Skip links

People Story

Tony Phillips

Regulatory Project Manager, Kentucky

A new way to use proven strengths

The first 20 years of my professional life were spent in marketing and promotions for broadcast communications. I thought that would be my life forever. Then, we all went through a terrible time in the early 2000s when the whole world crashed.

During that period, I spent a year trying to figure out who I wanted to be when I grew up. One of my friends was working for a leading central IRB—so I joined it part-time as a site creator. As a study would start, I would run the license check for the doctors, make sure the 1572 was all in one place, ensure everything was in order.

I loved it. I found that I was really firing on all cylinders, using my strengths, but in a totally new way. I went from a world that was very heavily reliant on my creative side to one that tapped my organizational and operational side, and I was so much happier. I was truly making a difference in people’s lives.

After about six months, the company recognized that I had considerable management experience, and they decided to create a new area, Study Change, for me to manage. I ran that for the next eight years.

Then my focus switched exclusively to project management, first with another company, then with Premier. I work with a very close team of people, both within the company and among our customers. My job as the project manager is to take care of all the details that don’t involve the science. I keep the project moving forward. If I can anticipate a roadblock, that’s awesome. If one arises unexpectedly, then I get to solve it.

When I first started at Premier, the learning curve was huge. Yet not a single person ever thought twice about answering my questions. Instead, they responded, reached out, encouraged me—and these are really busy teams. No one minds because they want the team to be as strong as it can be.

Here are two other things I love about Premier:

The pandemic has forced us all to start working remotely. But Premier surveyed people in the Cincinnati area to ask if we wanted to continue working from home and decided not to reassemble the office based on our feedback. I admit, I like being remote. Everything’s here. I can stay connected. If I get an email at six o’clock while I’m making dinner, I can move over one room, log back on, and address it, which is really handy as a project manager.

Second, since joining Premier, I’ve been really impressed with the training/learning opportunities. My manager suggested that I listen in on the leadership series, which is available to everybody. It’s just been outstanding. The first presentation I attended, I thought, “That’s cool, Premier hired one of those outside companies that does training.” I didn’t realize the trainer is actually part of Premier. He’s amazing. I attend any of those trainings I can just because I get so much out of them.