Promoted as the general manager on Jan. 18, Paul Allen, 32, oversees all areas of the business related to Dickey-Stephens and the Arkansas Travelers.
In 2005, he began his career in management as an intern with the Travelers, then went to the Birmingham Barons as corporate events planner before returning to the Travs in 2007. He started as director of group sales and was promoted to assistant general manager in 2010. In November 2012, he was named interim general manager before being named the general manager.
He and his wife, Alexis, and son, Bo, live in North Little Rock. Although, Allen grew up in Las Vegas with a degree from UNLV, he enjoys being here and considers himself an Arkansan.
How did you get into baseball management?
My junior year in college, I realized I could do other things with baseball. I had played since I was five years old, and it wasn’t even the best sport I played, but I just loved baseball. Even though I lived in Las Vegas, I followed the Braves when they came out West. Not knowing anything about the business, I started telling people I was going to get a job with the Atlanta Braves. But, my first job was with the Travelers.
What did you do in that first position?
I was an intern and did everything. I interviewed at the winter meetings and was told to not go to Arkansas because the press box wasn’t air-conditioned. After two days of interviews, Arkansas offered me first job. At the time, I didn’t know anything about Arkansas, but I just jumped in my truck and drove off and was excited.
Why did you come back after going to Birmingham?
I continued to stay in contact with the Travs, and the excitement of the new ballpark was something I couldn’t turn down even though Birmingham wanted me to stay.
What’s your best advice for someone wanting to get into the business?
When I was in Vegas, I went and visited with the vice president of operation of the Dodgers AAA team. He told me three things: 1. You have to be willing to sell and do anything. 2. You have to be willing to move around. 3: You have to be willing at times to literally work for peanuts.
What do you think has been your secret for success?
My whole life I felt all along I had a work ethic, but I think I was also in the right place at the right time. I’ve been blessed with my situations and consider Arkansas my home.
Is being general manager easier or harder than you thought?
It is easier than I thought especially the day-to-day management of the employees. We have such a young, energetic staff, and if I ask them to do something, they are eager.
What’s the one thing you are surprised about?
I had heard how others freak out about how many baseballs they go through. Now, I’m freaking out about how many baseballs we go through. We started using six dozen a night and now it’s eight dozen.