Jim Phillips owns the KBEC radio station, but his impact on the community expands well beyond its airwaves.
“He is so civic-minded,” said Ken Roberts, KBEC general manager, vice president and programming manager. While doing work in the community, he also keeps the radio station dialed into what’s happening in Waxahachie.
He has owned the radio station for about eight years now and gladly allows his employees to take the lead on projects around the office.
Phillips currently serves on the Waxahachie Planning and Zoning board, which listens to proposed developments or prospective business pitches to weed out the strays before the city council takes consideration. He also previously served on the Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees, has worked on multiple planning committees and acts as a political debate moderator and basketball color analyst when needed.
“His heart is making Waxahachie a better place for everyone,” Roberts added.
Though Phillips has many titles, the most recent he can add is as an Ellis County Hero for the “officials” category. The official category looked to recognize a member of a city, county, school district or other public administrative board, council or team. The individual does not have to be elected, but integral like Phillips.
Phillips invests his time in projects around the community, and he never expects any recognition while doing behind-the-scenes work, Roberts said.
“When he gets into a project, he is in it for the long haul,” he noted.
An example is The Railyard Park amphitheater being built on South College Street.
The amphitheater started as a project for a leadership class. The group planned on a $30,000 amphitheater which would — more or less — be a cement slab that later turned into a $3.3 million project after Phillips got involved, said Sandy King Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce president.
“He goes well beyond his position as a business owner,” King said.
The group went to Phillips for sponsorship and he said let’s do something more for the city.
At every point of the process, the group referred to Phillips and he guided them through, King added.
“He literally worked behind the scenes,” she said. Phillips let the students take the lead and work in the spotlight.
He works off a level of passion and is empathetic to the needs of others.
“He is the wind beneath the wings of many people,” King said.
When King mentions this to other people, nobody is surprised and even offer their own Phillips stories of service.
”Nothing is too big or too small for him to get involved full force,” King said. “Jim is the epitome of a servant leader.”
Mayor Kevin Strength said Phillips is heavily involved with Waxahachie sports, and as a member of the planning board he helps shape the future of the city. He does an outstanding job, Strength said.
He added that no matter what the project, Phillips cares and likes to be apart of the town.
As the Mayor, Strength has worked with Phillips for several years and is proud of the work he brings to Waxahachie.
“His heart is for the community,” he said. “He’s just the epitome of Waxahachie.”
Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty