Age 30 | Agent, Farm Bureau Financial Services
Brad Phillips is proud of the fact that he was among the first entrepreneurial students to move into the University of Iowa’s student business incubator when it opened in May 2004. He’s even more proud that just four months later, he was the first tenant to be “kicked out” of the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL) because his film production business had begun turning a profit.
Phillips, a former professional motocross racer who competed for six years on the Grand National circuit, launched Premis Industries LLC to produce films of motocross events throughout North America for television sports networks In 2006, Premis won an “Extremey” award, the motocross industry’s equivalent of an Oscar.
Drawing from his experience as an entrepreneur, the U of I graduate serves as vice president of the John Pappajohn Entreprenurial Center Alumni Board and for the past eight years has mentored budding entrepreneurs as a volunteer for the BELL business incubator.
“My big enjoyment comes from having been there, so I know the struggles they’re going through,” he said. “A young person with a great idea is just amazing to be around.”
Facing increased government safety regulations, spiraling fuel prices that made extensive cross-country travel prohibitive and the recession, Phillips exited the film business and accepted a recruiter’s pitch in September 2009 to join Farm Bureau Financial Services as an agent.
Besides applying his entrepreneurial energy to selling financial products, he also has been credited for developing new innovative marketing strategies for the company such as a program to help agents build their personal websites. Outside the office, he serves as president of New View, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce’s young professionals group.
Five reasons he’s a 40:
• Successful entrepreneur who built a market-leading company within three years.
• Was recognized as a Top Ten Global Student Entrepreneur by Mercedes-Benz Financial and the Entrepreneur Organization.
• Received Farm Bureau Financial Services’ Heritage Award for surpassing sales goals in his first year.
• Mentors young entrepreneurs.
• Serves on the board of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and as a chamber ambassador.
Phillips wrote a chapter about his business for the book “Student Entrepreneurs: Graduating With a Profit,” which was published in 2007.
Meet the 2012 Forty Under 40 Honorees
• Michael Abbott - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
• Sondra Ashmore - IBM Corp.
• Shannon Baird - JE Dunn Construction Co.
• J. Eric Boehlert - Ahlers & Cooney P.C.
• Nataliya Boychenko - Holmes Murphy and Associates Inc.
• Becki Brommel - BrownWinick
• Catherine Cownie - BrownWinick
• Spencer Cox - Vending Services Inc.
• Scott Crawford - RDG Planning & Design
• Tony Dickinson - Wells Fargo Bank
• Shannon Duval - Mercy Foundation
• Meg Fitz - Greater Des Moines Partnership
• Tim Hayes - McLellan Marketing Group
• Christi Hegstad - MAP Professional Development Inc.
• Naura Heiman Godar - StruXture Architects LLC
• Danielle Hermann - OPN Architects Inc.
• Sara Kobilka - Science Center of Iowa
• Liz Lidgett - Kum & Go LC
• Holly Logan - Weinhardt & Logan P.C.
• Matthew Marckmann - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
• Bryan Michael - Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.
• Ben Milne - Dwolla Corp.
• Suzanne Mineck - Mid-Iowa Health Foundation
• Nikki Miras Mordini - Davis Brown Law Firm
• David Nelmark - Belin McCormick P.C.
• Anthony Nguyen - Wells Fargo Bank
• Lynh Nguyen Patterson - Delta Dental of Iowa
• Matt Nuetzman - InFocus Partners
• Brad Phillips - Farm Bureau Financial Services
• Tina Potthoff - MidAmerican Energy Co.
• Erin Schneider - Censeo Solutions Inc.
• Steve SchraderBachar - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc.
• Jamie Schug - Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority
• Kristina Stanger - Nyemaster Goode P.C.
• Nate Stewart - Perishable Distributors of Iowa Ltd.
• Jason Stone - Davis Brown Law Firm
• Mellisa Stover - Bankers Trust Co.
• Tray Wade - Hospice of Central Iowa
• Eric Wieland - Federal Emergency Management Agency
• Geoff Wood - Silicon Prairie News