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James Phillips: Giving back to his hometown

Suzi McKee • May 6, 2019 at 10:37 AM

Editor's Note: This is a paid political ad. James Phillips is an alderman candidate in the May 21 Kingsport Municipal Election. Early voting is currently underway in Blountville.

Growing up in Kingsport with parents who were actively involved in community service, James Phillips learned early on the importance of giving back to your hometown.

“My goal has always been to leave things better than I found them,” James began, “and being on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is a way for me to do that.”

With his level of community experience, his interactions with people from all walks of life, and his keen interest in making Kingsport a thriving and vibrant community, James Phillips offers newfound energy to the BMA.

As a University of Tennessee graduate with a degree in advertising, James pursued his career at one of the largest advertising firms in the south located in Greenville, South Carolina. “After almost three years, I realized that Kingsport was where I wanted to be, so I came home and started my own small business which involved building or remodeling over 100 apartments and homes in and around Kingsport,” James explained. He also started another business that runs events around the city. As an owner of the Racks by the Tracks Festival, James has brought attention to the benefits of shopping, dining and attending events in the downtown area. He has volunteered his time to serve on a multitude of Community Boards and was instrumental in founding PEAK, an organization for young professionals in Kingsport.

“I feel that everything in my life to this point puts me in a great place to step up my service to Kingsport,” James added. “With my building experience and the knowledge required to plan and host large community events, I feel I can bring a unique perspective to the BMA table. I've had the privilege of working with every department in the city and know most of the people very well; this will allow me to work hand-in-hand with the entire city community to ascertain problems and offer successful solutions.”

Over the next few months, the city of Kingsport will see a drastic change in the leadership team that is now in place. “We are losing a knowledge base that is crucial to the future of Kingsport,” James explained. “We are seeing some turnover in leadership positions in the city staff and, by the time the election is over, Kingsport will have in place a new city CFO, City Manager, Mayor, and Development Services Director.

“Those elected to the BMA must be prepared to lead as soon as they take office,” James continued. “I'm prepared to use my experience and my knowledge as a small business owner to work diligently for the residents of Kingsport. I think it’s important to have small business representation on the board. We actually write the checks and are fully aware of what happens when you don’t manage your funds properly.”

“I’m running for BMA because I care about the future of Kingsport,” James added. “My family is here, my businesses are here, I married my amazing wife Crystal here, and our daughter is going to grow up here, and I want it to be a town that offers her a bright and successful future.”

In his professional life, James deals with a myriad of people from top executives to those who need maintenance done in their apartments. “I relate well to everyone,” he said with a smile, “which will make it easy to work with everyone on the board. I understand what is important to people and how I can make their daily lives much better. I sincerely believe that it's important to give back to my hometown and to be on the BMA will afford me that opportunity.”

James said, “My campaign slogan is, ‘Honoring the Past and Engaging the Future,’ and I believe Kingsport has a bright future.”

Paid for by the Committee to Elect James Phillips, Steve LaHair, Treasurer.

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