Stanley Evans: The cup isn’t half empty, it’s half full
Story by Shannon Taylor Senior Investigative Reporter
Stanley Evans, salesman at Herman Jenkins Motors in Union City, grew up on a farm in Sharon, and was one of six children of James and Betty Evans. Betty was a homemaker and James worked at Milan Arsenal. Evans said, “All my young life I was going to school, working on the farm and at nine years old I was driving tractors.”
As Evans grew older, he started working part-time at the age of 13 at a small store in Sharon called Mount’s IGA as well as mowing yards on the side. “I’ve always been a worker; I basically had three jobs. I always wanted to do better than the kids down the street.”
Evans said he struggled in high school, but he made it through with determination and a mindset of wanting to do better. “I was never satisfied with what I had done at that point.”
Evans went to work straight out of high school at Sharon Manufacturing and after being there for six months he became a supervisor over the receiving department. After a couple of years there he left to go to work for Hubble Lighting in Martin and worked there for a couple of years in the press department. It was after being at Hubble Lighting for a couple of years that Evans decided that working in a factory wasn’t for him.
It was at this time in 1984 that Evans got into the car business, despite family and friends being outspoken wondering what he was thinking. Evans said they told him that he had a great job, making good money with benefits. “You’re quitting to go work for commission!?” Evans said that he admits that during the first year there were a few times when he thought that maybe they were right, but as time went on, he made it through that, and he said that it became easy for him. “I found my forte in the care business and from that point on I did really well selling vehicles.”
Evans was salesman of the year many times over the last several years. There then came a point where Evans decided he was done with selling and wanted to go into management. For five years Evans worked in management. He started out as a used car manager then he moved on to inventory control manager and then he did finance for a while after that. The last position he held was General Manager over a car dealership and then after all of that Evans said that what he really wanted to do was to go back to selling cars and he has been doing that ever since.
Evans has been in the car business for 39 years altogether. “I was always one to be out there working and make things happen and it’s been very good for me, and it’s kept me out of trouble.”
In 1990, Evans saw another opportunity and started buying rental properties. “Since 2009 when the bottom fell out of the financial market, then I started buying houses.” Evans said he did that for several years and as the market got stronger, he started selling houses. From that point on to this day, Evans buys and flips houses and averages around seven to eight houses a year in addition to his rental properties.
Evans’ wife, Marcia, has been a bookkeeper for 30 years and also has a baking business on the side where she sells desserts. They have three sons together, Markei, Stefon and Tevin, and four grandchildren. Evans oldest son, Marque lives in Memphis as a civil engineer for Allworld. Steffon lives in Germany and was in the military for twelve years and now works for the government on a military base in the human resource department. Tevan lives in Murfreesboro as an occupational therapist in addition to being the director of the therapy facility. “I’ve always pushed my boys-when they were kids, I would tell them you have two choices: you go to college, or you go to the military. It’s not going out and getting a minimum wage job. All three of my sons have degrees and they are all doing well and have been successful. I wanted better for them as well as me.” Evans said he saw other kids getting in trouble and he kept his kids busy and was probably pretty strict on them at times, but he said that it worked because they have all done so well. “I used to think my dad was so tough on me, but as I became an adult, I actually appreciated the way I was raised because it made me a better person.”
Evans said that he always saw things a little differently than other people did. “Some people see a cup half empty, but I see it as half full.” When Evans got into the car business, he said that there were not a lot of black people in that business, and everyone thought it would be a challenge for him. “I knew I could do it. I never had any doubts, and I was very successful.”
Evans said that he attributes his success to God. “At the end of the day I always put God first. I learned at a young age who was in control of my life.” Evans is very involved in the community and served several years on the Martin Economic Development Board. He has also been a treasurer and deacon of his church and he and his wife have taught marriage counseling at their church, Oak Grove Baptist, in the past. Evans said that church was his second life.
As far as challenges are concerned, Evans said he never had any. “I was always the kid that tried to do the right thing. If you try to do right things there are people who will stand up for you and go to bat for you.” He said that he has a busy life, but he enjoys it, and it is all about family.
In my opinion Mr. Stanley is a great person. When I bought my Jeep he was so helpful and friendly. He seems to enjoy his work. We need more people like him around today. When God is with you nothing is impossible! I admire the way he raised his children and they turned out to be responsile adults. I wish him many more suscessful years in the business!
I am a living testimony to all stated about STAN, THE MAN. The whole family is proud of you.
I just want Stanley to know my Grandfather, Mickey Moore, thought a lot of and had so much respect for Mr Stanley. It was not uncommon for Stanleys name to be mentioned when discussing business practices. He would love to have read this article. Thank you for being such a positive impact to our community.