Our Team


John R. “Rick” Phillips

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

John R. “Rick” Phillips began his career as a Law Enforcement Specialist upon graduation from the United States Army Military Police Basic Course in 1972. During Rick’s career as a Military Policeman, he served as a Nuclear Security Specialist participating in, planning and executing security operations both overseas and in the United States at normal military installations as well as special facilities that stored and transported nuclear weapons. Rick was later promoted to Law Enforcement Command where he supervised patrol operations and a Tactical Response Unit. After completing his military service, he pursued a career in law enforcement that included training and application in both Patrol and Investigative roles before moving to the private sector.   After serving in a Senior Management position with a national corporate  security  firm for 8 years, Rick founded The Phillips Group, Inc. in 1990. Operating on an International level, this firm provided a full range of Corporate Security Services to numerous Fortune 500 companies. Since 1994, Rick has been associated with several venture capitalist groups regarding the due diligence and acquisition processes of various international concerns. Upon acquisition, Rick reviews and establishes the security protocols and serves as the external CSO until divestiture.

Rick also assisted in the initial planning and implementation of security at the Georgia International Horse Park, site of the 1996 Olympic Equestrian Venue. Rick has provided personal security and risk management services to retired high-ranking military personnel, a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Rick now consults with a select clientele in the Public Utility, Chemical and Steel Industries on matters of internal security and employee misconduct investigations. Rick also leads one of the Nation’s Premiere Special Operations Units, working with companies on various Special Security needs.

Rick is a Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist (CMAS), Physical Security Manager (PSM), a Maritime Security Manager (MSM) certified by the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board, and a Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies certified Classroom and Firearms Instructor. Rick provides training in both the Public Safety and Private Security Communities on matters of Corporate Security, Specialized Security and Counter-Terrorism  measures.

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James E. “Jim” Cornwell

General Counsel

James E. “Jim” Cornwell has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 1977. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree from Clemson University in 1973 and his Juris Doctorate degree from Woodrow Wilson College of law in 1977. Jim served as Stephens County, Georgia Solicitor from 1981 to 1998 and was elected to Superior Court Judge in 1999, where he served on the bench for 11 years. Jim is certified as a Certified General and Domestic Mediator in the State of Georgia and taught as a Professor of Criminal Justice at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia for 10 years.

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Cody Cobb

V.P./Critical Infrastructure Assessment & Special Investigations

Cody Cobb is a graduate of the Physical Security Training Program taught by the Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Protection Course taught by the internationally known Executive Protection Institute (EPI). Cody obtained his Georgia Police Certification in 2006 and has a total of 13 years of law enforcement and private security experience. Cody is currently completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration which he has remained committed to while maintaining full-time employment.

Cody holds certifications with the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board as a Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist (CMAS) and a Certified Physical Security Manager (PSM). Cody has performed physical security and critical infrastructure assessments for Fortune 500 energy and specialized chemical companies and is well versed in tactical planning and operations, security planning and operations, executive protection/personal security details, risk reduction, pre-planning, resource management, and incident command management.

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Bruce Grant

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) /Director of Regulatory Compliance

Bruce Grant completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of North Georgia (formerly North Georgia College) in 1977 and his Associate’s Degree of Applied Sciences-Paralegal Studies from Athens Technical College in 2014. After obtaining his degree from The University of North Georgia, Bruce began his military career by entering Active Duty in the United States Army. After leaving Active Duty, he continued his career in the Georgia Army National Guard, retiring in 2001. Upon retirement from military service, Bruce worked in county government.

With 25 years’ experience in county government and 20 years experience in the military, Bruce has a working knowledge of legal and regulatory compliance resolution, licensing, security clearance guidelines, policy implementation and logistical planning.

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Murray J. Kogod

Investigation & Security Assessment Consultant

Murray J. Kogod obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 1986, his law degree from Western New England College School of Law in 1989, his Georgia Police certification in 1995, his Georgia Police Instructor certification in 1999 and graduated as part of the 202nd Session of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 2000. Murray is also licensed as a Georgia Private Detective. Murray is a member of the F.B.I. National Academy Associates, the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Murray has also served as a Special Federal Officer assigned to an F.B.I. Task Force through the Department of Justice. With over 25 years experience as an attorney and 21 years experience as a law enforcement officer, Murray is well versed in the areas of communications, operational action plan development and implementation, employment law/human resource management, United States and International law compliance, investigations, tactical planning and operations, security planning and operations, executive protection/personal security details, physical security assessment and risk reduction, pre-planning, resource management, and incident command management.

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Lloyd Gibson

Director of Labor Dispute Security

Lloyd Gibson has 27 years experience in Labor Strike Security. Lloyd has served as Project Manager on over 80 labor projects ranging in size from 6 to 311 security personnel and has performed more then 250 site security surveys.

Lloyd was employed for 22 years with Vance International, Asset Protection Team, Inc. While at APT, he served as a Senior Project Manager, Senior Evidence Coordinator and served 5 years as the company lead instructor at their strike security school.

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Anthony P. “Tony” Shirley, Sr.

Director of International Operations

Anthony P. “Tony” Shirley, Sr. served in the United States Army for 20 years. While on active duty, Tony served in the 75th Ranger Battalion, the 11th Special Forces Group, the 2nd Battalion 11th Infantry and the 82nd Airborne Division. Tony has been a Squad Leader, an Instructor, a Platoon Trainer, a Platoon Sergeant and a Master Instructor.

After retirement from the military in December of 1996, Tony served as a Department of Defense police officer in the Washington D.C. area. He has also been employed as an overseas contractor for 8 years, working various assignments as a Protective Security Specialist, Weapons Instructor, Personal Security Operations Chief, Site Manager, Assistant Operations Manager and Country Operations Manager.

Tony currently holds secret clearance status under the Department of State and the Department of Defense.

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Where We’re Licensed

Phillips Group, Inc. Is Licensed And Authorized To Provide Services In 38 States, Shaded in Burgundy Below.

In addition, Phillips Group has applied for licenses, and approval is pending, in the states indicated with burgundy stripes below. The states denoted in gray are locations with a business relationship to provide services.