Local engineer Kyle Wallace was honored as the recipient of the Small Business Leadership Award at the 25th annual award luncheon co-hosted by William Carey University and the Area Development Partnership at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg on May 6.
Wallace is vice president and managing partner with Shows, Dearman & Waits Inc. in Hattiesburg. After graduating from R.H. Watkins High School in Laurel, Wallace received the Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University in 1990. He joined his present employer in 1998 after spending three years with Simmons Consulting Engineers and five years with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Wallace received his professional engineering license in 1995 and is past president of the Hattiesburg Rotary-Sunrise chapter and the Mississippi Engineering Society's Southeast chapter. He was named Engineer of the Year in 2008 by the Mississippi Engineering Society.
Currently, Wallace serves on the board of directors for the ADP and as a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies. He is a graduate of the ADP's Leadership Pinebelt program and is also a dedicated blood donor, having recently surpassed the five-gallon mark in donations. He is married to Stacie and they have three children, Madison, Shelton and Anna Morgan. The family attends Heritage United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg with Wallace serving as a videographer for the morning services.
The keynote speaker for the annual Small Business Leadership luncheon was Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Gunn discussed the importance of education and small business on the overall economy of the state and also spoke to local business and government leaders about their responsibilities in leading forward the state's momentum in economic and workforce development. Prior to Gunn's keynote, Carey President Dr. Tommy King, ADP Executive Vice President Valencia Williamson, ADP President Chad Newell and Dr. Cheryl Dale, dean of Carey's School of Business, welcomed guests.
During the luncheon, the Richard "Pepper" Jones Endowed Scholarship was presented to BriAnna Cook of Nelly, a Carey senior majoring in business administration. The Jones Endowed Scholarship is presented on an annual basis and is named for the late Hattiesburg business owner and community leader Pepper Jones Sr. Additional scholarships made possible by luncheon sponsors were presented to Carey business students Lauren Ishee, a junior from Taylorsville, and Ashley Pitts, a senior from Florence.
The Small Business Leadership Award recognizes the important contributions of small businesses to the economic, social and cultural life of the community and the particular achievements of one individual or family. Nominees for the award must meet several criteria, including employing 100 or fewer employees, operating locally except for marketing, exhibiting Judeo-Christian ethics, being financially sound and participating in community service. Additional sponsors for the luncheon included Economy Supply, Coca-Cola of Hattiesburg, SouthGroup Insurance Services, Owens Business Machines, Keesler Federal Credit Union, Simmons Furniture, McMullan Motors and Toyota of Hattiesburg.