Doyle Wallace, president and CEO of Wallace Hardware Co., will be the guest of honor Tuesday night for the 2019 Evening of Hope at the Country Club.
The event is presented by the Jefferson Federal Charitable Foundation and the event benefits programming and services for the Helen Ross McNabb Center in Hamblen County. Wallace has been a long-time member of the center’s Hamblen County Advisory Committee.
“I appreciate their sincere approach in helping people in in all stages of their life,” Wallace said.
Wallace grew up in Morristown and started working Saturdays and during the summers at his father’s hardware business, Wallace Hardware Co. when he was 9 years old. He graduated high school from McCallie School in Chattanooga and then attended Carson-Newman College where he graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
He came back to the family business and worked in the farm equipment division of Wallace Hardware where he worked in Memphis, Chattanooga and Atlanta.
In 1984, he transferred back to Morristown, working in various divisions.
Tragedy struck in the mid-1990’s and he faced a medical emergency. The medical issues required Wallace to receive a bone marrow transplant and he had to leave the company for almost three years.
In 2003, he became general manager of the family’s Holiday Inn Conference Center Hotel.
On Thanksgiving Day in 2008, John Wallace, his father, died. Doyle Wallace then took over the reins and became president and CEO.
He said he became a Christian at 9 years old during a revival at First Baptist Church. He has taught adult Sunday school classes for 35 years and serves as a deacon.
Other accomplishments he has had include working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving on local and national boards and serving as president of the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce board and Rotary Club board.
He and his wife, Deanna, have four children and four grandchildren.
His role with the Helen Ross McNabb Center began years ago when his friend Eddie Davis started the Youth Emergency Shelter. It was a cause dear to his heart and when Davis retired and Helen Ross McNabb took over responsibility of the shelter, Wallace came with it.
“I had an affinity for the kind of work they did,” he said.
He praised the work of YES, saying it was a well needed program where children who may be under domestic violence situations can find a warm bed and a temporary home.
But, he praised other great work by Helen Ross McNabb as well. One program he firmly believes in is the Jail-to-Work program started two years ago that helps women who are inmates of the Hamblen County Jail get clean from opioids then helps them find work.
“Here’s a program that’s working,” he said.
Right now, the program helps women, but he hopes in the future it will expand enough to include men.
“It’s effective,” he said. “The success rate is two to three times higher than the state. That’s dear to my heart.”
Overall, his experience with Helen Ross McNabb has been emboldening.
“It’s been rewarding” Wallace said.