After 4 1/2 years of trying to woo business to the state, J. Randall Evans, Maryland's secretary of economic and employment development, has himself been wooed by private industry.
Evans will become vice president for corridor development at CSX Transportation Inc., Robert L. Kirk, the company's president, announced yesterday.
Evans, 44, said he will be responsible for developing new commuter-rail and light-rail lines for CSX. CSX Transportation and its 36,000 employees provide railroad service over an 18,800-mile network in 20 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada.
"Bob Kirk has challenged me to be entrepreneurial in developing commuter-rail and light-rail mass transit opportunities across the country," Evans said.
Evans, who is to remain in Baltimore, said the company also wants him to act as a liaison with state and local governments.
"We are extremely pleased to have Randy Evans join our company," said Kirk in making the announcement. "He is a nationally recognized economic development leader who will significantly increase our ability to address new opportunities for the sale of major rail corridor rights to private or governmental passenger service entities."
Evans, a longtime Schaefer aide and favorite son who will leave his state post with Schaefer's blessing Aug. 31, said CSX made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
As head of DEED, Evans was making $108,372 a year. Evans good naturedly declined to say what his new salary would be.
Evans is a close personal friend of John W. Snow, president of CSX Corp., the Richmond parent of CSX Transportation. Evans was executive director of the Richmond Renaissance Program before taking the Maryland post.
While Schaefer was mayor of Baltimore, Evans held several positions in the city Department of Housing and Community Development. He also served with the U.S. Navy's Civil Engineer Corps.