Former City Council Member David W. Phillips is among the newest members of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most valued and prestigious civilian honors and the state’s highest award for public service. Phillips received the award in recognition of his more than 20 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Concord and Cabarrus County.
Members of City Council, along with Mayor Bill Dusch, surprised Phillips during a special recognition and presentation of the award at the March council meeting.
“Not too many times in my life have I been at a loss of what to say, I’m overwhelmed,” said Phillips upon accepting the award. “Any contributions I’ve made over the last twenty-plus years is because I had a lot of good people helping me and working with me. I’m extremely humbled and grateful.”
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.
“I remember when this award was created in 1963,” said Phillips. “I thought at the time, when I read the qualifications to get it and be a recipient of it, ‘man, that would be something to have,’ never then did I think I would be standing here holding this today.”
Also present at the meeting were former Council Members Jim Ramseur and Ella Mae Small, former Mayor Scott Padgett, former City Manager Brian Hiatt, and former Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC) colleague Mark Fowler.
“Dave is extremely conscientious about his job – he takes it very seriously – and when I think about somebody that I would want to be a leader, the biggest thing I think about is integrity, and he is a man of integrity,” said Padgett.
Born and raised in Concord, Phillips retired from Duke Energy Carolinas with 36 years of service. During his 20 years on Concord City Council (1995-2015), he served two terms as Mayor Pro Tem. In 2018, the city named a new activity center in his honor, The David W. Phillips Activity Center at 946 Burrage Rd NE. The following year, Phillips returned to City Council when he was appointed to fill the District 1 vacancy left by the passing of former Council Member Sam Leder. Phillips also served on the WSACC board for over 20 years. He is a member and former president and director of the Concord Rotary Club, member of the UNCC Alumni Association, and life member of the National Eagle Scout Association.