When Phil Adams received his finance degree from Utah State University in 1978, he never thought he would be running a truck stop.
Adams started his career after college as a certified public accountant with Davis & Bott accounting firm in Brigham City. After working his way to manager of the accounting firm, Adams was invited in May 1980 to join Flying J Inc. as a manager of its accounting department.When Adams came aboard, Flying J had fewer than 500 employees and $90 million in annual sales. During Flying J's early years, an idea was developed to build a new type of truck stop that would serve the widely varied needs of the interstate traveler.
Flying J called this concept a Travel Plaza and opened the first in Ogden in 1979. This new Travel Plaza concept combined Flying J's customer service with myriad travel-related services such as a 24-hour restaurant, lodging, laundry, professional driver's lounge, showers, truck scales and a convenience store/deli.
Adams was later promoted in 1983 to vice president of interstate operations, where he redesigned the entire truck stop complex to make it more efficient and appealing to the customer. He developed a national marketing program, Frequent Fueler, that has enjoyed great success over the years and whose membership exceeds 800,000.
In March 1990, Adams was promoted to president of Flying J Inc., succeeding O. Jay Call who founded the company in 1968 with just four gas stations.
The company has grown into an international, fully-integrated oil company with more than 8,000 employees. Flying J is recognized as the largest diesel retailer in North America.
In recent years, Adams has overseen an expansion that will continue to increase its primary network of travel plazas by 12 to 15 units per year, to an estimated total of 140 on the major interstates.