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2016 Men of the Year Honoree: Randell Wallace

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As the partner in charge of Lathrop & Gage LLP’s Springfield office, Randell Wallace’s name is familiar to the companies and organizations shaping the economic development of southwest Missouri.

From helping to build state-level partnerships between the public and private sectors to representing local companies through buyouts and ownership transitions, he says the success of the Kansas City-based firm’s local arm is dependent on cooperation.

“It is the job of a corporate attorney to work as part of a team, along with the client’s management and other professional advisers, to promote the success of the client,” Wallace says. “Reviewing the clients of Lathrop & Gage and their recent success provides evidence of how we have assisted our clients in those efforts.”

In 2008, Wallace netted Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s Lawyer of the Year award for representing McQueary Bros. Drug Co. in a $190 million acquisition by Fortune 500 company McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK).

Wallace notes other professional hallmarks include helping Mercy Hospital Joplin rebuild in the wake of the 2011 tornado, and working with management and employees of Pyramid Foods through the company’s transition to an employee stock ownership plan.

BKD LLP Managing Partner John Wanamaker says Wallace’s leadership makes him a trusted adviser for developers and lenders, as well as a representation of technology, security and financial companies in private placements of securities.

“Randell is clearly a proven leader in his field, and he is a tremendous asset to the Springfield community,” Wanamaker says. “Locally, his work includes involvement with the creation of one of the city’s first privately proposed community improvement districts.”

Among Wallace’s local leadership roles are former stints as president of Leadership Springfield and the Springfield Business Development Corp., as well as chairman of the board for Greene County Planning and Zoning and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. He also led the chamber’s first trade mission to China.

However, Wallace’s proudest accomplishments are two organizations he helped create – the Springfield Good Government Committee and the Missouri Partnership. The former – formed by Wallace, Richard Ollis, members of the of the chamber and the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield – is a political action committee that recruits and backs Springfield City Council candidates. Wallace says over a five-year span, 75 percent of the candidates supported by the organization have won their respective bids for a seat at the city’s table.

The Missouri Partnership, a public-private nonprofit that markets the state for new business investment and job creation, is the result of a partnership between the Missouri Department of Economic Development and private individuals. Wallace has served on the group’s board since its inception in 2006, and as chairman between 2011 and 2013.

“In a short period of time, we recruited a brilliant young CEO in Chris Chung, and the organization became an award-winning entity, judged among the best in class among state economic development agencies across the country,” Wallace says.

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