After nine years at the helm, Neil Phillips, VMA’s president, CEO, and co-founder, has resigned his position as CEO of Visible Men Academy. Louis Parker, VMA’s co-founder and executive vice president, will serve as interim CEO
(Sarasota-Manatee, FL; February 15, 2021) Mark Smith, the board chairman of Visible Men Academy (VMA), announced today that Neil Phillips, VMA’s President, CEO, and co-founder, has resigned his position effective February 12, 2021. Louis Parker, VMA’s co-founder and executive vice president, will serve as interim CEO. VMA is a tuition-free public charter school for at-risk boys of color, K-5, located in Bradenton.
According to Smith, Phillips’ move reflects his lifelong commitment to unleashing the full potential of boys and men of color on a larger scale. Phillips’ work will take several forms, including launching Visible Men Impact Network, a digital platform that will engage boys and men in the critical Visible Men messages and philosophies. Phillips will also continue his broader efforts as an advocate for the celebration of equality and human value.
“Neil has been an outstanding leader and tireless Visible Men Academy advocate for nearly nine years,” says Smith. “Drawing on his own deep convictions, Neil helped lay the foundation for our core values and mission. Whatever he does in his new role, we’re confident Neil will remain a steadfast advocate for VMA and its philosophy.” Smith adds that Phillips is actively assisting with helping to ensure a smooth transition by communicating with top donors, community leaders, and partners.
Phillips says that it’s been a “privilege to lead Visible Men Academy. I’m deeply honored to have worked with our magnificent Suns and their families.” He adds that he is “blessed to work closely with our deeply devoted team of teachers, school leaders, and staff who inspired me daily through their skill and personal dedication. And I will be forever grateful to the many donors, volunteers, partners, advocates, and board members who have supported VMA’s mission so generously. Finally, my efforts were made possible only through the unwavering support from my wife Shannon, and my sons, Reece and Blair; they lived and loved VMA beyond measure. Thank you; I love you all.”
VMA will announce the search for the new CEO next month.
About the Visible Men Academy
Located in Bradenton, VMA empowers boys with outstanding academic, character, and social education in a nurturing school environment. The school’s purpose is to deliver a high-quality educational experience that meets the specific needs of at-risk elementary school boys through the collaborative efforts of administrators, teachers, parents, the broader community, and the students themselves. Visit www.vmacademy.org.