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Business Observer Friday, May 15, 2015 7 years ago

Entrepreneurs of the Year | Allen Trevett

Allyn International Fort Myers
by: Jean Gruss Contributing Writer

Why we chose him:

When Allen Trevett first visited Prague 15 years ago, he wasn't impressed.

The capital of the Czech Republic was still mired in its socialist ways. “It was polluted, it was dark, the buildings were grimy,” Trevett, 62, chuckles. “I'm not sure we knew what we were getting into.”

But energy industry clients needed his firm, Fort Myers-based Allyn International, to provide logistics for transporting infrastructure equipment to the fast-growing former Eastern Block countries. (For privacy reasons, Allyn doesn't disclose customer names.)

It's the kind of go-anywhere, entrepreneurial zeal with which Trevett has grown his business to $17.1 million in 2014, up 46% from 2013. Trevett says European operations offset the economic downturn in the U.S. “Long term it's been a great business,” he says.

But wading through the Czech bureaucracy where stamps were still a big deal took persistence. “It was a very difficult process,” Trevett says, noting it took six months to set up the office.

Trevett took some comfort that he wasn't the first one in. “Some Fortune 100 companies had set up beachheads in Prague,” he says.

Trevett initially hired five employees, none of whom had been educated in the socialist ways. “We ended up with a young group of employees. Everybody was under 30,” he says. Today, Allyn's office in Prague has 60 employees.

Since then, Allyn has opened offices in Shanghai, China, and Trevett is exploring other markets around the globe. His employees have spent time in Russia's Arctic Circle and in Angola. “That's one of the reasons I spend a lot of time traveling,” he says.

2012: $10.3 million
2013: $11.7 million
up 14%
2014: $17.1 million
up 46%

2012: 135
2013: 158
2014: 223

- Jean Gruss

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