Meet a Member Featuring Phillip Harris

Title: Senior Communications Specialist

Company: Williams

Why do you love your job? The variety of work I do ensures there’s never a dull moment. From strategic oversight of the company’s intranet, to support for Information Technology, Business Ethics & Regulatory Compliance and Finance & Accounting, there are always new and challenging employee communications opportunities.

How long have you been a member of IABC? I’m quickly approaching my 20th year as an IABC member. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes, I first served on the IABC/Tulsa Board from 1998-2000 and then again from 2010-2017.

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? I’ve attended several great regional, national and international conferences, but the 2000 IABC District 5 conference in Tulsa still ranks pretty high on my list. Not only did I get a lot out of it as an attendee, I also gained valuable experience as part of the conference planning committee.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? Early on in my career, IABC presented many opportunities to grow outside of my immediate job. Participating on the IABC/Tulsa board is one example. Other examples include the outstanding regional and international conferences, as well as workshops and webinars.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? I love to travel. In the last four years I’ve been fortunate to visit Paris and the Normandy D-Day beaches in France; Munich, Germany; Salzburg and Vienna, Austria; and Krakow, Poland. While seeing historical landmarks in all these places was amazing, I think I have grown personally by reconciling misconceptions and generalizations that likely come from a lifetime of mass media influence. For example, contrary to what I thought Poland would look like in my mind’s eye, it was so much more beautiful with welcoming and engaging people, full of vibrant culture and delicious foods. And who would have ever guessed that Poland has an American-style football league? I met a couple from Warsaw who were in Krakow for an American-style football game between teams from the two cities – Warsaw Dukes vs. Krakow Kings. I was totally floored.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? My favorite stateside vacation spot is anywhere in the Florida panhandle. From Pensacola to Panama City, I’m a huge fan of the Emerald Coast and Hwy. 30A.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I’m such a music lover that it’s completely impossible for me to name one favorite musical artist. That said, Chris Stapleton, Foo Fighters, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan and Stone Temple Pilots are in regular rotation on my iPod.

Which website do you visit daily? Drudge Report

What is your favorite restaurant? Burn Co Barbecue

How will we recognize you at the next IABC function? I’ll be the guy sitting at the table closest to the desserts.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is…..Fairly safe from being overrun by robots with artificial intelligence.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Don’t hesitate to get involved with IABC and network with people.