Chris Allison

Professional Title

Entrepreneur In Residence




B.A., Allegheny College, 1983; Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, Clarion University, 2012

For 16 years, nine of which as Chairman and CEO, Chris Allison led Tollgrade Communications, Inc. from technology start-up to a NASDAQ-listed company whose market capitalization reached $2 billion. While CEO, Tollgrade also was recognized as one of the Best Small & Fastest Growing Companies in America by Forbes, Fortune, Industry Week, Bloomberg Personal Finance and Business 2.0 magazines. Ernst and Young named Chris Entrepreneur of the Year, as did the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. The Public Relations Society of America recognized him as CEO Communicator of the Year. Since 2006, Chris has been an adjunct professor of Economics at Allegheny College and serves as co-director of the Allegheny College Center for Business & Economics.  He teaches entrepreneurship, business literacy and financial literacy. He also oversees the Zingale Big Idea Competition and the Lunchtime Learning Series. He also serves on Allegheny’s board of trustees. Chris received a Doctorate of Public Service honorus causa from Clarion in 2012 when he also delivered the commencement address. Chris is the author of You’ll Manage: Lessons From A Former CEO and Snowflakes And Other Stories.  He also writes extensively for business publications and magazines.