For Jim Allen, his love of all things Ohio State—especially Buckeye football—began at an early age, thanks to the influence of his father, an alumnus of the university. And although Allen didn’t earn his bachelor’s degree at Ohio State, when he made the decision to pursue his master’s degree, he seized the opportunity to become a Buckeye.

Allen earned his MBA from the College of Business in 1981 and has enjoyed a successful career ever since. But beyond his accomplishments as a business leader, Allen exemplifies the Fisher spirit of doing good while doing well.

What did graduating from Ohio State mean to you?

My father was an OSU graduate, and I was around the university a lot growing up. I have been an avid Buckeye football fan all of my life. While I chose a different path for undergraduate, the opportunity to do my graduate work at Ohio State was something that I was eager to pursue. The coursework helped refine my business skills and also gave me direction that set the tone for a successful career. Of course, the opportunity to be an "OSU graduate" with my father was also very special.

What are some of your recent accomplishments?

I have been at Hilliard Lyons, a 162-year-old investment firm, for my entire 35-year career. I am in my 13th year as CEO. I'm very proud of some recent recognition from multiple organizations for my civic and philanthropic contributions to our community and region. In particular, education has been an area of focus. I am a big believer in giving back. While I certainly didn't pursue recognition, it's nice to feel appreciated for community service and for doing the right thing.

What type of community service have you been involved in since you graduated?

I’ve been involved in numerous charitable endeavors since graduation, but education is an area of focus for me. I am chairman of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation and I am involved with a number of other educational organizations. I really enjoy community service and firmly believe that it's very good for business.

What advice would you give to a current student or recent Fisher graduate?

I would encourage every student to find something that he or she is passionate about.

Did you have a favorite spot on campus?

Varsity Club was the meeting spot on game day. It's now the Blackwell where we stay for every football weekend.