James M. Phillips, CEO


Jim Phillips Mr. Phillips is Managing Partner and CEO of Pinnacle Enterprises, a private equity company based in Arkansas, Tennessee, London andLos Angeles. Mr. Phillips is internationally credited with being very instrumental in launching the PDA, Cable Modem, PCS, Fixed Cellular, Time Magazine's Medical Invention of the Year- the VeinViewer, and iPix, at the time, the world's largest provider of digital imaging infrastructure for the internet, in such areas as online real estate, auction listings, and classified ads.

Throughout his business career, Jim has held numerous prominent positions and founded and co-founded many successful corporations while introducing many products used by millions worldwide. He started his career in 1975 with Northern Telecom, when the company was the 2nd largest telecom manufacturer in North America rising in management to Vice-President; became President & Co-Founder of SkyTel - the nation's largest messaging company; President & Vice Chairman of Telular Corp.; Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Motorola, PCS and Multimedia divisions, where his team invented the cable modem and pioneered telephone service over television cable networks worldwide. Mr. Phillips received the Motorola Patent Disclosure Award.

As President and Vice-Chairman of Telular Corporation (WRLS) Jim took the company public (NASDAQ) and was instrumental in the development of the wireless local loop; cellular voice and data telephone (wireless dialtone); pioneering machine to machine communications (M2M) for wireless telemetry applications around the world in energy, transportation and agriculture; and wireless security alarm systems protecting hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the U.S.

Mr. Phillips served as Senior Vice-President of Mobilecomm, the second largest provider of cellular and paging services in the U.S. at the time.

Jim also Co-Founded iPIX Corporation where he served as Chairman and CEO. During his tenure with iPIX, he led the company to become what Forbes called "the Kodak of the Internet." The company revolutionized imaging across the internet, inventing virtual tours that are a staple on real estate, hotel & entertainment websites and the only 360x360 security camera system used by the White House and many government agencies and corporations. Millions of internet users experienced immersive imaging and "telepresence" for the first time through iPIX. In addition, through the acquisition of Bamboo.com and Picture Works, Jim's team oversaw the development of the popular image submission process utilized by millions of e-Bay users everyday.

Mobilecomm Corporation was sold to BellSouth Corporation, SkyTel Corporation was sold to MCI Verizon, and iPIX was sold to Sony Corporation.

While furthering his management career in the financial sector, Mr. Phillips served as CEO in Residence and Special Advisor to the Private Equity and Investment Banking Groups at Morgan Keegan & Co.

As Founding Chairman and Executive Director of the FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT), he helped establish this leading research park on the campus at the University of Memphis. Information Week called FIT "the technology industry's newest center for innovation" and WIRED Magazine compared it to the Media Lab at MIT.

In 2004, Jim was named an Information Week Magazine "Innovator of the Year". That same year, he became Chairman and CEO of Luminetx Corporation and led the development and commercialization of a breakthrough medical device called the "VeinViewer." Time Magazine named this milestone the "coolest medical invention of year" and Red Herring Magazine featured Luminetx Corporation at the top of the list of North America's 100 Best Technology Startups in 2006. Mr. Phillips personally named and branded VeinViewer, Luminetx, Skytel, SkyPager, SkyWord, SkyMail, PCSone, CellDock, CyberSurfer Cable Modem, Snowflake Technologies, and the CPX Cellular Phone Exchange.

Jim also founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Snowflake Corporation - a leader in biometric identification technology awarded the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Innovation of the Year Award for the biometrics market.

Among his many honors and awards, Jim won the CLIO Award, the 2005 BENNY Chairman's Award, the University of Memphis Distinguished Graduate Award, the Fogelman College of Business Distinguished Executive of the Year, the Herff College of Engineering Distinguished Service Award, the National Golden Key Award, and was named Tennessee Businessman of the Year in 1999 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2006, he was inducted into the Memphis Entrepreneurial Society.

His innovative contributions and business leadership have been chronicled in many national publications including: Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, The Standard, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He has made numerous appearances on Fox News, CNN, CNNfn, CNBC, the BBC and CBS Morning News. His business affiliations include:

  • Member, Council on Competitiveness Executive Committee
  • Trustee of National Health Museum
  • Board Member Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (Audit & Compliance Committee)
  • Trustee University of Memphis
  • Trustee Memphis Music Foundation
  • Board Member Memphis Bioworks Foundation.
  • Board Member Herff College of Engineering
  • Board Member Fogelman School of Business
  • Member, Memphis Entrepreneurial Society
  • Vice Chairman - Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • Vice Chairman - Tennessee Technology Development Corp
  • Director Duralor Corp
  • Director-EmergeMemphis

Mr. Phillips also serves as Chairman of NanoMech, a nano-manufacturing company.

Jim holds BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Memphis, graduating with academic honors. As a student, he was President of the Tennessee Student Association, Cadet Commander of the largest ROTC Detachment in the U.S. and Vice President of the SGA. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant and attended Jet Pilot Training at Webb AFB. He was honored with the Professor of Aerospace Studies Award and the United States Air Force Distinguished Military Graduate Award.

Jim and Barbara Phillips (his wife of 33 years) have three sons, Parker, Preston & Palmer and reside in Rogers/Bentonville, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Phillips is grateful for the many brilliant colleagues, employees, and wonderful friendships that have made it possible for him to play a role in launching companies introducing new technologies and products that have made a positive contribution to society.

He can be reached at jim@pinnaclenwa.com.