NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Former U.S. Ambassador Stanley Davis ("Dave") Phillips is a living, breathing underdog story if there ever was one, and that's one of the reasons journalist Mary Bogest chose him as the subject of her first book, Come On, America: The Inspirational Journey of Ambassador Dave Phillips (April 2, 2019, Morgan James Publishing).
Phillips was born with a birth defect that stunted growth in his leg, leading to a partial amputation when he was only 14 years old. As a child, he was taunted and bullied by his peers. After surviving a nearly fatal bout with rheumatic fever, Phillips struggled academically and was held back a year in school. He barely made it to college, where he was a prankster, favoring mischief over studying. Nothing about his life led anyone to believe what was to come: that this same man would one day be a titan in the textile industry, entertain sitting presidents, strategize with international leaders and even befriend the Dalai Lama.
That's the story Bogest wanted to tell, but it didn't come easily, as Phillips was initially reticent to open up about his journey. He finally consented when he realized it could inspire others in their hour of struggle.
"I'm willing to share my story with you, but only if it could help others find success in their stories," he told Bogest. "I wouldn't want them to look at my life and feel like they had to own a business or become an ambassador in order to be successful. To me, success means going to sleep at night thinking about what happened that day and feeling satisfied that you have done all you could do."
Phillips' biography isn't just an account of one man overcoming huge odds. His journey also holds out great hope for a more unified America. Instead of focusing on the differences that divide us, Phillips chooses to emphasize the things that bring us together. His courageous story helps readers see that Americans share the same struggles and dreams.
After building the family textile business that he inherited from his father, Phillips went on to form the Market Square Partnership and influence the rise of the International Furniture Market, which attracts upwards of 80,000 visitors to High Point, North Carolina twice a year. A lifelong advocate for his home state of North Carolina, Phillips served as North Carolina's secretary of commerce, and later as America's ambassador to Estonia at a pivotal time, during the first international cyberwar initiated by Russia on Estonia.
All of these experiences shaped him, teaching him hard-earned business and leadership lessons that he eagerly shares with readers within the book. At the same time, Phillips urges fellow Americans to embrace the core values that have unified us as a nation for more than two centuries—and that can unify us again: unwavering perseverance, a tireless work ethic and genuine relationship-building that crosses political lines.
It is Bogest's and Phillips' hope that Come On, America will not only inspire a divided country to pull itself up by its bootstraps in these divisive times, but assure readers that even the greatest odds or most debilitating handicaps cannot keep them from success. "My hope," writes Bogest, "is that as you're inspired by Dave Phillips's life, . . . you will discover your path to success and allow it to take you to your next opportunity, and the next, and the next."
About Dave Phillips:
Despite facing numerous physical challenges early in life, S. Davis (Dave) Phillips turned those obstacles into opportunities, and he approaches each day with courage and determination. This attitude, along with his business acumen and his concern for others, has led him to many faraway places and allowed him to work with national and international leaders as a former United States ambassador to Estonia, past secretary of commerce for his home state of North Carolina and chairman of the 1999 Special Olympics World Games. He is the recipient of numerous awards, but his most treasured one is the Choate Seal, which was first given to John F. Kennedy. Phillips' strategic investments helped shape the International Furniture Market, which brings 80,000 visitors to High Point, North Carolina twice a year. He has sold three of his companies to companies on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, he lives in North Carolina, where he continues to be an influencer, an admired leader, and a successful businessman.
About Mary Bogest:
Mary Bogest grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa. Mary and her late husband, Stanley, started out working in the motion picture industry in New York. Now a resident of High Point, North Carolina with her two dogs, Juliette and Josie, Mary has a popular newspaper column, "About Town," that is featured every Sunday in The High Point Enterprise. She has received innumerable awards, honors and honorary civic memberships for her writing, which highlights community needs, events, and eminent and extraordinary individuals.
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SOURCE Mary Bogest; Dave Phillips