Inspiring Hendry County…Evans makes a positive impact

Sodexo is a worldwide service management company and one of the largest employers on the planet. Erwin Evans is the happy-go-lucky, always enthusiastic, general manager for Sodexo here in Hendry County, which provides meals for the Hendry County School District. Mr. Evans has been the general manager for five years, and hopes to continue making a positive impact on our community. He has challenged himself and his employees to strive for the best during the past five years.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
General Manager Erwin Evans presents Sodexo Employee LaDonna Roberts with a 5 Year Employee Sodexo Experience Award.

“I want to make Hendry County Foodservice a first-class operation,” he said. “These kids deserve the very best, and I’m going to do all that I can to give them just that!”

“I had the best childhood!” exclaimed Mr. Evans, the fifth of eight children in a family born and raised in Columbia, S.C. “I have five brothers and two sisters, and we are very close. My parents were awesome. I still don’t know how they raised eight kids, and I don’t remember us ever not having the things we needed.

“My best childhood memories are the wonderful times we had at Christmas,” he continued. “We always had a house full of toys and gifts. Santa wasn’t in his sleigh good before we were up and tearing open our gifts.”

He recalled a special teacher who had a big impact on his life.

“My 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Brooks, taught me to love language and how to use it to my advantage. I still use a lot of the skills he taught me,” he said.

Another huge influence on Mr. Evans was his grandmother, Rebecca Stivender. “I got my passion for cooking from her,” he said with a loving smile. “I learned to cook standing in a chair watching her. The values that she instilled in me carry me through life every day. She taught me to always help those who are less fortunate, give to those in need, and always do the right thing.”

When asked about his dreams and goals for the future, he responded: “My dream is to be remembered as someone who cared about people. I’m at the stage in my career where I want to pass the knowledge that I have on to the next generation. What was given to me I’m sharing with others.”

Erwin Evans and fiancée Ann Morgan look forward to a happy future.

He loves his job, which is evident in his constant smiles, jokes and laughter throughout the day, even when there’s much to be done. On a typical day, as Sodexo’s general manager, Mr. Evans is up at 4:30 every morning, at his desk by 6:10 and out visiting schools by 7:30 a.m. With such early hours, and many challenges, why does he choose to do this job?

“I LOVE feeding kids!” he said. “I believe that God put me here to do that. I enjoy watching kids eat, because eating a good meal makes them so happy. I want to feed kids the best meal possible at school, because some kids don’t get such a great meal when they go home, and that truly makes me sad.”

Asked what he might do if he were to win the lottery, he responded, “I’d open a culinary academy, for school age children, and teach them what my grandmother taught me. Then I’d take my new bride on a trip around the world,” he exclaimed.

Mr. Evans mentioned his bride-to-be, with a grin from ear to ear. They are getting married next month.

He added, “I’m most proud of my children! I have two of my own and I’m getting two more from marriage! They are all wonderful people and I’m very proud of them.”

What advice does he have to give to current Hendry County youth? “Have your fun and enjoy life, but do something that will change the world,” he said. “Be a positive impact by touching as many lives as you can.”

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