Shorter University’s Robert H. Ledbetter College of Business recently honored two of its graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards.
Natasha Wallace, a 2009 graduate, received the Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award, and Matt McClain, a 2011 graduate, received the Young Alumnus of the Year Award. The awards were presented by Dr. Heath Hooper, Dean of the Ledbetter College of Business.
“Shorter University and the Ledbetter College of Business are very proud of these two achievers in their respective areas,” Dr. Hooper said. “Both Matthew and Natasha exhibit outstanding success and model many business principles on a daily basis. I am very excited to see how they continue to advance in their careers!”
Wallace is currently a Criminal Intelligence Analyst with the FBI New Orleans Division. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Shorter University’s College of Business in May 2009. While at Shorter, Natasha was a member of the Alpha Chi and Sigma Beta Delta honor societies as well as a member of Phi Mu Fraternity. Her senior year, she was awarded the Lila Elliot Award for Outstanding Senior and the College of Business’ Faculty Award for Outstanding Senior in Business Administration.
After graduating, Wallace moved to the Arizona border, where she worked as an Intelligence Assistant for the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations assisting on cases pertaining to alien, narcotic, weapons and cash smuggling as well as child pornography and human trafficking cases. While there, she became the liaison between several federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies aiding in the construction of a collaborative approach to mitigating threats and creating safer border communities. She was awarded several accolades by the Department of Homeland Security in recognition of her superior service, including a personalized gift by an elite Native American tracking group for providing real-time intelligence during counter-smuggling operations.
After a couple of years and sequestrations later, Wallace’s intelligence program dissolved; therefore, she put her business expertise to work and began working at an all-inclusive community health center, assisting in accounts receivables and annual federal audits. Not long after, she found her way back to Georgia, and began working as a federal contractor for the United States Attorney’s Office in Savannah. While there, she conducted financial investigations to collect federal restitutions, obtaining over $500,000 for victims of crimes.
McClain is completing his first year as the event manager for the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum, supervising and directing the staffing, production, operations, and the event execution of all major concerts and events for the FedExForum. He also serves as the arena liaison to the University of Memphis for all of their Division I, men’s basketball games, which are held at the FedExForum.
Over a 10-year event and facility career, McClain gained experience in event operations, production, booking, and guest services. Before joining the Grizzlies, he spent over 3 years as the Event Manager and Director of Guest Services for the Broadmoor World Arena and Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs, CO, home to the Division I – National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Colorado College Tigers, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
McClain returned to Memphis Area in 2012, after previously serving as an event coordinator at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi from 2012-13. During his time at the Landers Center, McClain assisted in the planning and execution of a number of events including many national touring acts. The Landers Center is home to the Mississippi River Kings professional hockey team.
Prior to his first stint in Memphis, McClain managed The Coliseum at the University of West Georgia as the interim director of events. His background also includes working for the Haralson County (GA) Recreation Department.
McClain received his M.S. in Sport Commerce from the University of Memphis and his B.B.A. in Sport Management and minor in Accounting (cum laude) from Shorter University. While at Shorter, he was a baseball student-athlete and served as a resident director. McClain is also a graduate of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Venue Management School in Oglebay, West Virginia.
An active member in the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), this past year he was selected as a recipient of IAVM’s 30 Under 30 award. A native of Buchanan, Ga. McClain lives in the suburbs of Memphis, Tenn., with his wife Claire.
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter University on its list of Best Southeastern Colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and master’s programs. Learn more about Shorter at www.shorter.edu