THOMASVILLE — Rick Phillips, president of Solar Warehousing and Distribution, stated he was shocked to obtain the Thomasville Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the 12 months Award a couple of months in the past.
Phillips stated as he listened to the neighborhood boards the individual had served on he figured he should know the person as a result of he had served on most of the similar boards. However when the Davidson County Airport Authority Board of Administrators was talked about, he knew the honoree have to be him.
“It was fairly a shock,” he stated humbly, noting he has merely agreed to serve on neighborhood organizations when requested.
Along with the airport authority, Phillips serves on the board of administrators of the Thomasville Chamber of Commerce and the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer. He just lately rotated off the boards of Habitat for Humanity of Thomasville after six years and the Novant Well being Thomasville Medical Middle Basis Board after eight years.
Phillips nonetheless serves on the muse’s capital marketing campaign committee to open a wellness heart adjoining to the hospital. Actually, he and his spouse, Addie, might be introduced with the muse’s Philanthropic Award in August.
Phillips stated he volunteers his time as a result of he loves his adopted hometown and desires to see it develop and achieve success.
Though they dwell on Excessive Rock Lake, Phillips stated he has been part of Thomasville since 2002 when he purchased Solar Supply within the Chair Metropolis. He offered the white-glove furnishings supply service to American West in October 2019, however now concentrates on his newer enterprise, Solar Warehousing and Distribution, which he began about 4 years in the past and is housed within the 732,000-square-foot former basic warehouse of Thomasville Furnishings. The enterprise receives merchandise immediately from factories, inventories them within the warehouse and distributes to prospects. He famous shoppers embody Amazon and Neiman Marcus.
“I can by no means envision retiring — possibly slowing down — however not retiring,” he stated. “I’ve loved constructing one other firm up. Solar Supply was a world-class firm and I intend to do the identical right here.”
Phillips stated he has had a love of all issues associated to transportation since he was a preschooler who seemed ahead to hopping into his father’s tractor-trailer for a brief spin down the block. His father was a neighborhood driver for Thurston Motor Strains in Wilson for a couple of years and the massive rigs made an impression on him as a bit boy. He started his assortment of mannequin vehicles and trains round that point and nonetheless has them as we speak.
After receiving an affiliate diploma in transportation from Central Piedmont Neighborhood Faculty in Charlotte, Phillips started his lengthy profession in logistics as a administration trainee at Thurston Motor Strains in Charlotte, which was a big provider primarily based in a metropolis referred to as a transportation hub. He later labored in company transportation for a number of different giant firms, together with High quality Forest Merchandise within the Roanoke Rapids space of northeastern North Carolina, earlier than buying Solar Supply.
Whereas Phillips’ work with the chamber, hospital and Habitat present his curiosity in bettering the neighborhood the place he has a enterprise and most of his staff dwell, his service on the boards of the airport authority and transportation museum mirror his private curiosity in transportation.
A pilot for 42 years, Phillips stated he’s happy with the airport authority’s work to just lately set up a brand new method lighting system that makes it simpler for pilots to land at night time and in low-visibility climate. He homes his personal Cessna 210 in a hangar there and the board is including extra hangars since there’s a ready listing for 60 planes.
Phillips stated he has flown for enterprise and pleasure via the years, however famous his longest flight was a number of years in the past when he flew from Lexington to Los Angeles.
“I needed to do a cross-country journey one time — to fly throughout the Rockies,” he stated.
Phillips famous he nonetheless collects classic tractor-trailers, however these are the full-size selection as an alternative of miniature fashions from his boyhood. He has six vehicles in a warehouse in Thomasville, with one on show on the transportation museum in Spencer. He’s notably happy with a 1953 Corbitt inbuilt Henderson, with the Thurston Motor Strains emblem on it just like the one his father as soon as drove.
“That will have been the very one he drove once I was a bit boy,” he famous.
Vikki Broughton Hodges could also be contacted at email@example.com
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