Alan was born in Detroit. As a Baby Boomer, he enjoyed his childhood growing up in the City. For High School, he attended and graduated from Sterling Preparatory Academy in Craftsbury Common, Vermont. This school was closely associated with the Outward Bound movement and all its students were professional trained in Wilderness Survival Technics. Soon after graduation, Alan’s desire was to become a leader in the Home Building industry; so he begin studies in this discipline at Michigan State University. He graduated from MSU, cum laude, in 1977. Realizing that he needed a stronger academic backbone to be truly successful in business, he pursued an MBA in Accounting at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. During his time in Boston, Alan run one of the first retail Home Computer stores in the country. He successfully build his own home computer, from a kit, and used it throughout his MBA program to analyze data for Case Studies and as a Word Processor for Case Assignments.
Alan received his MBA in 1979 and moved to New York City where he began working at the Big 8 Accounting Firm of Ernst and Whinney. Bored with accounting, Alan longed to immerse himself again into computers so he joined the Ann Arbor based Comshare. There, he quickly excelled and was soon recruited to become a team member of Tymshare, the Silicon Valley leader in computers and data networks. Alan’s work ethic led to a series of promotions where he became the National Sales Rep for Tymshare’s Big 8 Accounting Services. During his tenure, he won numerous Sales awards including the prestigious President of President’s Club.
McDonnell Douglas purchased Tymshare in 1986 and then Alan was given the opportunity to join an internal startup venture between McDonnell Douglas and the fifth largest firm in France, Matra Communications. This new company brought the small French desktop terminal, the Scanset, into the US for use in the healthcare, real estate, air freight and OEM industries. While successful and extremely popular, the company was burdened by a floating import cost when factoring the Foreign Currency Conversation. The Scanset soon became severely overpriced when between March 1985 and December 1987, the dollar lost 40% of its value against the French Franc
While searching for a new opportunity, Alan was exposed to Headhunters; he was intrigued by this service that he had never seen before and soon he was working for one. The company, TechSearch, specialized in computers and Data networks. Alan quickly established himself as a supplier to the dominate Wall Street Data Centers and was extremely successful.
Alan longed to return to Detroit and his roots and in 1990, he left NYC. He secured a Headhunting opportunity in Detroit and began establishing his network. While there, he become increasingly disenchanted with large business; he saw numerous middle aged individuals terminated from long term employment only to be replaced with younger, less costly employees. He feared that it would also happen to himself.
As a trained survivalist, Alan placed a large display Ad in a well-known local newspaper which stated “37 Year Old MBA looking to buy Business from Retiring Owner”. He was hoping to locate on opportunity where the children were Doctors or Lawyers and did not want their father’s business. Bill Gallagher saw that Ad and contacted him about his own business which had experienced terrible difficulties and was in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Within a few short years, Alan rejuvenated the company. Gallagher Fire Equipment is now a well-known fire protection service company headquartered in Metropolitan Detroit. The client base consists of over 10,000 businesses engaged in a multitude of industries. G.F.E. provides complete fire suppression capabilities in: hand held fire extinguishers, engineered chemical systems, engineered CO2 systems, automatic fire sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems.
Since assuming control and responsibility for Gallagher Fire Equipment, Alan has been completely responsible for the design, installation and inspection of over 1000 fire systems for restaurants, paint booths, gas stations, manufacturing processes, refineries, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, homes for the aged and office buildings.
Having recognized the value of the internet years ago, Alan has established numerous fire equipment websites that cater to businesses, business people, and purchasing agents. FireDot.com is one from that early start and represents the future of fire equipment and the fire equipment.
Alan has been married to Rebecca Tarzian Ross since 1991. They met in California while Alan was working for McDonnell Douglas. Alan is a recognized Collector of Emerging Contemporary Art and in his spare time, he and his wife Rebecca scour both foreign and domestic cities connecting with artists, expanding their knowledge and adding to their collection. When not Art networking or acquiring, Alan is a lifelong hands-on “Maker” who enjoys creating electrical and moving mechanical things in his well-equipped home workshop.