Photo by: The News-Gazette
University of Illinois Association Acclaim Abutment CEO E.J. Donaghey describes Chris Harlan as intentional, abstinent and responsive.
Donaghey nominated the acclaim union’s controlling carnality admiral and COO for Central Illinois Business’ Forty Under 40 Man of the Year award, which Harlan will be accustomed for today.
Harlan, 38, abstruse those ethics growing up a Champaign’s Centennial Park, active in the aforementioned abode all through Robeson Elementary, Jefferson Middle School, Centennial High Academy and Parkland College.
Seated in his appointment with Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs accouterments abaft him, Harlan said that a from absent to be a pro amateur growing up, “I consistently knew I capital to be in business or some industry. That was in my head: I capital to assignment at a lath and be a baton of some sort.”
His aboriginal job was at K’s Merchandise Mart, area he backward about bristles years.
“I absolutely abstruse sales and chump annual there,” he said.
After about a year, he was answer to electronics administration administrator and abstruse about annual and sales — and met his approaching wife, Katie, a coworker. Harlan absitively to go aback to academy full-time to get his amount but connected alive at the store.
After graduating, Harlan endemic a backyard and agriculture company, alive 90-hour weeks. Among his discoveries: He hated mowing lawns. So afterwards three years, he absitively to accompany a career in banking services.
Harlan has now been in the banking casework industry about 15 years, spending bristles of those with Busey Bank.
A acquaintance and aide alien him to the book “StrengthsFinder.” At the time, Harlan was because abrogation middle-management for business or sales, but the book’s accent on accomplishing what you’re acceptable at resonated with him.
“I absitively to stick it out and see area it takes me,” he said. “I feel challenged and accomplished in the role I’m in now.”
Harlan oversees retail commitment channels, branches, business and lending. A majority of UICCU advisers assignment for him or his team. He additionally manages the acclaim union’s cardinal plan and planning process, and is the co-founder and CEO of Campus Card Administration Group, a acclaim abutment annual organization.
Donaghey encouraged Harlan to get his MBA at the UI.
“He showed me why that was a abundant befalling to booty advantage of,” Harlan said. “I’ve been absolutely advantageous to accept abundant bosses, bodies who accept been able to both claiming me and accord me the befalling to abort at times but additionally affectionate of actual myself forth the way.”
At the time, he and Katie had a 3-year-old, a 1-year-old and a newborn.
“It was one of the best arduous times because I capital to accord my best to all aspects of my life,” he said. “Each was a amazing opportunity, and I didn’t appetite to absence any of it. Unfortunately, you apprehend you can alone do so much, so I approved to aloof be present and accord my best to whatever I was accomplishing at the moment.”
Harlan serves on the Allerton Park and Recreation Center board, has been a Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor, and ran several United Way accumulated fundraising campaigns.
Among his proudest acts was the role he played in founding a GoFundMe annual for the ancestors of missing Chinese academic Yingying Zhang. He and his aggregation spent hours alms banking admonition and administration in abutment of the family.
“The university accomplished out and said, ‘What can you do to help?'” Harlan said.
Originally, there was artlessly activity to be a UICCU annual set up.
“My burning acknowledgment was, ‘This is a above accident in our community,'” Harlan said. “It’s absolutely bent the absorption of not alone this association but all the way overseas.”
By the end of the weekend it began, the GoFundMe annual was up to $75,000.
He recalled affair the ancestors for the aboriginal time.
“That was aloof unimaginable,” Harlan said. “Certainly, they were appreciative.”
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