Our Founder

Ted Phillips

A Fearless Leader with a
Compassionate Heart

Our founder Ted Phillips had no idea when he took on a small clearing job at seventeen that it would become his life’s work, or that this work would eventually grow into one of the largest contractors of its kind in the country. Under Ted’s leadership, P&J expanded into one of the 200 largest contractors in the United States with annual revenues of one-half billion dollars and more than 1,000 employees. 

From Ted, we get our pioneering spirit, our love of a challenge, and our creative solutions to problems on the job site. His mountain upbringing taught him how to go far with just a little, to roll with the punches, and make quick and profitable pivots on everything from customizing equipment to applying our skills to new and emerging markets. 

Most importantly, Ted believed in building P&J together as a community project. He was fond of asking everyone from laborers in the field to executives in the boardroom, “What do you do best?” and encouraging them to bring their unique skill set to each job site, bid, or venture. This is the foundation on which we’ve built today’s P&J, and we are committed to carrying Ted’s philosophies with us into the next seven decades.

Ted led the daily operations of P&J until 2010 when he entrusted stewardship of the organization to his wife, Avis Phillips. He continued his service as Director and Chairman Emeritus until his death in 2018. Avis, an accomplished business leader and innovator in her own right, continues Ted’s legacy in her leadership of the formidable enterprise.

In addition to his professional interests, Ted supported numerous educational opportunities for young men and women. He and Avis created the Ted Phillips Scholarship Fund for Construction Management at Western Carolina University, and the Ted and Avis Phillips Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund at Lincoln Memorial University.

Ted Phillips, Founder

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