by Dr. Iain Corness
I met this man at a Chamber of Commerce networking evening. He shook my
hand and said, “My name is Charles Evans.” Immediately on hearing his
distinctive voice, I knew I he seemed familiar. Then I remembered his
advertisement on Pattaya Mail TV! (And who would dare say that
advertising doesn’t work!)
Charles is the Managing Director of Evans Marketing, and a man who has
never forgotten his father’s advice “Never make money with your hands!”
He is also a man who is not afraid of work – he began when he was nine
years old, “I always had money and I always saved money.” However, there
were a couple of low points along the way!
Charles was born in New York City, though when he was older was sent to
school in Florida for his health. After high school he went to
university to study business, advertising and marketing. There was a
good reason for this, and most of it stemmed from his father. “Father
was successful,” said Charles. “He beat it into my brain to study, to
work with my brain and not my hands.”
At university he met many creative people, and found that he enjoyed
being with people with these talents, even though Charles denies being
creative himself. After two years at university, this was enough for
Charles, he could see the opportunities were out there, and they should
And seize he did, dropping out to follow his entrepreneurial ideas, and
going into a business partnership in a firm called Astrographics.
Charles was 19 years old and was the president of his own printing and
design company. From there he went into graphics and typography. “This
is what gives a lot of the feeling of a magazine,” said Charles.
Continuing on with his personal development he ended up as Director of
Typographical Design for a larger company. Again I questioned Charles
over his claim of not being personally creative, to which he replied, “I
have a good memory. I could memorize the compatibility of designs.”
Wanting to do something more in a company of his own, his next foray was
into gourmet foods. This was not quite the quantum leap you may imagine.
His father was a successful restaurateur, and Charles had earned pocket
money working part-time in German delicatessens. He became a junior
partner and opened up his gourmet food outlet in New York City. If there
really is a Mother Goose, Charles would have made a million from this
opportunity. Alas no! “I lost my shirt. After that, I’ve never been a
junior partner!” An expensive lesson perhaps, but Charles was able to
learn from it.
Staying with the gourmet food concept, he opened The Treatshoppe. “We
kept gourmet cheeses, caviar, salmon, and all the delicacies you would
find in London’s Harrods.” Charles applied himself to the advertising
and merchandizing side of the business. “We used databases, corporate
marketing and direct mail marketing.” What came out of his data pointed
him towards corporate gift baskets, and this concept took off. One store
grew to three and then franchised on to become six.
Charles was doing well. He sold out and moved to south Florida to get
away from New York’s oppressive winters. “I thought I was going to
retire. I was 37 years old.” However, people like Charles Evans cannot
Firstly the well known Merrill Lynch corporation snapped him up to work
as a commercial broker for them, and then he opened up a “business gift
business”. When you are on a good thing, stick to it, goes the old
dictum. Charles took this ‘good thing’ and honed and fine-tuned it.
Charles again applied himself in the marketing area. “I was constantly
going back to my roots in advertising and typographical design.” Again I
had to question his claim the he was not a creative person. “I hired
people,” said Charles, “graphic designers, layout.”
Charles must have known the right people to hire, because his next
career move was one that was to influence his life indelibly. The Exxon
corporation wanted newsletters as part of their incentive programs for
their stores. Charles put up his hand, but was not immediately accepted.
“After 60 times of saying no, they finally bit the bullet.”
Charles managed to provide some instant and quantifiable results. He
remodeled two service stations which doubled their returns within 12
months. Charles Evans demonstrated that he understood the meaning of the
term “marketing”. “It had taken many years to get into Exxon,” said
Charles, “but that led to fifteen very successful years with them.” As
part of that successful partnership, Charles was flown to South America
to review corporate marketing there, and then in 1999 was brought to
Thailand to open up a marketing office for them in Bangkok.
He had dreamed of having an office in Thailand and one in Florida, and
it looked as if that dream had come true. However, dreams are dreams and
not reality. The constant traveling backwards and forwards between the
US and Thailand took its toll on his family, so a decision had to be
made. The marketing man could see the opportunities in Thailand, and the
Florida chapter was closed.
With his Exxon Bangkok contract finishing, he looked further afield. “I
opened up an office in Pattaya. There is a large market here. It was an
option that was available. Pattaya is a place to do business and make
He has again thrown himself into working. He has launched two
publications, Pattayainvestments.com and Pattayaproprtyfinder.com, all
under the aegis of Evans Marketing.
He has also thrown himself into the community, and as part of that
commitment, is the new president of the Taksin-Pattaya Rotary Club. He
says he has no real hobbies, but does admit to “an insatiable appetite
for learning new things.”
After meeting Charles Evans, that probably is his raison d’etre. “Making
money is not what drives me – it’s a by-product,” he said as he rushed
off to his next appointment.
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