By Jennifer Erb
2016-08-262016-09-01https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Dan Phillips came to college thinking he wanted to be a doctor so he started as a major in Chemistry. As he thought about his career, he felt that becoming a doctor would not give him the career flexibility he wanted. He chose an Industrial Engineering career because he liked the many career opportunities that IE degree provided.
Dan began his career with the local power company, Mon Power, where he worked for 15 years. Today he is Vice President of NRG, the largest electricity provider in the United States. From his time at Mon Power to his current position, Dan made a series of career moves each offering increased responsibility and authority. When asked about how the career moves affected his family Dan commented that: “the kids make new friends in just a few days.” Since his wife is a nurse, she could also find new positions fairly easily.
The threshold moment for Dan’s career was when he was transferred to lead the toughest regional office at Mon Power. He was 27 years old. He was able to turnaround the office by listening to the employees and developing a recovery plan.
Another key moment in his career was when he worked for the Southern Company. He was asked to develop two business opportunities in the Caribbean and in the Philippines. These assignments required considerable financial modeling and negotiations and were highly visible to senior management.
Dan is especially proud of an initiative that he led after Hurricane Katrina. This effort was part of a global giving function. Dan helped install a solar power system in a school in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans and installed a covered playground.
Dan sees two challenges in the college graduates he hires. First are the “know-it- alls”, typically from prestigious schools. The second are the graduates who are afraid to ask questions. Dan believes that people learn from their mistakes, but the successful graduates won’t make the same mistake again.
Dan credits the IE program as giving him the foundation he has needed for his entire career. “The thought processes I developed as well as my listening skills have been critical,” he says.
Dan is currently the Vice President of Development for the Gulf States Region of NRG Energy. He is responsible for directing the day to day development activities related to region strategy – including: asset expansion, new project development, project acquisition, and development of new business and project opportunities and contacts. Direct and oversee the key support functions needed to execute the development strategy, including internal and external resources to support permitting, engineering, etc.
Prior to this position he spent over 3 years at Southern Power (the unregulated subsidiary of the Southern Company) were he was responsible for acquisitions and business development for external markets.) Dan was responsible for originating acquisition opportunities, and overall project management of the acquisition process. In addition he was responsible for strategy development and new business and project development opportunities.
Prior to Southern Dan spent 8 plus years at Mirant where he had both domestic and international experience. His responsibilities were strategic transactions, business and project management along with asset management around Mirant’s PJM business unit, project development work in the Caribbean, Philippines and origination and development in the East Coast, Mid-Continent and Southern regions of the US (MISO, PJM, SERC, etc…).
Prior to Mirant included 2 plus years with Engage Energy (subsidiary of Coastal Corporation and Westcoast Energy at the time) as Executive Director of Structured Power. There he was responsible for US marketing efforts and assisted both parent generation development efforts. Prior to Engage, Dan was at Allegheny Energy for 15 years with various parts of the company including the distribution utility and the unregulated marketing subsidiary.
Dan is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and has taken executive education course work at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.