Go with Your Gut. It’s the Right Call
During the last semester of his Bachelor of Management degree at the University of Lethbridge, Chase Allen took a co-op position with a heavy equipment financing firm in downtown Edmonton. “It was financing of what they call ‘yellow iron,’ so heavy equipment like bulldozers and mining trucks,” Chase explains. “I hated it! I thought it was the most boring thing in the world.” He knew there was something better for him in the world of finance.
Chase’s big break came when he reconnected with a former teammate from his University volleyball team, which led to landing a job at a boutique commercial real estate firm in Edmonton. Eventually, Chase got to know Canada ICI’s Brandon Kot from running into each other at industry events. “I was just an analyst at the time, but Brandon was extremely persistent,” Chase says. “He met with me five or six times throughout 2012, until finally in September, he said, ‘Stop wasting my time. Stop wasting your time. Do you want to come work at ICI or not?’”
Chase took a meeting with Brandon and ICI founder Dale Klein, who made a great impression on Chase, which ultimately led him to his new family at ICI. “When I met Dale, I saw that he was a successful individual from a humble start. His success didn’t change him. He was very personable, much more so than I thought someone of his wealth and stature in the industry would be.”
About six weeks into Chase’s employment at Canada ICI, Dale came into his office to discuss a strategy around finding a candidate to lead Canada ICI’s Winnipeg branch. “I had never been to Winnipeg in my life at that time. He looked at me and said, ‘How about you? Do you want to go to Winnipeg?’ And I just said yes,” Chase recalls. “I didn’t even think about it. I don’t know why I said that, but I did.”
While the decision may have been made on a near-instant gut feel, Chase has no regrets about the move to Winnipeg, or his decision to join ICI in the first place.
“When I say I’m going to do something, I feel like I need to do that,”
he says. “When I came to Winnipeg, I made a commitment to everyone involved in the decision to open the office that I was going to do my best to make this a success. That verbal commitment, to people that I admired in the organization, put more stress on me than making money for myself. I needed Dale and the group to believe that he made the right decision in sending me here.” And there is no doubt that Dale made the right call. Winnipeg has seen a 152% increase in mortgage origination deals this last year; more than any other ICI office.
That constant desire to prove himself drives Chase’s lifestyle choices, from the way he approaches his work to the ways he spends his free time. “I try to read 52 books a year, which I often don’t actually achieve, but I always get close!” he says. “My wife and I put a very high value on health. Too many people in our industry and the ‘business world’ in general become unhealthier as their careers progress. I want to be my best self every day, so I exercise and try to keep my mind sharp in as many ways as possible. I was lucky enough to have the opportunities I have been given in my life, and I want to live as long as possible in order to maximize that good fortune.”
Chase’s dedication to self-improvement hasn’t wavered at all over the years, but that certainly isn’t to say that he hasn’t changed in his time at Canada ICI. “In my younger years, I used a lot of selfish motivation, whereas now it’s more selfless. I now have a wife, and we have a baby on the way, so they’re my top priorities,” Chase explains with pride. “I’ve also got a lot of loyalty to the people here. They’ve taken a chance to join our company, and I want those people to be successful.”