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Alumni Profile

Family business

Toya Allen

Toya Allen, BS BA ’96, starts her day at 4 a.m. so she can have time for her career and family. Photo by Justine Miller

Toya Allen, BS BA ’96, is busy at work with US Airways as director of human resources. She is busy at home, pulling off Saturdays full of swimming lessons, flag football games and team workouts. Heck, she is just plain busy.

By Sunday evening, she’s done it all and is ready to start again. But that wasn’t always the case.

Allen used to feel drained on Sunday evenings at her Chandler, Ariz., home, when she hadn’t gotten everything done she wanted to. “But once I laid it out, it just made things easier,” Allen says.

“At work I have task plans for all my meetings; everything has objectives and expected outcomes,” Allen says. “But sometimes you come home and just say ‘I’m done with that,’ and that just doesn’t work.” Allen and her husband, Horace, decided to put as much energy into family as they did their careers. “What I thought would make things harder ended up making them easier,” she says.

Allen begins her days at 4 a.m., responding to e-mails and checking in with her East Coast associates. “If I start the day that way, I don’t have to play catch-up. I want to have family time in the evening.” And she does, all thanks to a little planning.

After finishing a day at the office that might include managing staff issues or dealing with a hub closure, Allen arrives home from work by 6 p.m., has dinner at 7 p.m., then it’s off for baths and homework, and bed by 8 p.m.

“When I was at MU, I participated in a lot of activities and organizations. The opportunities the university afforded me really gave me a good platform for what I do today.”

In her free time, Allen supports her husband’s nonprofit business that puts young African-American and Hispanic men on a road to success. Now that’s taking care of business.

— Josh Chittum