The Interview – Cleatus Phillips


Briefly describe yourself and what you do.

I’m the Newnan City Manager, which is appointed by Mayor and Council to manage the day-to-day operations of the city of Newnan.  I moved to Newnan 18 years ago with my wife Jennifer and we have 3 teenage daughters.

Best piece of business advice you’ve received.  

Maybe not business advice but management advice, “respect others if you expect to be respected”

If I had it to do over …

I had a gift being able to punt a football incredibly well, but never thought about or knew how to get college attention.  How cool would it have been to punt a football for a career!

You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?

I’ll mix up the music a little: Storytellers with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, Core by Stone Temple Pilots, and Legend by Bob Marley.  I honestly don’t read a lot other than professional magazines and leadership books, so I’ll stick to music.

Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know.

Up until a few years ago I was actively racing motocross, doing jumps like I was still a teenager.  I did trade that in recently for mountain biking, but I still love to jump off rocks and ride obstacles that I probably shouldn’t.

You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why.

I am a huge Yankees baseball fan, so I am going to load up my table with former Yankee greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera.

Name an as yet unfulfilled dream

To watch a game in every Major League Baseball Stadium

If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …

Probably building homes.  I got started building homes right out of college and I still enjoy watching the process of a home coming together.

Your go-to food.  

Tacos, not even close!

Favorite movies(s)  

I’m also not a big movie goer, as I just can’t keep still long enough.  I do have few favorites, typically comedies.  Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler is a classic that I watch often and it never gets old. I also watch Tombstone anytime I get a chance.

Dogs or cats?  

Dogs.  Don’t care much for cats walking across my countertops and dining table.

Your favorite quote and why.

Vince Lombardi has many famous quotes, but my favorite is “Winners never quit and quitters never win”

Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished.

It sounds overly simplified but the best decision I ever made was to move to Newnan for my career and raise our family.

What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own.

You will be challenged and there will be highs and lows.  Keep everything in perspective, be patient, and always maintain your integrity.

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