MAT-SU—Eric Phillips has 20 plus years of management experience that touches all aspects of his new job as the Community Development Director at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Land & resource management, trails, libraries and recreation will be under his care.
Most recently, Phillips served five years as the Assistant City Manager of Valdez, the home of the unconscionable 437 inches of snowfall this winter. “I lived and breathed snow. A photo of my Suburban beneath 12-15 feet of snow moved around the state. I was busy protecting my house, and working at an EOC (Emergency Operations Center.) I still have seven feet of it in my yard,” Phillips said on May 1, newly transplanted to the Mat-Su.
Before Valdez, Phillips worked for five years as the Economic Development Director in Petersburg. One of his standout projects is the ½ million pounds of cold storage provided by a blast freeze and cold storage unit. Phillips secured the state/federal grants and oversaw the construction. Petersburg is a seafood community. The infrastructure created momentum for the small commercial fisherman to store the fish and process it later. The large commercial operators could store fish for extra capacity before heading south. And the individual fisherman could have a cache for bait.
Originally from Idaho, Phillips earned a B.S. in Communications. He earned his Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis on environment and natural resources administration. He worked his way through his undergrad years with the U.S Forest Service, building and repairing trails, and fighting wildland fires.
He worked for several years at a non-profit in Idaho, Clearwater Economic Development Association, helping small communities with economic development plans and infrastructure build up. “I’m accustomed to not having all the resources we think we might need to get the job done,” Phillips said.
Phillips is just a day on the job and is quick to request maps of the trails and land leases and projects, so he can get to work.
For more information call Community Development Director Eric Phillips at 745-9634, or
or Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan at
. Photo of Eric Phillips by Stefan Hinman, Media Design Specialist.