Jackson County Native Builds Business Empire,

Returns Home to Share Experiences from New Autobiography


Much of what William T. (Bill) Phillips learned about being an entrepreneur was instilled in him as a young boy growing up on the family farm in Tuckerman, Arkansas. There weren’t a lot of technological advances around in the 1940s to increase crop yield, so one had to rely on one’s innovation.


One day, Bill’s grandfather shared an idea with young Bill about improving irrigation to the crops by digging wells in the field, with the objective, of course, to produce more crops. The two of them decided to put the plan into action and, over a short period of time, Bill’s grandfather significantly increased crop yield and out-produced all the other farms in the area.


“My grandfather was the first true entrepreneur I ever encountered,” said Bill. “Simply being around him was enough to inspire me.”


Today, Bill Phillips is the 77-year-old founder and chairman of Phillips Service Industries, Inc. (PSI), a collection of technologically-advanced companies that generate $130 million in revenue each year, serving industries like aerospace, defense, automotive and alternative energy. One of Bill’s companies, Beaver Aerospace & Defense, provided a state-of-the-art motion control solution for the US Air Force to help improve homeland security at hundreds of missile silos throughout the country.  


"One of the great things about America is the entrepreneurial spirit of our country. And Mr. Phillips is an entrepreneur,” said George W. Bush, former President of the United States. “And one of the things we’ve got to do in America is keep that entrepreneurial spirit alive and well.”  


On November 9, Phillips made an appearance at Arkansas State University-Newport to talk about his new autobiography, "An American Entrepreneur," as part of the school’s Concert-Lecture Series. Phillips’ book shares real-world experiences gleaned from a career spent innovating and shaping American industry.


“Bill Phillips is one of the greatest entrepreneurs I have ever met,” said Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., owner of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. “I always considered myself an entrepreneur, not afraid to take risks, but Bill passed me headed for the end zone.”



News & Events Archive - View Pictures from Aug. 14th Book Signing
















“One of the great things about America is the entrepreneurial spirit of our country. And Mr. Phillips is an entrepreneur. And one of the things we’ve got to do in America is keep that entrepreneurial spirit alive and well.”

George W. Bush
former President of the United States




“Bill Phillips reminds us all of what it is that makes America. He is a classic entrepreneur who has used his talent, perseverance, willingness to take risks, and strong work ethic to create something bigger than himself.”


David Brandon, University of Michigan Athletic Director

and former Chairman and CEO of Domino’s Pizza, Inc.











The Book
"An American Entrepreneur"
by William T. Phillips
is now available for

purchase on  

"Readers Favorite"
4 Star Rating 
Bill Phillips describes his childhood in Detroit and how his needs for achievement motivated him to take advantage of opportunity and indeed, to create opportunity to meet his own needs. While in the Air Force, he learned hydraulic engineering skills which would carry him from one job to the next while he built up financial backing to start his own company.

There is no doubt in the mind of the reader that Bill Phillips is a self-made man. Although some of his decisions might appear on the surface as highly self-serving, he nonetheless did what he had to do to create his own company and to acquire companies which could help to diversity his investment.

Mr. Phillips talks kindly and lovingly of his family, but it becomes clear that much was sacrificed in the building of his financial empire. The author's conclusion of "If I can do it, anyone can do it" is open to question as many individuals lack the makeup to facilitate the building of his empire. Nevertheless, this is a man to be admired for his motivation and his ability to carry through with his dreams.

Midwest Book Review
5 out of 5 Stars

A choice pick for any biography collection, September 11, 2010

You don't need an ivy league education to be wildly successful. "An American Entrepreneur" is a biography of Bill Phillips, an Arkansas farm boy who became a juggernaut in science and national defense. Telling his remarkable story of how he clawed up, fought in wars, and made his way up the corporate ladder, "An American Entrepreneur" is a choice pick for any biography collection, especially those looking for business leader memoirs.