Phil Phillips, CEcD/PhD
Chief Economic Development Strategist
Phil Phillips is an experienced economic development professional and strategic planner with a diverse background in economic development, technology transfer and corporate site selection. He has managed hundreds of projects including corporate site selections, community and state development strategies and business retention and expansion projects.
While at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce from 1995 through 2012, Phil helped to design and implement Omaha’s aggressive GO! (Greater Omaha) economic development initiative and the prior Target Omaha program.) The GO! program is funded at $3 million per year, of which 95% comes from the private sector. He managed the Greater Omaha Chamber’s business retention and expansion efforts from 1995 through 2011. From 2004 through 2011, a total of 169 existing Omaha businesses assisted by the GO! program created or retained over 14,000 jobs and generated over $2 billion in new investment.
Phil played a leading role in developing the Nebraska Advantage incentive program in 2005. To date, a total of 339 applications have been submitted under the Advantage Act, which resulted in over $8.4 billion of investment. In addition to nearly 20,000 net new jobs already created under these applications and a projected 37,455 net additional jobs will be created from 2016 to 2022.
Prior to joining the Greater Omaha Chamber, Phil spent 12 years in the higher education as Director of the Office of Corporate Relations and Community Development at the University of Illinois, and as a faculty member at the University of Kentucky. The University of Illinois Office of Corporate Relations and Community Development assisted in the creation of 31 spin-out technology based companies.
Phil began his economic development career with the Fantus Company as a site selection consultant, directing the relocation of major corporate operations throughout the U.S. and in Mexico, and assisting states and communities throughout the U.S. to position themselves for growth and expansion.
Phil is a personable and knowledgeable executive with the ability to engage top corporate leaders in helping shape a community’s economic future. He earned his BA and MA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his PhD at the University of Minnesota.
Phil and his wife Betsy live in Omaha where he serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he teaches courses on economic development and corporate site selection. Betsy is a utilization manager for the Nebraska Medical Center. Phil and Betsy are avid readers, hikers and movie goers and enjoy spelunking (exploring caves).