Based in Bozeman, Montana, Ara serves as Partner and Practice Leader of Allen Austin’s leadership advisory practice and is a senior member of the firm’s higher education, government, non-profit, private equity, and industrial practices. He brings 30+ years of strategic leadership and management experience spanning both the private and public sectors in a diverse range of organizations.

Prior to Allen Austin, Ara served for twenty years as an officer in the US Military serving in roles ranging from leading top tier special operations soldiers in the 75th Ranger Regiment, to training future leaders at the United States Military Academy, to building, developing, and managing the staff and operations of the Army’s 2500 soldier elite and highly selective unit, The Old Guard in Washington DC. His experience extends, post-military, into the private sector where he has founded and scaled three successful start-ups, served as a strategic leadership and management consultant, executive coach, keynote and motivational speaker, pastor, and, most recently, directed the launch of a new master’s program at Montana State University.

Ara’s passion for building transformational teams and organizations by investing in and building transformational leaders has allowed him to develop a track record of working both one-on-one and with teams of owners, entrepreneurs, executive teams, staffs, students, academic institutions, and leaders at all levels to help build cultures of peak performance. Serving as a trusted advisor, leader, mentor, and coach he’s been able to help organizations identify hidden opportunities, develop innovative strategic and operational solutions, collaborate with, and align stakeholders, institute operational frameworks to maximize both performance and profitability, and build dedicated, focused, and driven teams that achieve aggressive goals.

Throughout his career Ara has been able to provide strategic, operational, and tactical thought leadership to a span of public institutions and private sector organizations through a balanced approach of relationship building, a learning and growth mindset, clear and consistent communication, adaptive leadership, an understanding of stakeholders, and a focus on delivering successful outcomes in times of crisis and uncertainty. His passion is truly people and performance so whether he’s working with students, peers, clients, or just pro-bono work Ara’s true joy comes from seeing people and organizations overcome obstacles and fully reach their true potential.

Ara currently lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife of thirty years, Patty, whom he met in Panama while stationed there, and his three children; AJ, Isaac, and Talene. He is a member of Montana Ambassadors, the Jake Jabs College of Business Strategic Planning Committee, Prospera Business Network, and Montana World Affairs Council. Ara loves to exercise which is his one main hobby outside of work. Other than that, during his spare time, he can be found playing games or watching movies with his children, coaching/ministering to individuals and couples, conducting bible studies, or just relaxing with family.

Ara holds a Master of Science in Strategic Management from Indiana University, a Master of Education from the University of Georgia, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminology from Purdue University, and numerous leadership degrees/certificates from the US Army to include the Command and General Staff College.