With his commitments spanning a host of environmental and social non-profit organizations as well as a family, Miles Alexander Phillips will be missed by many in the Cowichan Valley.
"It’s a terrible loss for his family and for the community," said Grant Waldman, the executive director of the West Coast Men’s Support Society, where Phillips was board chair.
Phillips died last Thursday morning after losing control of his car on Telegraph Road and striking a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Phillips was also involved in various capacities with Cowichan Energy Alternatives, the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op, Greasecycle, Inc., The Mankind Project, Volunteer Cowichan and the BC Biofuel Network.
Cowichan Energy Alternatives, where he served as president until recently, issued a joint press release with some of its partners to address the loss of Phillips.
"We at Cowichan Energy Alternatives are all in a state of shock with the tragic loss of Miles Phillips from our community," the statement read. "We, along with our partners at Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-operative and Greasecycle Inc., are all saddened by this tragic event. We will be taking time to remember the good works we shared with Miles and our hearts go out to his family and friends. We wish them strength and patience in bearing this tragic loss."
Phillips leaves behind a wife, Angela, and two teenage daughters. He was in the midst of finishing his MBA.
Waldman, who worked with Phillips for nearly five years, remembered Phillips’s tireless dedication to the many causes he supported.
"He was a real doer," Waldman said. "He was a really progressive guy with lots of great ideas."
Phillips taught Waldman a great deal about working in the nonprofit sector. "Miles was right behind me, and he had my back," Waldman said. "There’s lots of tools he’s left behind for me to use, and I’m grateful for that."
Although many who knew Phillips will remember him for his business sense, Waldman made sure to point out that there was a lot more to him.
"He was a good friend and a great family man," he said.