Meet a Member: Linda Evans

Linda Evans Photo by Cynthia Price

Linda Evans (Photo by Cynthia Price)

Four days on a tour bus on the Alaska pre-conference tour gave me a chance to get better acquainted with members like Linda Evans. She is a 35-year NFPW member and is the 2015 Communicator of Achievement for Virginia. She is fun to be around and is a talented communications professional. Enjoy getting to know this unique and unbelievable member a little better.

Name: Linda Evans,

Hometown: Richmond, Va.,

Affiliate and leadership positions: Virginia Professional Communicators. Former treasurer, district director and state conference chair

Years a member of NFPW: 35 years

Tell us a little about you:

After majoring in journalism at the University of Richmond, I spent a couple of years writing obits and features (and loving it and learning a lot) at my hometown newspaper, The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va. Back then newspapers didn’t have formal internship programs; they usually hired one or two locals to work summers to fill in while reporters took vacations. I tried to get a job throughout high school, but never made it. I continued trying in college, until the editor finally said my persistence impressed him, and he hired me! I worked two summers and then after graduating from college, I was hired full time and spent a couple of years as a reporter.

My husband and I were blessed with a son, and I ultimately made the decision to make a career change into education — first as a publications editor for Fredericksburg City Schools, then into public relations for higher education. I really found my niche working for three great colleges — Mary Washington in Fredericksburg; Randolph-Macon in Ashland, Va.; and University of Richmond, for 13 years until I retired in August 2014. In all, I worked in higher education for 35 years — as long as I’ve been a member of NFPW. My jobs have enabled me to work with some outstanding students and pass along my love of journalism to them.

Any career advice?

No matter what you want to do in life, take a journalism course. It teaches you to write well and concisely; organize your work, meet deadlines and learn to communicate with anyone you will encounter in your career.

What talent would you most like to have?

If I could have a talent it would be to carry a tune! I’d love to sing along with my son, a singer-songwriter who plays guitar, sings and composes music. I don’t know where he got his talent — certainly not from me or his father.

Linda Evans, left, and Donna Geisler at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

Linda Evans, left, and Donna Geisler at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska for the NFPW pre-conference tour. (Photo by the tour bus driver)

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

When my late husband, Jack, and I were first married, he was stationed with the Air Force in Homestead, Fla., (south of Miami). I’ve always loved Florida since then and have recently discovered the beauty and serenity of the state’s west coast. So I’d like to live near the Gulf of Mexico to enjoy the beautiful sunsets each day.

What book are you reading?

I love mysteries and have recently been reading Charles Todd’s Beth Crawford series, set in England during World War I, and Victoria Thompson’s Sarah Brandt series, set in New York City in the early 1900s. Both series are well written and impart so much history. I also was delighted to meet fellow COA Anne Hillerman at the Alaska conference. I read all of her father’s (Tony Hillerman) books and am delighted that she is continuing his series of mysteries on the Navajo reservation at the Four Corners area of the SW.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Most people don’t know that I worked for a nonprofit circus for a time as a booking agent (long story) and that my father discovered the first computer bug (an actual moth in one of those early, walk-through computers in the 1940s)

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I’ve had opportunities to join other professional organizations, and have, but I always loved VPC and NFPW because of the great friendships I have formed with fellow members, the professional development, and the opportunity to travel and explore other parts of my state and country.

Ways to follow you:

I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lindaniemannevans; Twitter @levanspr and on Linked In as Linda Evans.

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