Volunteer of the Year: Robert Phillips

A recognized and respected community leader and role model for many, Hagersville’s Rob Phillips wears his passion for his home town, and Haldimand County, proudly, to the point where he is often referred to the as the “Mayor of Hagersville”. 

For decades, Rob has been an active volunteer, community leader, organizer, fund-raiser and facilitator for countless charitable and not-for-profit projects, events, initiatives, organizations, groups and service clubs.

He is the long-time president of the Hagersville District Chamber of Commerce—which is involved in just about every community project or initiative that is undertaken in Hagersville—and is a member of the Hagersville BIA and the Hagersville Legion.

You can see him out and about in town engaging with residents and visitors and making sure everything is ship-shape; his civic pride and sense of responsibility to make sure his community is “ready for prime time” is ongoing and consistent. Rob’s door is always open to anyone who has a concern, especially if it is about something that will help the community.

Among just some of the projects and initiatives with which Rob has been involved through the Chamber are:

  • Oversight of the ongoing operations of the Hagersville Farmers Market;
  • Co-organizer of the Santa Claus Christmas Parade;
  • Co-chair of the Hagersville Rocks Music Festival;
  • Submitting annual grant applications to Haldimand County for community beautification projects;
  • Until it was recently sold, the operations of the Chamber-owned Hagersville Community Centre;
  • Participating on the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre community fund-raising campaign (which included donating the proceeds of the Community Centre sale to the new ALC). To date, that committee has raised more than $1.5 million.

Most recently, Rob used his training and financial skills as a key player in the Hagersville Catch the Ace Collective, helping raise millions of dollars for the community. However, Rob is happy to share his skills and experience with any community organization as it looks to achieve its goals, financial or other. He is incredibly generous with his time.

His ability to think big on behalf of the community—while never losing sight of the practicalities and the details—and then rolling up his sleeves to get the job done are what make Rob an incredibly respected and valued volunteer and team player.