Gene E. Phillips was born in the industrial town of Piedmont, South Carolina to parents of little means, but great determination. That determination was passed on to Gene and would eventually lead to him being considered by many to be a business pioneer.
His motivation and drive to succeed took him to Clemson University where he graduated with honors in Chemical Engineering. Gene did well enough to earn a four-year, fully-funded, National Science Foundation Scholarship to further his studies in the Ph.D. program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech). While he worked to complete the Ph.D. program, he began to trade in real estate
Gene had taken several business classes at Virginia Tech and thought he would try out his new skills selling residential properties. He quickly realized that with enough energy and effort he could support his family very well in this new line of work. But, it was 1966 and the Army had other plans for him. He served two years as a supervisor for the Army's Environmental Hygiene Agency. He was in charge of the independent contractors who were building water filtration and sewage treatment plants at military bases all over the country.
In 1968, Gene returned to South Carolina and the real estate business. His military experience convinced him that he did not want to be a chemical engineer and that real estate offered the greatest entrepreneurial opportunity for him. So, he expanded his business to include contracting and developing commercial as well as residential properties.
After relocating to Dallas Gene founded Pillar Income Asset Management, a real estate and energy management company with over $3.54 billion in managed assets.
He has been in commercial real estate for more than 40 years and has purchased, managed, developed and sold billions of dollars worth of real estate during this time. His philosophy is simple: identify and acquire undervalued or under-performing properties, adding capital improvements, aggressive leasing, and management programs in order to achieve long-term, above-market returns, and produce high quality real estate developments that are economically sound.