MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The 2017 Lud Fiser Citizen of the Year for Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce is Representative Tom Phillips. The award was announced during the Manhattan Chamber’s Annual Meeting on Friday at Manhattan Conference Center.
Phillips is a proven leader in the Manhattan community who was first elected to public office in 2005 as a Manhattan City Commissioner. He proceeded to become Manhattan’s mayor in 2007.
Phillips was appointed to fill a Kansas House vacancy in 2012, and was re-elected to serve as representative in the 67th district of the Kansas House of Representatives. This year, Phillips was elected by peers to serve as assistant majority leader. In this role he assists incoming legislators to learn House processes and helps determine which bills advance for consideration.
Phillips also serves as vice chairman of the taxation committee and is a member of the Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee; and the Veterans and Military Committee.
Where local community efforts in Manhattan are concerned, Phillips has served as a member of the urban planning board, Riley County Law Board, and as an adjunct faculty member for K-State’s Regional and Community Planning. He has served as presidents of the United Way of Riley County, and Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan. A Leadership Manhattan and Flint Hills Leadership graduate, Phillips was recognized as Rotarian of the Year by the Manhattan-Konza Rotary Club in 2009.
Phillips was raised in Fort Scott before he attended Kansas State University, and eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography and master’s in regional and community planning. He went on to serve as the director of planning and development for the City of Lenexa before he moved with his wife and family to Manhattan and started his own consulting firm. Phillips learned as a child the values of hard work, honesty, family, faith and community.
The award is named in honor of long-tenured former Manhattan Chamber president Lud Fiser, who served from 1948 to 1975 and was responsible for such community developments as CiCo Park and Manhattan Industrial Park.