Tom Allin

Tom Allin

Faculty Advisor, COLE Leadership Fellows Program

Partner, Quintet Holdings, LP

Tom recently retired and moved with his wife, Lesley, to Durham, NC where he has become involved with a variety of organizations in the Duke and Durham communities.  Tom is on the board of TROSA, a local non- profit, where he has been working with them to set up their measurement dashboard.  In addition, he will be teaching a course at the Sanford School of Public Policy in Spring 2018 titled, “Using Human-Centered Design to Improve Citizen Experiences.”  This course will use concepts and tools that Tom helped to develop in his most recent role as Chief Veterans Experience Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

From January 2015 through January 2017, Allin reported to Secretary Bob McDonald and was responsible for setting up a Veterans Experience Office at VA.  In this role, he worked with his team to understand, design and measure Veteran experience.  To understand the current level of service at VA, the team used human-centered design, creating journey maps for both the customer experience as well as the employee experience.  The journey maps identified the moments that matter to Veterans which then allowed the team to introduce real-time measurement and feedback tools, measuring those moments within each facility.  This Veteran experience measurement capability now drives performance at VA, setting the benchmark for the rest of the Federal government.

Prior to his role in government, Allin had over forty years of experience in the restaurant industry of which twenty years were overseas, with fifteen years in Europe and five years in Asia.  Most recently, he was the Chief Executive of the largest Asian-owned restaurant business, Jollibee Foods Corporation, based in Manila, with five businesses in the Philippines, two in Vietnam and four in China. In his thirty months as Chief Executive, Allin led the management team in doubling the value of the company, adding over $2B of shareholder value.  During his tenure, he improved the analysis for selecting new sites, introduced a price sensitivity study for menu pricing, and increased the sales growth through comparable sales as well as new store openings.  Most importantly, he coached and mentored the company’s executives, bringing an international perspective to a family-owned business.

In Europe, Allin was the first Country President for McDonald’s France, introducing the concept to the French market.  He was totally responsible for setting the foundation of the McDonald’s system in France, including real estate, construction, purchasing, franchising, marketing and operations.  He led the positioning of McDonald’s in France as a lifestyle brand instead of a product brand, establishing a template that was later used in other international markets.  This laid the foundation for a success which has led France to becoming the second most profitable market in the world for McDonald’s after the US.  After his success in France, Allin was asked to open an office in London where he was responsible for twenty countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  In this role, he led in the opening of twelve new countries and put in place fifteen new country managers.  He also leveraged the economies of scale across Europe for purchasing, construction and marketing, which resulted in significant savings across markets.