By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(April 25, 2019) Longtime Ocean Pines resident Colby Phillips, 44, has been a part of the community since 1994, worked for several years in several occupations in Worcester County and has now taken on the role of the Ocean Pines Association’s operations director.
The position was created during the Saturday, April 6, board meeting. Phillips was officially appointed to the role that Monday by interim General Manager John Viola.
Having been the association’s aquatics director for several years, as well as recently taking on the roles of director of parks and recreation and racquet sports, Phillips described how she handles her new responsibilities and helps keep the community operating smoothly.
“One of my main focuses, besides day-to-day oversite, is communication and customer service with the community,” Phillips said. “I have overseen several of the departments I do now prior to my new role and public works. Working with the Ortt group on the operational/maintenance stuff they need, has also been added to my umbrella.”
Phillips credits her success in her current and past roles to team effort.
“The structure of the top management team of John Viola as general manager, Steve Phillips, John Malinowski, Chief (Chief of Police Dave) Massey, Michelle Bennett and myself, has really shown to be working very well,” Phillips said. “The team as a whole is amazing. Everyone has an important role here no matter what their job title is.”
Preparing for the summer, Phillips listed three major projects: finalizing the plans for the $3.185 million expansion of the police and administration building, rebuilding the country club and building a golf cart barn.
Another project will be the Crafts Building in White Horse Park. It will be demolished for additional parking space and relocated to another section of the park. Phillips also wants to focus on the bulkheads and the drainage issues the association has been facing.
“I think it’s important the community knows that the team truly cares and wants what is best for the association,” she said.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, and raised in Annapolis, Phillips had plenty of experience helping people.
Phillips spent 26 years as a surf rescue technician at the Ocean City Beach Patrol and 10 years working in Ocean City at the Special Events Department. She also spent three years with Carl Freeman working on homebuilding.
“All the jobs I have worked have had a large customer service aspect so it’s really helped me to recognize that we need to acknowledge people, even if we are telling them something that they don’t want to hear,” Phillips said. “I truly believe everything starts with communication and that has helped me with every job I have ever had.”
Ocean Pines has been one of her favorite places to work, Phillips said. This is her sixth season working in the association.
“Ocean Pines is a very unique place,” Phillips said. “I took a management class in March with [Community Associations Institute] and when we discussed the HOAs where we each worked, people could not believe all that we had to offer between a police force, fire department, golf course, five pools, recreation, public works, restaurants, a beach club and the list goes on.
“People kept referring to us as a small city and how lucky we were,” she continued. “I love Ocean Pines and all we have to offer and can honestly say to date this has been my favorite place to work.”