Sep 10

What’s Boomerang Greensboro? A Q&A with a Bryan School Boomerang

After studying management at the UNC Greensboro Bryan School of Business and Economics, Michael Wallace ’87 left North Carolina and went on to become a Vice President of Business Account Management with Fannie Mae. Now, he’s back, relocating to Greensboro from Washington, D.C.

Question: What did you enjoy most as a Bryan School student?  

Answer: I was a commuter student and worked more than 30 hours a week while taking more than 16 credits each semester, so I really liked the flexibility in the schedule that was offered to accommodate. The professors were very engaged and made the topics relatable to the business experience they had on the outside. I’m a people person, too, so I really loved the classes on Human Resources and Psychology. 

Q: You’ve been with Fannie Mae for more than 13 years ⁠— what do you love most about your job? 

A: The ability to work with associates to help them achieve their goals in a mission-driven business model. 

Q: What excites you about the future of your industry?

A: Fannie Mae is a leading source of financing in the housing market, and its mission is to provide liquidity and promote stability and affordability in the U.S. housing finance industry. As an industry leader, we’re also laser-focused on our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) responsibilities. We promote environmentally responsible lending solutions (including options that reduce energy and water usage); we’re committed to racial equity and diversity and inclusion, as well as driving positive, affordable outcomes for families and communities; and we uphold our commitment to responsible business practices and ethical behavior in everything we do. Being a part of an organization that is capable of having such a positive impact on society is both humbling and energizing. 

Q: What resources – books, blogs, websites, podcasts, etc. – would you recommend for someone interested in your field or in a position like yours? 

A: There are so many resources available that I’d actually suggest they reach out to me to discuss their particular interest and I could point them in the right direction. 

Q: What took you away from Greensboro? What brought you back?  

A: Honestly, in the early 1990s as an openly gay man, business opportunities in North Carolina were limited. The job I had here had an opening in Washington, D.C. so I jumped on the chance to move to a more accepting place. But WOW, what a difference from when I left. I’ve been so impressed with how UNCG and Greensboro as a whole has changed. 

Q: What is Boomerang Greensboro and how can it help others with a return to the Triad?

A: Boomerangs are people who lived in Greensboro at one point in their lives – growing up here, attending college or university, or professionally – and returned to the city. Boomerang Greensboro can provide connections to local realtors and apartment complexes, schools, and daycares, as well as assistance in navigating professional and entrepreneurial opportunities. If you are interested in moving back I suggest reaching out to them.