Northside Man: executive, author, entrepreneur, police officer, owner of Olde Blind Dog in Milton
City of Residence: Milton
Hometown: Born and raised in Idaho, Wallace began his UPS career as a driver in the early 1960s and steadily rose through the ranks of the company. He retired in 2002 as the president of UPS International, overseeing the operations in 200 countries. He and his wife, Kate, relocated 12 times with UPS but have called Milton home for years where their daughter and her family live just minutes away. Since retiring, he has embarked on a number of new ventures, including helping to establish the City of Milton, opening Olde Blind Dog restaurant, writing a book on leadership, and launching a successful entertainment company.
You played a key role in the formation of Milton. Does the city today reflect the vision you had for it more than a decade ago?
I cannot take credit for the vision. That was done by others before I became involved, but I believe the vision has exceeded all expectations. Just look at the new city center with Milton City Hall ready to open soon and all the great retail, offices and homes surrounding it. There are already 10 restaurants within a five-minute walk from Olde Blind Dog. The new 40,000-square-foot building added to the Crabapple Market complex is a welcome addition to the area. Milton has accomplished a lot over the past 10 years. The leadership and staff is second to none, and everyday makes Milton a better place.
Speaking of Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub, how did you became a restauranteur?
Olde Blind Dog just sort of happened. I grew up as a child in restaurants and worked in several of them. My former colleague at UPS and friend Joe Creamer is responsible for talking me into starting an Irish Pub. I was probably talking when I should have been listening and one thing led to another and it just happened. We were fortunate to find a great manager that had the same passion as us.
You’ve also ventured into the entertainment world with a new company.
Number One Group was formed several years ago and is a Nashville-based media company. It has several divisions including books, film but mainly music. We are a label, publisher, recording and eventually hope to be a touring and merchandise company. We currently have about 500 songs in our catalog including a former number one hit, “Turn on the Radio.”
Where did your support for law enforcement take root?
I have always had a passion for law enforcement. I went through the police academy in Washington, but was transferred to open Alaska for UPS just days before being sworn in as a full-time officer. Someone knew what was best for me I guess. Thirty years later, just 10 days after I retired from UPS, I found myself in a police academy at the request of the Fulton County Sheriff. I worked for the Sheriff’s Office for three years before joining the Alpharetta Police Department. I retired in December after 13 years. I will always be a strong supporter of public safety and first responders. Across the country and especially today, for the most part, they are overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. I will always support them. They are a special kind of people and I am honored to have been one of them.
So…what are the next mountains to climb in your future?
My number one goal right now is to become more involved in my church. I also plan to find a way to help less fortunate people and that is in the works. And of course a number one hit on the country charts would be OK too. ■
Jennifer Wood, Erica Tarnacki, Jamie Roney, and Melissa Pinkston all share the common bond of having a child with Cystic Fibrosis. Their work with Shamrockin’ for a Cure aims to find the cure. Read more on page 20.