Dan L. Phillips
Class of 2009
Dan Phillips worked his way up the ranks of the George J. Howe Co., starting as administrative assistant to the president before becoming vice-president general manager and finally president and COO, his current position. His colleagues say he has a strong character, keeps his word and continually finds the best ways to merchandise confectionery for manufacturers and consumers alike. He is applauded for negotiating fair costs, providing insight on current and upcoming trends and truly caring about the companies with which he works. Born October 3, 1948, Dan grew up in Hot Springs, VA, and attended Valley High School. He enrolled in Furman University in Greenville, SC, where he played baseball and received a B.A. in business administration and economics. He has been married to Valerie since 1981, and has three children, Carrie, Jonathan and Elizabeth. His career in retail began in 1971 with Sears Roebuck and Co., where he worked as department manager and store computer coordinator. He joined George Howe in 1977 and says he looks forward to arriving at work every day for a company that has provided him the freedom to achieve personal and corporate goals. Dan has no career regrets, and describes the industry as “vibrant and exciting.” One of his most memorable moments was closing the initial sale for George Howe’s biggest retail customer, mostly because of the effort of several manufacturers. He notes the biggest change in the industry over the years has been the retail marketplace, as non-traditional retailers have opened up new avenues for all types of candy merchandising. He names Ernest May, George Howe chairman and a 2004 inductee into the Candy Hall of Fame, as having a major influence on his career, describing him as “a leader any manager should emulate with great respect for his peers and employees.” Dan advises others to arrive at work each day with a cheerful and energizing attitude, and to constantly enhance their knowledge about the industry and the world around them. Dan is active on the NCA Buyers’ Advisory Committee. He attends the East Main Presbyterian Church and belongs to the Grove City Country Club. Dan enjoys golfing and hunting.