While furthering his management career in the financial sector, Mr. Phillips served as CEO in Residence and Special Advisor to the Private Equity and Investment Banking Groups at Morgan Keegan & Co.
As Founding Chairman and Executive Director of the FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT), he led the establishment of this leading research park on the campus at the University of Memphis. Information Week called FIT “the technology industry’s newest center for innovation” and WIRED Magazine compared it to the Media Lab at MIT.
In 2004, Jim was named an Information Week Magazine “Innovator of the Year”. That same year, he became Chairman and CEO of Luminetx Corporation and led with his management team the development, FDA clearance, and commercialization of the breakthrough medical device he branded as the “VeinViewer” named by Time Magazine as “Coolest Medical Invention of the Year,” and Red Herring Magazine featured Luminetx Corporation at the top of the list of North America’s 100 Best Technology Startups in 2006 under Mr. Phillips leadership. VeinViewer is a mobile vascular imaging system that allows health care providers to clearly see accessible vasculature deeper and more accurately in real time directly on the surface of the skin. VeinViewer is the first and only vein illumination medical device that uses harmless nanoscale near infrared light, and other technologies to illuminate a real time HD digital image of subcutaneous vasculature and blood patterns directly onto the skin surface.
Jim also founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Snowflake Corporation – a leader in biometric identification technology awarded the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Innovation of the Year Award for the biometrics market.
Mr. Phillips personally named and branded VeinViewer, Luminetx, SkyTel, SkyPager, SkyWord, SkyTalk, SkyMail, PCS One, CellDock, CyberSurfer Cable Modem, the Surfboard Cable Modem, Snowflake Technologies, and the CPX (Cellular Phone Exchange), nGlide, nGuard, TriboTuff, GUARDx, AtomOil, AtomLube, and ElementX.
Among his many honors and awards, Jim has won the 2014 and 2016 Edison Award, 2013 R&D100 Award, 2014 Tibbetts Award, the CLIO Award, the BENNY Chairman’s Award, the University of Memphis Distinguished Graduate Award, the Fogelman College of Business Distinguished Executive of the Year, the Herff College of Engineering Distinguished Service Award, the National Golden Key Award, and was named Tennessee Businessman of the Year in 1999 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2006, he was inducted into the Memphis Entrepreneurial Society.
His innovative contributions and business leadership have been chronicled in many national publications including: Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, The Standard, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He has made numerous appearances on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, the BBC and CBS Morning News. His business affiliations include:
- Member, Council on Competitiveness (Executive Committee)
- Member U.S. Technology Leadership Council
- Member U.S. Manufacturing Initiative
- Trustee of National Health Museum
- Board Member Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (Audit, Compliance & Investment Committees)
- Board Member Texas A&M (TEES)
- Board Member The Curiosity Project (CuriosityStream.com)
- Trustee University of Memphis
- Trustee Memphis Music Foundation
- Board Member UM Herff College of Engineering
- Board Member UM Fogelman School of Business
- Board member United States Materials Genome
- Member, Memphis Entrepreneurial Society
- Vice Chairman – Memphis Chamber of Commerce
- Vice Chairman – Tennessee Technology Development Corp
- Co-Founder, past Chairman, Director-EmergeMemphis
- Board Member Bioworks Foundation
Jim holds BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Memphis, graduating with academic honors. As a student, he was President of the Tennessee Student Association, Cadet Commander of the largest ROTC Detachment in the U.S. and Vice President of the SGA. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant and attended Jet Pilot Training at Webb AFB in Texas. He was honored with the Professor of Aerospace Studies Award and the United States Air Force Distinguished Military Graduate Award.
Jim and Barbara Phillips (his wife of 40 years) have three sons, Parker, Preston & Palmer. Mr. Phillips is eternally grateful for the many brilliant colleagues, fellow employees, and wonderful friends that have made it possible for him to play a role, along with them, in launching companies and introducing new technologies and products that have made a positive contribution to society.