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Evangel University’s new V.P. for Business & Finance

Published on Jun 30, 2014 by Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —Linda Allen, a 1983 Evangel University graduate, has been named vice president for business and finance for Evangel, effective July 28, 2014.

Allen is currently an independent financial consultant in the Phoenix, Arizona, area.

Her career includes serving as director of finance for Northwest Airlines, chief accounting officer with Nextel Partners, vice president of finance for Sprint-Nextel and CFO of Telesphere Networks.

“Ms. Allen displays an extraordinary breadth and depth of expertise,” says Dr. Carol Taylor, president of Evangel. “She understands first-hand the challenges of leading change, and, as an EU graduate, she also exhibits a deep commitment to our mission and vision.”

Allen graduated from Evangel with a B.B.A. in accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Allen had served as a member of Evangel’s Board of Trustees since 2008, and was chair of the finance committee, until she resigned to explore serving as vice president for business and finance.

“If you drew up an ideal profile of the Evangel CFO,” says Bernie Dana, chair of Evangel’s Department of Business, “you would ask for a faithful alumnus, strong institutional knowledge, personal humility, and a high level of professional experience and success — all in a person who is committed to our mission and future. Linda brings all of that and more.”

Allen and her family have roots in Springfield. Her father and mother are both graduates of Central Bible College, now consolidated with Evangel University, and she and her three brothers are all graduates of Evangel.

“I believe that she is a wonderful example of the best that we produce,” says Dr. Taylor, “a professional who has continued to grow in competence and skill while living her faith in the marketplace. I am delighted that Linda Allen has agreed to return to her alma mater to serve at this time.”

Professional Career

Allen has had significant leadership experience in financial reporting and analysis, accounting systems, strategic financial planning and analysis, Sarbanes-Oxley implementation, SEC reporting, financial controls, and policy and procedures development.

She served as the director of finance for 11 years with Northwest Airlines – Northwest Aerospace Training Corporation, where she transitioned a cost center into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines.

Allen was then one of the first 20 employees with the Nextel Partners startup, where she served first as controller and then as the chief accounting officer. Over a span of seven years, she supported the rapid growth of the company to almost $2 billion in revenue and 3,000 employees.

When Nextel Partners was acquired by Sprint, she continued for another year as VP of finance and successfully integrated Nextel Partners Finance functions and systems into Sprint-Nextel.

More recently, Allen served as chief financial officer for Telesphere Networks in Scottsdale, Arizona — a leader in cloud communication. There, she restructured the finance department and received a prestigious presidential award for successfully implementing significant cost savings.

“Linda’s vast corporate finance experience, along with her expertise in startup and turnaround companies, will benefit us as we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with the consolidation of Evangel, CBC and AGTS,” said Jeffrey Huinda, controller at Evangel. “Additionally, we look forward to benefiting from her knowledge of Sarbanes-Oxley as we seek to increase financial accountability for all university stakeholders.”

Gary Blackard, chief information officer, appreciates her experience in the technology industry. “As Evangel continues to transform its institutional and instructional technology strategies, she will be a valuable partner moving forward,” he says.