Staff spotlight: Allen Chlopek’s hometown values align with the Center’s mission

Small Business
Small Towns

Allen Chlopek has spent his career so far supporting rural America, and, in his newest venture, he wants to continue that trend and make people’s homeownership and business dreams come true.

Recently hired as the Center for Rural Affairs’ first-ever lending partner manager, Allen brings an abundance of experience to the role. He was director of economic development as well as the planning and zoning administrator for Nance County in east central Nebraska. In those roles, Allen wore many hats and was heavily involved in the communities of Genoa, Belgrade, and Fullerton, as well as rural Nance County, where he assisted in many economic development projects that helped both rural businesses and homeowners.

A native of Fullerton, Allen is proud to have settled there.

“Most of my life has been spent in Fullerton,” he said. “After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, I had the opportunity to come back home and take a job that allowed and encouraged me to be in leadership positions, and I had the opportunity to be the change I wanted to see in my hometown.”

Those hometown values are ones Allen shares with the Center, and he’s excited to be part of the organization’s work.

“I believe wholeheartedly in the Center’s mission,” Allen said. “Often, many people in rural America can feel like they are alone in their struggles with their business or in purchasing a home—I want to ensure they get the help they need. Most importantly, I want to make connections with rural people and their communities.”

Allen serves all of Nebraska and helps small business owners and potential homeowners access capital to meet their needs. He also helps with business skill development.

“I’m excited to help small downtowns, and make sure rural business owners and potential home buyers meet their goals,” he said. “I want them to not be afraid to reach out—I would enjoy having conversations, even difficult ones, about their business, their town, or even their county.”

In his free time, Allen enjoys working on his 1975 Honda CB750 motorcycle and his house, a former Carnegie Library built in 1914. He serves on the Fullerton City Council and is an active member of the Fullerton Area Economic Development Committee, as well as the Fullerton Area Chamber of Commerce. He’s also a fierce advocate for mental health care, and is passionate about history and local politics.

Reach Allen at his office in Fullerton at allenc@cfra.org.