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Clay Phillips

Clay recently retired, having completed 37 years with California State Parks.  He has been involved in every element of park management: Long-range master planning, site design, construction, public involvement, education, resource protection, law enforcement and general park operations.  He concluded his career as a POST-certified peace officer and continues to maintain his status as a state-licensed Landscape Architect.

Clay spent his first 7 years in Sacramento headquarters preparing general plans for parks throughout the state, then relocated to San Diego, where he became responsible for maintenance budgets and a variety of construction projects over the next 8 years.

In 1992, he started an 11 year run as the first Manager of the Southern Service Center, the Department’s new in-house multi-disciplinary project planning office.  It was like the Noah’s Ark of professional design and resource specialists, including Architects, Ecologists, Historians, Concession Specialists, Educators, GIS Specialists, Archaeologists and Landscape Architects.  Though ordinarily, in the outside world, these disciplines would often be in conflict with one another, Clay took great pride that, like Noah’s Ark, collaboration and peace reigned (and nobody ate each other).
 
During these final 11 years, Clay has been a Superintendent out in the field, initially responsible for the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (Border Field State Park) and Silver Strand State Beach.  He concluded his career as the District Superintendent over all state park units in the San Diego area, including Torrey Pines, Old Town San Diego and South Carlsbad State Beach. 

He has loved creating a fun, rewarding and productive work environments for the finest government employees on the planet.  Clay has also never tired of defending the many values of California State Parks.

In Retirement, Clay will continue to actively advocate for California State Parks and assist where he can. He will also travel with his wife and, unfortunately, continue to feed his terrible golf addiction unabated.