Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Local Receives MBA from Cornell, Accepts Major Position with Nike on Road to Success

Jeffrey Phillips, a senior at Lafayette High School, was helping his dad with back-breaking work felling large oak trees and hauling of logs on a hot Mississippi summer day.

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Jeffrey Phillips and his father, Willie

“He walked up the hill and told me that day he wanted to do something else with his life,” said Willie Phillips, owner of J&J Tree Service and Jeffrey’s father.

Jeffrey made good on his plan to “do something else,” and this week received his MBA from Cornell University and in July starts a job with Nike with a competitive national salary

“I love my dad and respect him for his hard work and the example he set for all of us, but I knew that day I wanted to do something else with my life,” said Jeffrey, who got his undergraduate engineering degree with from Georgia Tech in 2011.

It was no accident he received a full scholarship to attend Cornell University, one of the nation’s most respected schools. In addition to graduating with high honors from Georgia Tech, he had an extraordinary career beginning with a 2010 position as operations research in medicine and healthcare project consultant at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital while attending school. His research and systems developed reduced the patient wait time by 43 percent from 12 to 6.8 hours.

The following year he became senior design project consultant for Gwinnett County Public Schools, where he recovered $2.9 million initial and $2.6 million recurring costs in the nation’s second largest school bus system by eliminating a fleet of 100 buses through increased efficiency.

In 2011, Phillips joined The Procter and Gamble Company in Cincinnati as supply chain leader, where he “managed plant short term and long term capacity, $13 million in cash, and customer service to deliver $67 million in sales in specialty products.” Last year, he became an assistant brand manager marketing intern as part of the North American Fabric Care Delivery Team, where he helped leverage key product innovation to help achieve $2 billion in sales to African-American and Hispanic customers by 2018.

Jeffrey’s parents Willie and Clarise Phillips, as well as other family members, were on hand for the graduation at Cornell. The Phillips have four other children, Monique, 32, Kimberly, 30, Jamie, 27, and Moesha, 18. Mr. Phillips has operated J&J Tree Service for 20 years serving North Mississippi.

“I have been blessed,” Jeffrey said. “Doors just kept opening, but I haven’t done anything anyone else could not do with hard work and a little luck.”

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