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Meet our DBL Board of Directors: John Phillips

May 15, 2023

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John Phillips joined the Dakota Business Lending Board of Directors in 2008 and is currently the longest standing member of the board.

He lives in Beulah, ND, where he spent over thirty years in the economic development, housing, and city planning industries, served as President of the Economic Development Association of North Dakota (EDND), and was recognized as the Economic Developer of the Year by Governor Schafer.

Q. You have served on the Dakota Business Lending Board for 15 years now. What has kept you on the Board for so long?

I have a strong passion for economic development, business growth, and finding opportunities for businesses to succeed. This is a shared mission with Dakota Business Lending, and I love seeing the impact and growth that we have had.  While I will term out soon, I am proud to be on the Board and have grown to be a better person and professional because of it.

Q. What are you passionate about?

Most of my passions today revolve around family. I especially enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and watching them excel academically and athletically. We have a lake cabin where we love to get together, and my wife and I enjoy time in Arizona in the winter.  I am also very passionate about the coal industry and continue to work to maintain that as a viable industry, despite all opposition.

Q. What has your involvement with the Dakota Business Lending Board of Directors looked like over time?

Dakota Business Lending and the Board have evolved so much. A few years ago, we instituted term limits. While this wasn’t an easy decision, it’s great to see the diversity of the Board now and how it continues to change and evolve as we welcome new members. We have a knowledgeable group of people who offer valuable insights that really help take Dakota Business Lending to the next level.

Q. Looking back, what is something memorable about your time serving on the Board of Directors?

In 2022, we had a record number of loans and loan volume. It was significant growth that we could never have accomplished without our Board and the great team at Dakota Business Lending. Given my background in housing, I am excited to start providing New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). It is a huge accomplishment to be awarded 2 years in a row, especially as a first-time applicant, and is something I am very proud of.

Q. How would you describe the ways in which Dakota Business Lending makes communities better?

The impact we have had on communities is significant because we help find opportunities for business growth. We do this across the state, but it’s especially impactful in our rural communities. Without the SBA 504 program, a lot of the projects would not have been possible and many small businesses would not exist.

Meet the entire Dakota Business Lending Board of Directors here.