George Conoly Phillips Papers, 1909-2010 | Special Collections and University Archives
The collection is broken down into the following series: I: Auto Dealership; II. Religious Activities; III. Community/Civic Memberships and Activities; IV. Political Activities; V. Personal Information; VI. Writing and Speeches; VII: Multimedia; VIII. Artifacts; and IX. Oversize.
Series I: Auto Dealership. This series is divided into seven sub-series related to the Phillips Auto Dealership. Specifically, this series contains information relating to the day to day running of the dealership. Sub-series A: Advertising and Marketing; B: Finances; C: Leases, Contracts, and other Agreements; D: Personnel, Policies, Procedures, and Customer Relations; E: Automotive Associations; F: Correspondence; and G: Miscellaneous.
Sub-series A: Advertising and Marketing. This sub-series includes information on Phillips "Very Simple Business"; letters of correspondence on this campaign from Leon Shaffer Golnick Advertising, Inc.; several folders of television and radio spots, and other marketing plans from the Matthius and Redmond Advertising Agency from May 1972 to August 1974; Market Surveys; newspaper ad clippings; promotional material for various Lincoln-Mercury automobiles; Ford Lincoln-Mercury Advertising Bulletins from October 1972 to May 1974; information on the 1972 Auto Show at the Norfolk Scope; information on advertising via the Scope's Tele-Spot electronic sign; information on advertising in the Yellow Pages, on billboards, and by other advertising venues; as well as news articles and press releases on such events as the merger of Conoly Phillips Lincoln Mercury with Freedom Automotive in 1999. Materials date from 1959 to 1999.
Sub-series B: Finances. This sub-series includes property appraisals from the 1970s through the 1990s; audits from 1981 to 1996; city taxes and licenses from January 1957 to April 1965; monthly and yearly financial statements dating from July 1957 to March 1997; insurance policies and information from 1964 to 1981; real estate deeds and purchase information for the dealership; receipts from the 1970s and 1980s; sales records from June 1962 to December 1963; stock information for the dealership from 1955 to 1996; Virginia Corporate Tax Returns for 1959 and 1960, State and Federal Tax Returns for 1963 and 1965; trend control boards of profits for 1971 and 1974; a checkbook ledger from 1956 to 1957; 1973 Expense Accounts; Bank/Loan paperwork; contributions to various non-profit organizations from 1969 to 1972; 1970 travel and miscellaneous expense reports; and 1970 monthly order worksheets. Material dates from 1955 to 2009.
Sub-series C: Leases/Contracts/Agreements. The first several folders contain Conoly and Tench Phillips initial agreements and paperwork for founding Phillips Brothers, and agreements made between the two brothers regarding the business thereafter. They include personal financial statements, leases, newspaper articles related to the formation of Phillips Brothers Automoville. These materials date from 1958 to 1979. The remainder of this sub-series includes leases from the 1950s to the 1980s; a Business Certificate dated March 9, 1969; Contracts and agreements from 1957 to 1975 with the Ford Motor Company, Daimler, Dayton Tire and Rubber Company, Multra Music, and Macke Vending Services; History Dealer Agreements from 1957 to 1963; correspondence and memos from the Ford Motor Company and Ford's Lincoln-Mercury Division from 1968 to 1973; Dealer Tag agreements for demo models 1970-1972; various plans and agreements related to the dealership building and building maintenance; agreements for and purchases of office equipment and supplies; warrants for check fraud from 1978 to 1980; the Computerized Automotive Reporting Service (C.A.R.S.) 1970 to 1974; and information on various automatic car washes for auto dealerships. Material dates from 1957 to 2005.
Sub-series D: Personnel, Policies, Procedures, Customer Relations. This sub-series includes employee listings from 1970 to 1973; job descriptions, management initiated memos, policies and procedures from September 1969 to December 1973; Personnel policies and procedures related to Life insurance, hiring policies, and a memo regarding the Equal Employment Executive Order 11246; Ford Marketing and Dealership Training; Go, Inc. training, seminars, and products; Employee awards, prizes, and sales incentives; Multiple Personal Inventory employee testing from the Marketing Survey and Research Corporation; Sample employment applications; resumes and resignations; notes on effective management; Phillips Oldsmobile newsletters from May 1971 to November 1972; Information on labor relations with an emphasis on curtailing labor union activity; and correspondence to and from customers from April 1968 to November 1973.
Sub-series E: Automotive Associations. This sub-series contains information related to professional automotive associations, including: the Automotive Trade Association of Virginia, the Continental “100 Club," the Lincoln Mercury Dealer Association Southeast, the National Automobile Dealers Association; the National Dealer Council; and the Tidewater Dealers Association. Also included are Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Directories for 1970 and 1971. These materials include newsletters, bulletins, correspondence, pamphlets, and convention programs. Material dates from 1963 to 1991.
Sub-series F: Correspondence. This sub-series contains correspondence for Phillips Bros. Rambler in 1964, Conoly Phillips Lincoln Mercury from 1969 to 1976, and for select years in the 1990s. Topics include: insurance, taxes, electric vehicles, office equipment, Virginia codes, donations to charities, retail rates, construction, advertising, and customer letters. Also included are 1997 letters and cards of congratulations for the opening of a new dealership in Cheasapeake and a 1999 letter from Pat Robertson to Conoly Phillips regarding the selling of Phillips’ dealership.
Sub-series G: Miscellaneous. This sub-series contains professional awards, including the 40 Year Achievement Award for Conoly Phillips in 1999, the Lincoln Mercury Milestone '72 Award , and the 1991 Chairman’s Award; magazines featuring Conoly Phillips including Dealer World Magazine from 1989 and 1997 and the Ford Merchandising School Forum magazine from 1956; magazine and newsletter subscription correspondence from 1969 to 1973; handwritten notes; and a Phillips Bros. Lincoln Mercury postcard.
Series II: Religious Activities. This series is broken into eight sub-series: Sub-series A. Churches; Sub-series B. Christian Correspondence; Sub-series C. Evangelical Caucus; D. Leadership Prayer Breakfast; E. Newsletters, Articles, and Speech Materials; F. Televangelists; and G. Miscellaneous.
Sub-series A: Churches. This sub-series contains material related to his church activity in the First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, as well as church programs from his presentations at other churches. Included are church programs, committee information, pamphlets, and conference information. Also included is information on the church school. Phillips was active in his church. He made presentations, was ordained as a deacon in 1959, and served as superintendent of the church school in the 1960s. Material dates from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Sub-series B: Christian Correspondence. This sub-series contains religious correspondence dated from 1969 to 2002. Letters represent Conoly Phillips’ religious views and activities. Topics include: the 1969 Billy Graham Crusade; Campus Crusade for Christ; the Christian Broadcasting Network; Conoly Phillips’ speaking engagements to churches; witnessing; and various Christian conferences, retreats, and events.
Sub-series C: Evangelical Caucus. This sub-series contains materials related to the Evangelical Caucus, an organization formed to advance Christian principles in politics, government, and public affairs. Included are: by-laws; correspondence; financial statements and tax information; a newsletter; mailing lists and members information; promotional materials; and news clippings. Material dates from 1978 to 1983.
Sub-series D: Leadership Prayer Breakfast. Originally named the “Tidewater Mayors Prayer Breakfast,” the Leadership Prayer Breakfast was “an opportunity for community leaders to come together to recognize Gods’ authority and to pray for our communities.” It was sponsored by the Law Enforcement Officers Fellowship. Other prayer breakfasts are also represented. This sub-series contains programs, correspondence, meeting minutes, contact lists, and notes. Material dates from 1979 to 2001.
Sub-series E: Newsletters, Articles, and Speech Materials. This sub-series contains speeches by Conoly Phillips as well as notes and annotated resource articles. Topics include but are not limited to Christian criticism of Secular Humanism and the Equal Rights Amendment; AIDS; America’s youth; morality; Christian leadership; Christian involvement in politics; and pornography. Most of the material in this sub-series is not dated.
Sub-series F: Televangelists. This sub-series includes correspondence, articles, newsletters, and information on donations to televangelists including Pat Robertson of the the Christian Broadcasting Network and Billy Graham. Of note is an oral history of Conoly Phillips on his involvement in the 1974 Billy Graham Crusade. Materials date from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Sub-series G: Miscellaneous. This sub-series contains miscellaneous religious material including materials related to the Tidewater Proclaim Evangelistic Association; the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship; the Regent University Board of Trustees; and prayer petitions from an unspecified prayer group. Material dates from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Series III: Community and Civic Memberships and Activities. This series contains ten sub-series on the community and civic activities of Conoly Phillips. Sub-series A: Better Business Bureau; B: Boy Scouts; C: Chamber of Commerce; D: Norfolk Symphony; E: Rotary Club; F. SPSA; G: United Community Fund; H. Union Mission; I: United Drug Abuse Council; and J: Miscellaneous.
Sub-series A: Better Business Bureau. This sub-series contains materials related to the Tidewater Better Business Bureau, and includes correspondence from 1969 to 1973, plans, 1970-72 budgets reports, 1970 and 1972 Roster of Officers and Directors, pamphlets, 1972-73 Annual Report, newspaper article related to 1968 Officer elections, and minutes from 1973 Board of Directors meetings. Material dates from 1969 to 1973.
Sub-series B: Boy Scouts. This sub-series contains materials related to the Tidewater Council of Boy Scouts, and includes materials regarding planning and development, committees, a Boy Power/Man Power Booklet and folder, facts, 1967 Annual Report, Scout Camp Posters, and the1969 Operating Budget. Material dates from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s.
Sub-series C: Chamber of Commerce. This sub-series includes Norfolk Chamber of Commerce Statement of Receipts and Expenditures dated July 31, 1969, an article in March 1970 New Norfolk Magazine, a 1973 bulletin, a 1973 letter; and National Chamber of Commerce pamphlets. Material dates from 1969 to 1973.
Sub-series D: Norfolk Symphony. This sub-series contains items related to the Norfolk Symphony subscription campaign and advertising in the Symphony program in 1968. Material dates from 1968 to 1969.
Sub-series E: Rotary Club. This sub-series contains material related to the Northside Norfolk Rotary Club. Included are correspondence; contact lists; a June 1969 article announcing that Conoly Phillips was named Rotarian of the Year; programs including a 1962 installation of officers and the 1964 Golden Anniversary of the club; and notes for a March 1987 talk before the Rotary Club. With the exception of the 1987 talk, most of these materials date from the 1960s and early 1970s.
Sub-series F: SPSA. This sub-series contains materials for the Southeastern Public Service Authority, an organization concerned with regional waste management. Conoly Phillips served as Chairman beginning in 1997. Materials include studies and reports; newsletters; and correspondence. Material dates from 1995 to 2000.
Sub-series G: United Community Fund. This sub-series contains materials related to the United Community Fund. Included are by-laws, agendas and minutes, annual reports and budgets, board of directors’ listings, and correspondence. Material dates from 1970 to 1976.
Sub-series H: Union Mission. This sub-series contains materials related to the Union Mission. Included is a March 1990 Board of Directors listing; and undated programs from the dedication of the Union Mission Children’s Home in Virginia Beach and to their 86th Anniversary celebration.
Sub-series I: United Drug Abuse Council. This sub-series contains materials related to the United Drug Abuse Council of Norfolk. Included are meeting agendas and minutes, grant and financial data, budgets for 1973 to 1974, mailing lists, personnel lists and resumes, by-laws, organization information, programs, reports, and correspondence for 1972 and 1973.
Sub-series J: Miscellaneous. This sub-series contains information for community and civic memberships where the amount of information did not merit creating a full sub-series for the organization. This sub-series also contains a folder of resignations from organizations. Organizations include: the Tidewater Advertising Review Board, the American Cancer Society, CBU Epworth Camp, Hampton Roads 5% Club, Harbor Club, Hospital of the Kings Daughters, Mallory Country Club, Norfolk Junior Chamber of Commerce, Seratoma Club, University of Georgia Alumni Chapter, VDOT Tunnel Advisors Committee, Arglabin Development Program, and the VRMA Board of Directors. Material dates from 1964 to 2011.
Series IV: Political Activities. This series is composed of seven sub-series: Sub-series A: Political Correspondence; B: Delegate Listings; C: Democratic Mass Meetings; D: Norfolk City Council Business; E: Norfolk City Council Race; F: U.S. Senate Campaign 1978; and G: Miscellaneous.
Sub-series A: Political Correspondence. This sub-series contains political and civic correspondence dated in 1942 and then from August 1969 to December 1973 on issues such as the H.R. 13270 Tax Reform bill, the Postal Reform bill, and the Clean Air Act of 1970, as well as various Hampton Roads concerns. Also included are letters to Conoly Phillips from senators from the 1980s and 1990s.
Sub-series B: Delegate Listings. This sub-series contains six folders of delegate listings for Congressional voting districts in Virginia in 1978.
Sub-series C: Democratic Mass Meetings. This sub-series contains material related to the Virginia Democratic Mass Meetings, the Tidewater Democratic Mass Meetings, and the Democratic State Convention in 1978. Included are pledges of commitment, procedures and rules, objectives, delegates elected, agendas, returns, organizational summaries, and correspondence.
Sub-series D: Norfolk City Council Business. This sub-series contains material from Conoly Phillips time on the Norfolk City Council. Included are correspondence, budgets, reports, press releases, articles, projects and proposals, and materials related to the Finance and Infrastructure Committee. Material dates from 1977 to 2002.
Sub-series E: Norfolk City Council Race. This sub-series contains material from Conoly Phillips campaigns for Norfolk City Council for the years: 1976, 1980, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, and 2000. Included are correspondence; cards and letters of support and congratulations; speeches; campaign committee agendas; press releases; campaign materials; commitment schedules; information on budgets, donations, and expenditures; contact and mailing lists; candidate petitions; articles; and polling information.
Sub-series F: U.S. Senate Campaign 1978. This sub-series contains material from Conoly Phillips unsuccessful 1978 campaign for the U.S. Senate. Phillips claimed he felt God had “called” him to run in this campaign. Included are correspondence; contact lists; notes; press releases; articles; campaign materials; voter pledge forms; travel itineraries; expense reports; religious newsletters featuring Conoly Phillips; materials related to the Democratic Convention; Phillips stands on the issues; campaign strategy; biographical information on Phillips; and material related to other candidates.
Sub-series G: Miscellaneous. This sub-series contains miscellaneous material related to Conoly Phillips’ political career. Material includes correspondence with the Embassy of the USSR from 1989 to 1991; a 1987 real estate holdings disclosure; a non-dated Chesapeake City Council newsletter; and an undated biography for Admiral Carlisle A.H. Trost.
Series V: Personal Information. This series is broken into seven sub-series: Sub-series A: Agendas; Sub-series B: Personal Correspondence; Sub-series C: Education; Sub-series D: Family; E: Finances; F: Real Estate; and G: Miscellaneous.
Sub-series A: Agendas.This sub-series contains personal agendas and business related items for Phillips. Material dates from 1965 to 2010.
Sub-series B: Personal Correspondence. This sub-series contains personal correspondence to and from friends and business contacts for the period of November 1968 to November 1973; and Christmas letters and contact lists for the 1970s through the 1990s.
Sub-series C: Education. This sub-series contains material related to Conoly Phillips education. Included are materials related to his childhood and elementary education from the 1930s and 1940s; his high school graduation and 50th reunion from Maury High; his service in the Air Force for the years 1952 to 1955; and his college years at the University of Georgia for the years 1949 to 1953.
Sub-series D: Family. This sub-series contains material related to Conoly Phillips family members including his wife, Betsy Ferebee Phillips; his daughter, Charlotte; and his niece, Julie. Material includes correspondence, articles, and children’s art. Most of the material in this sub-series is not dated.
Sub-series E: Finances. This sub-series includes personal financial statements, investments, and stock information for Conoly Phillips. Material dates from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Sub-series F: Real Estate. This sub-series includes real estate deeds, transfers, and correspondence for North Carolina properties including Walnut Island, Snug Harbor, and Glenn Cove. Material dates from the 1970s and 1980s.
Sub-series G: Miscellaneous. This sub-series includes handwritten and typed notes, e-mails, as well as personal agreements for the 1950s.
Series VI: Writing and Speeches. This series consists of three sub-series: Sub-series A: Writing; Sub-series B: Speeches; and Sub-series C: Speech Notes and Annotated Source Materials.
Sub-series A: Writing. This sub-series contains writing, papers, and drafts by Conoly Phillips. Included are editorials on the role of higher education and on morals for the ODU Mace and Crown student newspaper; and student papers for business management courses at ODU. Materials date from 1976 to 1978.
Sub-series B: Speeches. This sub-series includes speeches and presentations made by Conoly Phillips as Norfolk City Councilman, as well as annotated speeches by other people. Topics include: Norfolk history; Norfolk redevelopment; and the Norfolk City budget.
Sub-series C: Speech Notes and Annotated Source Materials. This sub-series contains annotated source materials and notes for speeches, writings, and presentations by Conoly Phillips. Topics include: cities, integration, politics, and public schools. Materials date from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Series VII: Multimedia. This series contains multimedia materials, and is broken into the following sub-series: A: Audio Cassettes; B: Compact Discs; C: Floppy Discs; D: Reel Tapes; E. VHS and Betamax Tapes; and F: Photographs.
Sub-series A: Audio Cassettes. This sub-series contains audio cassettes related to Conoly Phillips 1978 Senate campaign and a "Men's Prayer Breakfast" speech by Conoly Phillips.
Sub-Series B: Compact Discs. This series contains compact discs containing computer data, including advertising spots for Conoly Phillips automotive business and an architecture dealership design tour.
Sub-series C: Floppy Discs. This sub-series contains floppy disks containing automotive and dealership logos.
Sub-series D: Reel Tapes. This sub-series contains reel tapes containing advertising spots for Conoly Phillips automotive business.
Sub-series E: VHS and Betamax Tapes. This sub-series contains VHS and Betamax tapes containing interviews and presentations from Conoly Phillips political career including his time on the Norfolk City Council and his 1978 bid for the U.S. Senate.
Sub-series F: Photographs. This sub-series contains photographs. Photos relate to all areas of Conoly Phillips’ life including: his automotive dealerships; his political career; his education and personal life; and his religious involvements. Materials date from the 1940s to the 2000s.
Series VIII: Artifacts. This series contains Conoly Phillips Lincoln-Mercury promotional materials, political buttons, awards and plaques, as well as blueprints and plans for the Harbor's Edge Retirement Community.
Series IX: Oversize. This series contains oversize scrapbooks, posters, photos, awards, and maps.
George Conoly Phillips was born on December 17, 1931, in Daytona Beach Florida. He married Charlotte Baird Ferebee, and had three children, Elizabeth Meade, James Conoly, and Charlotte Baird. Phillips was an honor graduate of Maury High School of Norfolk in 1949. He later graduated with his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia in 1953. At the University of Georgia he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society, and a Cadet Colonel of the Air Force R.O.T.C. He received his MBA degree from Old Dominion University in 1976. He served two years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1956, Conoly Phillips and his brother, Tench Phillips opened the Phillips Brothers used car dealership. They founded Phillips Brothers Automoville in 1964. The brothers acquired the Rambler franchise in 1960. In 1964, Tench received the Oldsmobile franchise, and Conoly continued with the Lincoln-Mercury franchise. Conoly Phillips was President, and the later chairman, of Conoly Phillips Lincoln-Mercury. He retired from daily management in 1999 when his company merged with Freedom Automotive. He currently remains a partner in Freedom Automotive.
Conoly Phillips' civic activities have been numerous. He was President of the Tidewater Better Business Bureau in 1967 and 1968, President of the United Drug Abuse Commission from 1970-1976, President of the Northside Rotary Club, First Vice-President of the United Way of Virginia, Member of the Central Budget Committee of the United Communities Fund, Former Representative of the City of Norfolk on the Adult Continuing Education Committee, Vice-President of the Sales and Marketing Executives Club of Tidewater, President of the Tidewater Automobile Dealers Association in 1963, Vice-President and legislative chairman of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, Member of the Lincoln-Mercury National Dealer Council, Member of the Board of Directors of the Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater Virginia, Chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee for the Assembly on the Dimensions of Hunger-Malnutrition, member of the Junior Board of Directors Central Y.M.C.A. of Norfolk, Chairman for the Brotherhood Dinner sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Board member for the Norfolk Symphony Association, Member of the Men's Advisory Board to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, and Member of the Norfolk and Virginia State Chambers of Commerce.
Conoly Phillips has been active in politics since the mid-1970's. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project, was a member of the Community Development Committee of the Virginia Municipal League, and a member of the Community Development Policy Committee of the National League of Cities. He was first elected to the Norfolk City Council in 1976 and served until 1980. He was reelected to the Norfolk City Council in 1986. He continues to serve on the Norfolk City Council as the chairman of the Council's Finance and Infrastructure Committee. He is also chairman of the Ward's Corner Task Force, Hampton Boulevard Task Force, and the Norfolk Highway Commission. Mr. Phillips is a representative for the City of Norfolk on the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA), and on the Empowerment 2010 Board. He has also chaired the Mayor's Task Force on Drugs and the Norfolk Task Force on Juvenile Incarceration and Foster Care, as well as the Youth Forum Task Force. Conoly Phillips ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. Senate Seat in 1978, considering his campaign a "ministry of the Lord in calling Christians to active political participation."
His religious activities have been very important to him, and included membership in the First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk. He was active in his church serving as a Bible teacher and elder. He was President of the Board of Directors of the Union Mission and Hope Haven Children's Homes, co-founder and president of Proclaim Evangelistic Association (a half-way house for drug addicts). He was assistant to the chairman of the Tidewater Virginia Billy Graham Crusade in 1974, and a member and vice-chairman of the Continuing Crusades Committee. Mr. Phillips also supported the Christian Broadcasting Network, and is a personal friend to Pat Robertson.Author: Mel Frizzell
City council members--Virginia--Norfolk
First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk (Va.)
Freedom Automotive (Norfolk, Va.)
Norfolk (Va.)--Politics and government--20th century
Phillips, George Conoly
Phillips Automotive Inc.
Virginia--Politics and government--1951-