The grandson of a foreman for Weirton (WV) Steel and son of a community redevelopment specialist and housing finance agency property manager, Phil Kidd was born July 2nd, 1979 and raised in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania – a former coal mining town 20 miles west of Pittsburgh. Phil came to Youngstown in 1998 to attend Youngstown State University where he majored in Political Science and began extensive examination of the local community.
Upon graduation, Phil served as an officer in the United States Army. He returned to Youngstown in 2004, intrigued by the city’s now nationally and internationally recognized planning effort, Youngstown 2010. Inspired by the vision of the plan and armed only initially with a sign which he held downtown, Phil launched a major information and public relations based movement known as “Defend Youngstown” which highlights various economic, political, and social advancements taking place in the city. Defend Youngstown is endorsed by local leaders and icons such as Mayor Jay Williams, Congressman Tim Ryan, and World Middleweight boxing champion Kelly Pavlik in addition to thousands of citizens both locally and abroad. Through his efforts with Defend Youngstown, Phil has been recognized by major media publications such as the New York Times, CNN Money.com, ESPN, and Next American City magazine as well as international media from Italy, Australia, Sweden, Germany, and the BBC.
Before joining the MVOC staff, Phil worked for the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas and also served as the City of Youngstown’s Director of Downtown Events and Special Projects. He is currently acting Vice President of the Mayor’s Community Foundation, is a board member of the Regional Chamber’s Government Affairs Council, the Mahoning County-Youngstown Vacant Properties Steering Committee, the City of Youngstown’s Design Review Committee, and the Raymond John Wean Foundation’s Neighborhood Success Grant Program.
Phil is a Class of 2008 Leadership Mahoning Valley graduate and participant in the Class of 2009 Mahoning Valley Government Leadership Academy. He is also a two time “Top 40 under 40″ recipient, receiving recognition as “Most Valuable Professional” in 2008 and was named a “Champion of Change” in the Valley by WYTV Channel 33.
While serving in Youngstown, Phil has completed graduate level course work in Criminal Justice at Youngstown State maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. His thesis research focuses on a 21st century crime reduction and community development strategy for the city. Phil currently resides on the city’s north side.