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Q&A with 2024 Young Influencer Hannah Allpress Blog Feature

By: GreatAmerica on June 28th, 2024


Q&A with 2024 Young Influencer Hannah Allpress

The office technology industry is full of up-and-coming talent, as showcased by The Cannata Report’s 2024 Young Influencers Issue. This year’s list includes both generational leaders carrying through their family legacy, as well as young talent who have entered the industry through internships or career moves. Regardless of the category they fall into, it’s clear they're all hungry for opportunities to contribute to their organization and grow the industry to its full potential.

Among those on this list is Hannah Allpress, Account Executive and MSP Channel Manager at Collabrance, a wholly owned subsidiary of GreatAmerica. Hannah was selected as one of six of The Cannata Report's up-and-coming executives under 40 and recognized as a 2024 Young Influencer. In fact, Hannah is the youngest office technology professional to ever be selected for this recognition. Today, we interviewed Hannah to hear her perspective on being a young leader. Read on as she shares her advice for other young professionals, as well as her insights on where she sees the industry heading.

Career Journey 

GreatAmerica: How do you navigate being so young in this industry? 

Hannah: I started at Collabrance in a customer-facing role when I was 20 years old. At that time, I was very focused on trying to fit in with my colleagues, acting older than I was. 

The switch flipped when I acknowledged that I don’t know everything, I’m not going to know everything, and I still have a lot to learn. However, two things can be true at the same time. I also knew I had put in the time and gained the right experience to be here. I came to understand the needs of our customers, this industry, and what it takes to achieve mutual success.  

So, for me, switching the focus from my age to my experience and knowledge has been the biggest lesson on how to confidently navigate my role. 

GreatAmerica: What about the office technology industry interested you and made you want to switch from Pharmaceuticals?

Hannah: My marketing internship at GreatAmerica led me down the path that I am on today. Though marketing didn’t turn out to be my long-term career goal, I realized sales fit my life and career aspirations. Early in my career at GreatAmerica, I interviewed and shadowed with Hannah O’Donnell, Nick Von Ahsen, and Stacey Miller, who are all well-established sales professionals within the organization. Each of them displayed a huge passion for their customers and were all highly focused on providing value to ultimately help them grow their businesses. I witnessed the relationships they had with their customers grow into friendships outside of work. Through that I realized how much I enjoyed the personable nature of our industry.

GreatAmerica: What are your long-term goals as a young leader in this field?

Hannah: I would love to grow Collabrance to serve as many different managed service providers as it can. I’d love to see our customer base grow and become more diversified in terms of the types of customers we serve. My day-to-day goals are to grow Collabrance, grow GreatAmerica, bring the organization to new heights, and enter markets we haven’t been before. All that said, I want to do it all while keeping the core ideals of GreatAmerica at the forefront; ideals like great customer service, keeping the customer in mind always, having good ethics, and maintaining a great company culture. All these ideals will help us get to where we want to go. 

Leadership

GreatAmerica: How do you approach decision-making in your role?

Hannah: I have been told I am very impulsive and very go-go-go. While this can be viewed as my biggest strength, it can also be one of my biggest weaknesses. I see the big picture, but I want to get there immediately. I see each decision made as the next step in growing the organization. I also always think about the customers and how this decision is going to provide value for them or ensure we provide them with the best service day in and day out.

GreatAmerica: What strategies do you use to overcome challenges and stay resilient?

Hannah: I always have the end goal in mind. I try to shift my mindset from, “Why is this happening to me?” to, “How is this helping me and growing me?” 

Difficult situations have allowed me to learn valuable lessons and taught me how I can take what I’ve learned with me into the future. Still being in college while working through COVID has a lot to do with my resiliency as well. While my classmates were getting used to going to class completely remotely, I was getting used to working remotely full-time and balancing a whole different life. 

Industry Trends

GreatAmerica: What emerging trends do you see in Office Technology, and how do you stay informed about them?

Hannah: I stay on top of them by always having open and honest conversations with individuals who are or are not Collabrance customers and collaborating with others in the industry. I prefer seeing the industry work together rather than having a “you vs. me” mentality. I believe this mindset helps each company get more out of it while best serving the customer. 

As far as emerging trends, of course everyone is talking about AI right now, and mergers and acquisitions continue to take place throughout all industries. Another thing I see is an increase in businesses adopting managed models. For example, in the healthcare system, we see them adopting the managed model to budget better and upgrade technology more effectively. Vendor management is also becoming more prevalent because vendors are sick of having products in tons of different channels. Consolidation allows them to find bills more easily in one single pane of glass with a smaller number of vendors.

Advice  

GreatAmerica: What advice would you give to other young professionals on effective collaboration?

Hannah: Being open and willing to sit back and listen to feedback. With our generation and the internet, it’s easier than ever to get our opinions heard. However, listening to folks that have been in the industry for longer than you, or even listening to those in other industries, will give you valuable perspectives. You may not always agree with everything they have to say, but there is a reason you are receiving that feedback. It’s good to always ask yourself how it can help you grow for tomorrow.

Want to Learn More About How Hannah or Collabrance Can Help You?

Connect with Hannah Allpress and Collabrance on LinkedIn or visit the Collabrance website.

GreatAmerica

GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and now has offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow.