Mayor Phillips was elected Mayor of Kingsport in May of 2005 garnering more than 60% of the votes and then re-elected in May 2007 and 2009 without opposition. After serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 through 1967, Mayor Phillips moved to Kingsport in 1967 and joined Western and Southern Life Insurance. He then joined Kingsport National Bank in 1968. In 1974, he became a loan officer for the Bank of Tennessee and later became Vice-President, President and C.E.O. of the Bank of Tennessee. In 1987, he was appointed Commissioner of Banking for the State of Tennessee by then Governor Ned Ray McWherter. Mayor Phillips started Chef’s Pizzeria in 1990 and Express Signs and DRP Rentals in 1992, which are small businesses that started from an idea and are now thriving downtown Kingsport businesses. Mayor Phillips attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin and Memphis State University.