TRIBUTE TO A LEADER

DALLAS -- Jack Evans, the late industry leader who spent most of his career with Tom Thumb stores here, will have a new civic leadership center here named for him. Leadership will centralize major civic organizations in a single location, "which was a longstanding dream of Jack's."I think it will become a tribute to Jack in the purest sense of the word, going far beyond his name on the side of a building.

DALLAS -- Jack Evans, the late industry leader who spent most of his career with Tom Thumb stores here, will have a new civic leadership center here named for him.

Leadership will centralize major civic organizations in a single location, "which was a longstanding dream of Jack's.

"I think it will become a tribute to Jack in the purest sense of the word, going far beyond his name on the side of a building. It will be an embodiment of his hopes for Dallas and his dreams of getting us all to look in the same direction at the same time."

Minyard said the 16-story office building in downtown Dallas selected for the center will undergo extensive renovation to create offices, research and resource libraries, visitor information areas, public meeting and conference facilities, computer-training facilities and business development classrooms.

Completion is expected late this year or early in 1999, with organizations beginning to move into the building next spring. The project is being funded entirely through private and corporate donations, Minyard said.

Evans began his career working in the family-owned Evans Market in East Dallas and later for Wyatt Food Stores, a Dallas-area chain. When a local Safeway closed in 1947, Evans opened his first store, called Evans Lakewood Food Mart.

His company grew to 10 units and included the area's first 24-hour store; it eventually merged with the Wyatt chain, and the combined operation was sold to Kroger Co., Cincinnati, in 1958.

Evans was named president of Kroger's Dallas division. However, he refused to leave Dallas, and when he realized his advancement at Kroger was hampered by that decision, he left Kroger in 1966 and joined Cullum Cos., operator of Tom Thumb stores here, as executive vice president.

He was elected president and chief operating officer in 1977.

In 1981 Evans agreed to run for Dallas mayor and was elected with 72% of the vote in an eight-candidate field. He served one two-year term.

During his term, Bob Cullum, one of the company's founders, died, and his brother Charles Cullum asked Evans to return to the business. He returned in 1983 as president and chief executive officer and was named chairman and CEO in 1986.

After Tom Thumb was acquired by Randalls Food Markets, Houston, in August 1992, Evans held the title vice chairman and director of public affairs.

During his final years he was also executive director of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and board chairman of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Evans died of colon cancer in 1997.