20 Under 30 Class of 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet the 2012 class of 20 Under 30.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

(page 9 of 10)

Johnathon Allen, executive chef and general manager of the Aviary Café and Creperie, can sum up the key to success with two words: Hard work. “Work till you fall over, then get back up and work a few more hours,” he says. Allen says he works approximately 15 hours per day, but it’s all worth it. “I love seeing the smiles of satisfied patrons,” he says. He grew up with a passion for food, and he has wanted to be a chef since age 5. “I got my dream job,” he says. “How often does that happen?” And while Aviary Café and Creperie has already been very successful, there are also some new projects in the works. He has plans to open a new food truck, like a 28-foot kitchen on wheels, and start a catering and special events portion of Aviary Café and Creperie. When he’s not busy at the restaurant, Allen enjoys spending time with his wife, Casey, who he says is “the prettiest wife in town.”

417 Magazine: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
Johnathon Allen: I love the diverse customer base we see at the café. The people are so nice out here compared to California.

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
J.A.: I grew up with a passion for food and worked my tail off.

417: How do you find passion to do what you do?
J.A.: I love seeing the smiles of satisfied patrons.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
J.A.: Fishing, camping, hiking and pretty much anything that gets me outdoors.

417: What professional organizations are you involved in?
J.A.:  American Culinary Federation

417: How would you define the secret to success?
J.A.: Work till you fall over, then get back up and work a few more hours.

417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
J.A.: I get to see immediate results, and that is very gratifying.

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
J.A.: Quit being lazy.

417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
J.A.: Chef. Dang, I got my dream job, how often does that happen?

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
J.A.: Hard work, being driven, willingness to learn

417:  Why are you a 20 under 30?
J.A.: I’ve come from being a homeless drug addict to executive chef of an exciting new restaurant in three years, and I have the prettiest wife in town. God is good.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
J.A.: We are planning on opening our new food truck (28-foot kitchen on wheels), and starting our catering and special events portion of aviary café.

417: What completed project are you most proud of?
J.A.: Aviary Café and Creperie

Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:

God makes life worth living.

A day at work wouldn’t be complete without about 15 hours of work.

Ten years from now, I hope I’m as blessed as I am today.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would donate 50 percent to Victory Trade School and teen challenge.

The best part about being a 20 under 30 is recognition for the crazy amount of work it took to make my café successful.

David Murray and Robert B. Murray, Jr. (Ryan Murray’s father and uncle) are the executive vice-president and president of R.B. Murray Company, a family-owned real estate company that has been in 417-land for more than 100 years. And as a son and a nephew, Murray has truly learned from the best. In 2007, Murray laid the ground-work to establish an asset management division of the business, which launched in 2008 and flourished over the following years. The asset management focus is mainly a service for institutional owners, and it allowed R.B. Murray Company to adapt in rough times and provide a unique group of services to clients. In addition to his role as asset manager, he is also the vice-president of and commercial real estate agent for the company. With so many hats, no two days are ever the same. When he’s not busy at work, Murray spends time volunteering with The Make-A-Wish Foundation, for which he is on the Board of Directors and chairs a committee, and he is a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.

417 Magazine: What’s do you like about working in 417-land?
Ryan Murray: The people. No question. I work with people and corporations large and small all across the country, and working with local people is the best.

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
R.M.: It’s not unlike the Smuckers commercials, but instead of jam, we sell real estate. Growing up as a third-generation member in a family business that dates back more than 100 years, R.B. Murray Company is more than my workplace, it, quite literally, is my family. However, I was not forced into joining the family company. It is something that I chose to do, and working with my family is the best part of my job.

417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
R.M.: My motivation comes from a drive to connect people. In our field of work, we get to satisfy the needs of business people both large and small by bringing users and landlords and buyers and sellers together to a mutually beneficial relationship.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
R.M.: Golf, writing, I recently have become obsessed building furniture (working with my hands gives me a break from the stress of work, and the sense of accomplishment when a project is done is very satisfying).

417: What charitable organizations are you involved with?
R.M.: I currently serve on the Board of Directors of The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri Southern MO Chapter, and I also chair a committee for Make-A-Wish.

417: What professional organizations are you involved in?
R.M.: I recently joined the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast where I serve on the membership development committee. I am also a member of the following professional organizations/accreditations: Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Certified Property Manager, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED Accredited Professional.

417: How would you define the secret to success?
R.M.: Do it all. The excuse, that’s not in my job description, does not fly when you are part of a small family business. In the morning I can be on conference calls with international real estate funds, showing available space and overseeing accounts payable, and in the same afternoon I can be on a roof of a retail project in the pouring rain with maintenance staff and meeting with city officials.

417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
R.M.: Getting to work together with my family and building the relationships with our clients. My father and uncle have built close friendships and relationships with our clients, and doing business with people you know and trust is satisfying. These relationships allow us to be part of the ground floor helping small businesses in their germination stage. When they are talking with us about starting up or expanding and they need advice, we can help show them some pitfalls to avoid, and tried-and-true methods that we have seen succeed over time, as we help them find a space to call their own.

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
R.M.: Don’t let your self get overwhelmed. Whether it is work or study, everything can be broken down into smaller parts that, when taken on one at a time, allow you to reach a lofty goal over time.

417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
R.M.: Inventor. I wanted to be like Doc Brown from Back to the Future.

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
R.M.: I can look at my father and uncle and see what I believe to be very successful careers. Having a reputation for being honest, fair dealing, and the best at what you do, which I believe they have achieved, is a mark of a successful career.

417:  Why are you a 20 under 30?
R.M.: I hope it is because I plan on staying here in southwest Missouri for the long term, and working to do my part to help this community thrive.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
R.M.: We have a lot of things in the pipeline right now, and choosing would be like choosing between children. As we hope to see the market improve and the demand return, the 60/65 development will be the most exciting local retail development that has been undertaken in my lifetime.

417: What completed project are you most proud of?
R.M.: I successfully launched our asset management leg of the business, and that has allowed our firm to adapt in rough times and provide a unique group of services that are in high demand right now.

Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:

Family makes life worth living.

A day at work wouldn’t be complete without coffee.

Ten years from now, I hope I’m as happy as I am now.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would philanthropize my winnings (a word I just made up to mean give away money to worthy charities).

The best part about being a 20 under 30 is learning how others are successful.

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