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We Love This Place

Allonhill is five times bigger today than it was a year ago.  Nearly all of that growth has taken place since January 1.  Believe me; we know what it means to experience growing pains.  Most of those experiences are what you would expect: lots of people working late into the night, people wearing multiple hats, everyone coming together to proof our results before we send them off to a client, proposals printed overnight at Kinko’s, running late to every meeting, and the palpable sigh of relief that runs through the entire place when we bring in another client, and deliver another deal.

Some signs of growth are more fun than others.  I have made it a practice to print our company directory every month.  I have the original directory, which is a printout of an email from Dan Gallery, who started the company with me, in 2008.  I have directories that fit on half a page, then a page, and now spill onto two pages, in tiny print.  I still have the same set of directories that I printed from Murrayhill, when it grew to just a couple people, then to a dozen, then to more than a hundred.  To me, it is a sad day when it isn’t possible to recognize every person who works here on sight.  We reached that point fully half a year ago.  Nobody in this company could be more grateful than I that we have name tags at every workstation.

We’re out of space, and that is after taking a second floor in January in a high rise office tower in downtown Denver, which we originally moved into a year ago.  It has been a long time since we’ve had a conference room big enough for most of our meetings.  We don’t have a room large enough for all of us to gather in for staff meetings.   We had our last staff meeting in the plaza outside our offices.  Not counting the wind, threat of rain, traffic, jets overhead, passers-by, no place to sit, and terrible acoustics, it went pretty well for us.  We’re going to blow out half of our main floor and make it into a large, multi-purpose room that can be divided up for smaller meetings.  We will miss having plenty of offices and workstations, but the important thing to me is that we will have one room large enough for all of us to come together and feel like we are part of a community that has a purpose and a vision.

I think the best sign of all of our growth was yesterday, when I spoke with a job candidate.  I was so excited to talk to him, and to have the chance to hire him, because he exemplifies everything we care about in our employees, from his exceptional work experience, to a passion for mortgages and his profession, and to a zeal for life that begs for the lifestyle Colorado has to offer his family.  I spoke to him on the phone, and extended an offer.  His answer was this: “I am going to work for Allonhill.  I am happy to have the offer, but I’ll tell you the same thing I would have told you a year ago, and the same thing I’d tell you a year from now if you didn’t offer me this job today.  I want to work for this company, and I’m going to, now, or someday.  It is what I want to be a part of.”  To him, to me, and to everyone who is a part of this company, Allonhill stands for reinventing the mortgage industry, and getting it right.  I believe in culture, because culture empowers people to represent us and to be their very best.  And culture makes it worth it to come in to this place every day, to sit with these people, to laugh at their gaffes, to be awed by their talent and ideas,  and to share with them in fulfilling their desire to make something happen that helps every member of this industry feel good about our collective mission.  To be large enough to hire people like this candidate is a tremendous pleasure, and the best sign of all that we have done a lot of growing.

We love this place.