving on the board of Work Skills Corporation, I got to know Rod Jones. Ron was a disabled veteran after being caught in an explosion in Vietnam. I use the term disabled very loosely, because he never stopped working. He grew Work Skills into the successful business that it still is today. I was proud to be a part of and organization that he created to help other people with barriers to employment.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

This something I have had to learn. I spent many years focused on my career at the expense of being more present for my family. As I have aged, I have learned that happiness comes from a balanced life. My family is the priority and I make sure to spend as much time with them as possible.

 What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

My communication skills. I have always found a way to enjoy my colleagues and the work we do together. I have built bonds of trust that allow me to get the most out of my work relationships. I live by the quote, we can accomplish anything as long as we don’t care who gets the credit.

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

Nothing replaces hard work. Do every task you are asked to do in a professional manner. Be willing to put in extra hours. Have a good attitude and treat your colleagues with respect. Patience when starting your career is necessary, but don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

Make the most of your time, because it goes by quickly. I had a paper delivery route as youngster and older gentleman told me that the older you get the quicker the years go by. I didn’t understand it at the time, but he was right. You have to make the most of each day. Always plan for the future, but don’t forget to enjoy today.

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