Phil Kirk has held positions in education, government, business and non-profits. He has served as Chief of Staff for Governors Holshouser and Martin and U. S. Senator Jim Broyhill, Secretary of NC Department of Health and Human Services, and State Senator. He has also been a journalism and English teacher, radio announcer, and newspaper reporter. His volunteer service includes Chair of the State Board of Education, Vice-Chair of the State Board of Community Colleges and trustee at Meredith and Catawba Colleges. Among the honors he has received include North Carolina Award for Public Service, Order of the Long Leaf Pine, ECU Educators Hall of Fame, Catawba College Business Hall of Fame, and Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Catawba College.