Each month, IABC/Tulsa features one of its members in the “Meet A Member” section of the newsletter. In this issue, we learn more about Phillip Harris, who returned home to Tulsa recently after calling the Dallas-Fort Worth area home for the last 10 years.
IABC/Tulsa: Welcome back to Green Country, Phillip. So, why did you decide to move back to Oklahoma after all of these years?
Phillip: My wife and I are from here and our families live here. When we left Tulsa in 2000, we were newlyweds without children. Now that we have two daughters, we were all ready to be closer to our families. I was excited to get an offer from Williams.
IABC/Tulsa: Isn’t this your second tour of duty at Williams? What’s it like to go back to work for the same employer after 10 years?
Phillip: The business culture feels similar to what I remember and there are still quite a few familiar and friendly faces around here. But, it was a little surreal walking into the BOK Tower for the interview and for my first day. It was just familiar enough, though, that it sort of felt like home.
IABC/Tulsa: So how long have you been a member of IABC?
Phillip: I’ve been an IABC member for 12 years – including two years with IABC/Tulsa. From 1999 to 2000, I served IABC/Tulsa as vice president of special projects. I was responsible for the 2000 Bronze Quill Awards, “A View to a Quill.”
IABC/Tulsa: What is the best IABC meeting/seminar/conference you have ever attended?
Phillip: I’ve attended several great regional and international conferences, but the 2000 IABC District 5 conference in Tulsa, 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.
IABC/Tulsa: Over the years, how has IABC helped with your professional development?
Phillip: 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 and workshops as well as occasional webinars.
IABC/Tulsa: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Phillip: I’m content hanging out with my wife and daughters; and I love watching college football and basketball.
IABC/Tulsa: What’s your favorite restaurant?
Phillip: Hard Eight Barbecue in Coppell, Texas. I can smell the mesquite wood burning now.
IABC/Tulsa: How about your favorite vacation spot?
Phillip: The warm, emerald Gulf waters of Northwest Florida – from Pensacola to Panama City Beach. Give me a lounge chair in the sugar white sand and a cooler full of ice cold Newcastle Brown Ale and I’m good.
IABC/Tulsa: The future of the field of communications…
Phillip: … will continue to evolve as blogging, social media, wireless devices, handheld video cameras and the immediacy of the Internet allow the masses to communicate ‘round the clock in a constantly connected world.
IABC/Tulsa: What advice would you give to communications professionals who are just entering the workforce?
Phillip: Get involved with IABC and network as much as you can. You’ll gain valuable experience and you never know when you might need to call on your fellow members for their advice or help.