Monroe Moxness Berg Dynamo Randy Evans Loses Battle With Cancer
Courtesy of Monroe Moxness Berg
Randy Evans, a dynamic restaurant and retail lawyer, lost his battle with cancer and died May 23.
Evans, 57, was a longtime partner and shareholder at Monroe Moxness Berg, PA, where he served for more than 21 years and was a leader in the firm’s corporate finance and M&A group. There, he guided clients through complex transactions including structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing restaurant M&A deals.
Dennis Monroe, co-founder and chairman of Monroe Moxness Berg, said Evans was, “My first great hire.”
The legal dynamo was known for his warmth and generosity and a wide range of expertise like his keen negotiating abilities. Don Harty, founder and president of ADF Companies and longtime client of Evans, said he was a joy to work with through the most sensitive of transactions.
“Firstly, he was highly ethical personally and professionally. He was really a class act,” said Harty. “But he was really a good negotiator, he had a great demeanor but he knew when he could push it.”
Harty said the working relationship that became a friendship was truly memorable.
“Today is a sad day, but I have extraordinarily great memories of him and the time that we worked together,” said Harty. “I’m delighted that I had the opportunity to see him recently, but I’m going to miss him a lot, and a lot of people will.”
Tim George, founder of Potomac Family Dining Group, said he considered Evans to be part of his business family.
“He was there right at the beginning and he was still working on our stuff from the hospital via email. So he was involved right up until the end,” said George. “He put everything he had into whatever he did.”
He said that was just who Evans was: someone who truly cared about his work and his partnerships.
“I work with a lot of people, whether it's legal or accounting, and it always comes down to people, to individuals. He was one of those individuals that really cared about his clients, really cared about the work and really cared about the outcome,” said George. “He would call me randomly long after a transaction and ask me how it went.”
And regardless of the question, George said Evans always had an answer or knew the person to call.
“One of the great things is that he could answer almost any question,” said George.
John Berg, a shareholder at Monroe Moxness Berg, echoed many of those sentiments, saying that Evans could help on nearly any project.
“Randy was unique in many ways. He had a broad range of skills in terms of the different practice areas he could work in: he did M&A, lender work, corporate finance, and general corporate work. He was able to go from one to the other pretty seamlessly—whatever role was necessary,” said Berg. “Regardless of whether he’s representing a lender or a borrower, I think he always tried to impact a transaction in a positive way.”
He also made it a personal ambition to help the newest associates thrive.
“He was in charge of our associate development program for many, many years,” said Berg. “He had a nice style and related well to young people and tried to communicate the culture and the hard skills we need to succeed in the long term.”
Reid Sherard, of Capital Growth Advisors, LLC, LLC said from their first day working together on a transaction, he was impressed.
"He was a fabulous guy; always had a very, very positive outlook and was tireless. The first time he worked with us, he literally stayed up all night to work on a transaction. As I was coming down for breakfast and he was walking in the front door, needless to say, I was impressed," said Sherard. "I’ll miss him a whole lot."
He was a familiar face at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference, and on the annual Franchise Times Legal Eagles list. He was a gifted speaker and frequent panelist across the franchising industry, illuminating the tricky intersection of law, finance and business for the whole restaurant industry, not just his clients. And he could liven up a room full of restaurant executives, even after a long day of seminars.
"Randy was such a positive individual, he was fun to be around,” said John Hamburger, president of Franchise Times.
Evans was just as eager to do good outside of the industry as well, his love of life and commitment to community was always clear, as described in in a statement from Monroe Moxness Berg:
We mourn our dearest friend, a man of great personal warmth and generosity, whose easy and open manner put others at ease, whose curiosity was engaging, and whose words of advice and counsel were always a product of attentive listening. Down to earth, full of wit and empathy, Randy readily and enthusiastically immersed himself in the projects he cherished, both large and small – whether it be long-distance running, support for Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, or organizing block parties with his neighbors. The pleasure he took in life was palpable, and we will miss sharing it with him.
Evans is survived by his wife, Debbie, and his sons, Chris and Andrew.