SHS graduates can thank fellow alumnus Evan Richards ’60 for the cellular phone systems that now conveniently connect families and friends the world over. While at SHS, Evan served four years on Student Council and as a Hi-Y officer and participated in the Biology Club, the class play and on the Whippet Tales staff. He then earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering at Ohio Northern University.
His career began at Ohio Bell where, during 15 years of service, he earned a master’s in business administration at Ohio State University. While working six years at AT&T in New Jersey, Evan foresaw the cellular future and joined Ameritech Mobile Communications as vice president of engineering. In that role he led the building of the world’s first cellular phone systems. In 1990 Evan worked in New Zealand, developing its phone company into a world class system. In 1996 it was on to Belgium where as chief operating officer he guided that nation’s start-up of a wireless communications system.
After retiring in 2000, Evan took on volunteer leadership roles with two hospitals, a Rotary Club and the American Cancer Society. During the last eight years he also has mentored 12 young men as part of the Take Stock in Children program. Evan has received numerous honors and awards, including the Millenium Medal for service on the board of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers and Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. “Evan’s distinguished career in creating today’s vital cellular communications systems,” observes a fellow alum, “has brought great credit to himself and to Shelby High School.” Evan lives in The Villages, Florida. His nominator: Bill Wilkins ’60. His presenter: Dave Winans ’60.