CABA Celebrates Pat Evans’ 29 Years of Service as Executive DirectorPosted Date Unknown
We hoped it would never happen — but Pat Evans is officially retiring from the position of CABA Executive Director, effective May 31, 2018. Her tenure began 29 years ago — on May 1, 1989, when she became Executive Director of the Hinds County Bar, the predecessor to CABA.
At the time Pat was also Director of Admissions and Placement at Mississippi College School of Law, later, in 2004, to become Dean of Admissions. She retired from the Law School in 2012, after being honored with the naming of the Patricia H. Evans Admissions Suite and an endowed scholarship given annually in her name.
For 29 years, Pat has been the mainstay of CABA, the one who has made the presidents and committee chairs look good. When asked to comment about her service, Pat responded, “I am proud of everything each president and the chairpersons and committee members have accomplished for CABA and the community.”
During those years, Pat’s three children have grown up and gotten married. Then came two grandchildren, Pat’s great joy. Mary Reid, daughter of Leslie and Justyn Dixon, is now an Ole Miss co-ed in pre-med studies, and Sims Dixon, tallest member of the family, has finished his freshman year at Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
In retirement, Pat will continue in service to her church, the Chapel of the Cross in Madison, where she is a licensed lay reader, chalice bearer, former vestry member, trained Stephen Minster, and Stephen Ministry leader.
Pat is also known as the “hostess with the mostest” for her many friends, and she has already made travel plans with some of them to kick off her retirement. This includes Oxford, Mississippi, and in the fall she’ll be there with Ed Perry cheering for the Ole Miss football team.
Pat is past president of her Luncheon Club, past president of the Literary Club, and past president of the Jackson Symphony League, and she continues to serve on a JSL Foundation Board. Both Pat and Mary Reid were honored as Goodwill Volunteers of the Year (2015), a first for a grandmother and granddaughter to be honored at the same time.
Pat, these 29 years have flown by in a hurry — probably because you made running this bar association look so easy. Thanks for everything, and God speed in your next endeavors!
“When I became president, the former executive director quit immediately. I suspect he did not want to work for a woman. That was in the bad old days. I was bemoaning the fact to Pat that I was about to become president without an executive director.
She said ‘I could do that!’ I was totally surprised. It was a gift from God. It had never occurred to me that it was something she would be interested in. And everyone knows what a super job she has done. Everything ran like clockwork from the beginning. I cannot ever thank her enough for turning what could have been a very difficult year into velvet.”
“Pat took care of everything!”
“Pat was the quintessential executive director. She not only understood the purpose of our organization and supported its officers, directors, and members, but she also had the long view about our profession. She had an innate sense of where we had come from, where we were going, and where we needed to be going while maintaining the core values of our profession. She served, guided, and supported the officers, directors, and members of our local Bar during a time when our profession was rapidly adapting and changing on a number of different levels just as our society was. We were extraordinarily fortunate to have her unstinting dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of our local Bar during this time.”
“Pat and I went to the ABA Bar Leadership Conference in Chicago as I was preparing for my year as President of what was then called the Hinds County Bar Association and her second year as its Executive Director. We came away with a number of ideas and decided to focus on two initiatives to make the year special. We decided on a Law for Lay People program which our local bar continued for several years, and we were also able to convince the membership to build a Habitat for Humanity Home. In both instances, Pat made those projects work. She was a very special executive for all of her years as our local bar executive.”
“Who is Pat Evans? Pat is more than just resourceful, she is a connector, she is a lover of fine things and fine people. She appreciates the idiosyncrasies of each CABA President. I recall fondly when I became President of CABA, I had concerns as a relatively young President and small firm practitioner who was juggling motherhood and the practice, while voyaging into the world of serving as President of this great organization.
In her calm and reassuring voice, she said “oh this is not a big deal we will figure it out together and Amari can hang with me during events.” And just like that all was well in my world as President. True to her word, she was there every step of the way. She offered words of wisdom and kindness.
Though Pat was the Dean that encouraged me through Law school, during my year of President of CABA, I gained a friend and Amari gained another fairy godmother who still sends beautiful holiday cards and whispers kinds words of encouragement to both of us. She is a steady beat in the chaos of “trying to get it right” world of lawyers. For this and much more I am eternally grateful! Thanks Pat!”
“Without question, the most enjoyable aspect of my year as President of the Hinds County Bar Association was working with Pat Evans and the relationship we formed that year. Pat made everything easy. She is the consummate planner and logistician, and her organizational skills are just suburb. Pat makes everyone feel special, and had the unique ability to make all of the Presidents feel like they were her favorite. But despite what Judy Johnson and most of the other past Presidents will say, I know I was really her favorite!”