Sustainability expert Felicia Phillips talks green initiatives and how her children inspire her

Felicia Phillips

Felicia Phillips is the managing partner of Fillips International, Inc. an Atlanta-based sustainability consulting and training firm that assists businesses with establishing the framework for their sustainable initiatives. As an entrepreneur for more than 20 years, Phillips has assisted in business development and raising capital for small and mid-sized businesses.

She will be speaking this weekend at the Green Business Expo, Friday and Saturday, August  23-24, 2013 at Philips Arena.

Here, the city of Atlanta’s April 2011 Phoenix Award recipient talks raising a son with autism, green initiatives and sustainability.

What inspires you to show up at work every day?
My children inspire me to continue my quest of educating people about the value of living a “green” lifestyle.

How did you determine your career path?
After my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, I was determined to find a way to help him. Well, I found a path to healing him by educating myself and what in our household might be affecting him. Due to those changes along with a lot of prayer and family support, I made it my life’s quest to show through my business how a healthy lifestyle and living sustainably can truly make a difference in a person’s wellbeing. My son is an honor student and functioning well because I decided to be the difference in his life.

What other industries connect to your career choice?
Amazingly, just about every industry has some type of green or sustainable initiative.

Describe the future skill sets that are essential to future business leaders and innovators?
Technology and the ability to communicate are not only essential, but mandatory.

Define innovation methods you apply to your business and life
I am a visionary. I first see it in my mind’s eye and then I meditate on why God gave me the vision and what am I supposed to do with it. I like to do vision mapping. In doing this, I line the walls of a room with oversized post-its and think strategically.

Describe goal setting methods you use and how do you evaluate your success?
People tend to look at the end result. The prize as their goal. But, how do you get there? I have an immediate, short-, mid- and long-term goal. This is how I determine, early on in the process, if success is going to be inevitable.

Who do you consider your peers in you field and offer support and best practices?
People who are eco-community activists, sustainable educators, groups like Atlanta Food & Farm Network, and other organizations that work to educate and elevate the communities thinking and way of life.

Name your role models for success in two industries?
Oprah Winfrey has overcome and conquered, yet remained graceful. Xenona Clayton is a trendsetter and successful business woman who provided an amazing platform for African Americans.

Names three books that changed how you saw life and you recommend to others?
Living Your Best Life – Joel Osteen
The Prophet – Khalil Gibran
The World is Flat – Thomas L. Friedman

Describe why life long learning is important to you?
No matter how “old” we are, we continue to learn and grow. There is no depth to knowledge and with knowledge you only get better.

Describe the voice of success that you hear in your head.
It is the voice of my great grandmother who was born in 1908 and never bit her tongue for anyone. She came to the city got an education, bought land, owned businesses and took the time to explain to me why being successful was so important. It is the voice of Ms. Mattie Hutchinson.

Success based on what you do in the community means what to you?
It means I am doing exactly what God had planned for me. Touching the lives of those who me the most to their family, friends and loved ones.

Technology plays what role in your daily life?
I didn’t realize how much of a tech junkie I am thanks to my family. My office has a Touchscreen PC, iPad, tablets, Mac, Samsung Note II, and the list goes on!

What software and tool of technology apps include has made the biggest difference in your life?
The iPad and smartphones in general keep me on task and organized.

How do music and cultural events define your self-identity?
Music has been a part of me since I can remember. Church, family gatherings, in my room, in the car, it’s the best form of expression!

Define your personal culture.
My personal culture is derived from my upbringing. Church, music, family, friends, entrepreneur, nature, good soul food, theatre.

Describe your favorite vacation spot.
White sand and blue water … anywhere!!

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
Greed and disregard for human life.

If you could change one thing about your self what would it be?
I am a work-a-holic! I am because I am so very passionate about this vision God has blessed me and trusted me to deliver.

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