Philesha Evans with her daughters, Arielle (left) and MaReia (center), on Arielle's 18th birthday.
Philesha Evans has worked at UTMB her entire adult life and has taken
on a number of roles and projects since starting off in the Transportation
Department and transferring to Human Resources in 1996. She
currently serves as assistant vice president for Human Resources’ Direct
Entity Services, providing leadership and strategic direction for several
divisions, including Correctional Managed Care Human Resources, the
Employee Assistance Program, Employee Health, Employee Injury/Illness
Management, Employee Relations and Leave Management. Prior to her
current role, she served as director of Employee Relations.
Evans earned her bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Texas Woman’s
University and holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources
certification. She took the time to talk to us about her first impressions of
UTMB as a child and the future of UTMB, as well as her extensive shoe
What does the Road Ahead look like
UTMB has been a constant in my life having
grown up in Galveston and worked at UTMB for
over 20 years. As a child, my mom brought my
siblings and me to the pediatric clinic that was
once on the first floor of Research Building 6 for
our health care, and we would accompany my
grandmother when she came for appointments
with her long-term physician, Dr. Richard Rahr.
Over the years, UTMB’s physical landscape and
personnel have changed. That’s not what the Road
Ahead is about; rather, it’s about transforming the
way we operate as an organization. Certainly, such
a transformation involves upgrading our facilities,
making better use of our space, and hiring and
retaining the right faculty members, leaders and
staff. Successful organizational transformation
is heavily dependent upon executing strategic
objectives and improving organizational
effectiveness. UTMB is positioned better than it
has ever been to achieve this.
What is your favorite thing about
working at UTMB?
I’ve worked at UTMB for my entire adult life,
and, by far, my favorite part of working here is
interacting with the many people that make UTMB
great. Throughout the years, I have come into
contact with great people and built some lifelong
relationships. My role allows me the privilege
of interacting with employees at all levels in the
organization. In some cases, it’s not under the
best circumstances, but I believe that it is my
duty to treat all employees with respect and
compassion. I try very hard to ensure that, even
if the person doesn’t get the desired outcome,
our interaction ends with that person knowing
I heard his or her concern and feeling that he
or she was treated fairly. I have the best job in
the organization—taking care of our people so
that they can take care of our students, patients,
research and institutional operations.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to cook and bake. I cook almost every day,
so my family is pretty spoiled. I get excited about
finding recipes and making them my own, and I
enjoy the challenge of learning a new technique. If
I didn’t love my position at UTMB so much, I would
probably be a chef.
What was your first job?
My first job was at Foot Locker in Galveston’s old
Galvez Mall. (Yes, there was once a shopping mall
in Galveston.) This is probably when my obsession
with shoes began. I worked there after school and
on weekends during my senior year of high school.
Today, I have almost 250 pairs of shoes, and I have
worn them all. I don’t own any high-end shoes,
but I do have some that people might consider
If you could travel anywhere in the
world, where would you go?
My list is pretty long because almost all of my
travel has been work-related. I would love to visit
New Zealand, France, Greece, South Africa, the
Seychelles, New York, Napa Valley and, of course,
Disney World. Now that my daughters are older (18
and 15), I plan to mark something off the list every
year, alternating each year between domestic and