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Campbell Oil Company: Celebrating 70 Years of Family Tradition

April, 2018

Campbell Oil Company: Celebrating 70 Years of Family Tradition

Seventy years of first-rate fuel service has been made possible by four generations of aviation enthusiasts with diversified business savvy.

Seventy years of first-rate fuel service has been made possible by four generations of aviation enthusiasts with diversified business savvy. Passion and dedication remain the family backbone of Campbell Oil Company, a Phillips 66® Aviation fuel distributor located in Elizabethtown, North Carolina.

Small Town, Big Growth

After being the first North Carolinian drafted in WWII, Mac Campbell Sr. returned in May of 1948 to Elizabethtown to found Campbell Oil Company. The company began as an agricultural fuel supplier, and as the farming industry progressed, so did Campbell Oil Company, using farming growth and innovations to fuel their entry into the lubricants business.

It was then a natural fit for aviation fuels to become the next offering from the growing oil company as Mac Sr. had been an avid pilot since the late 1930s. Since Campbell Oil Company began distributing aviation fuel, they’ve stayed fervently committed to the aviation industry. Mac Sr. passed the aviation bug along to his grandson, Brian Campbell, who eventually hooked his father, Mac Campbell Jr. on the love for flight.

Mac Jr. joined the company in 1968, just in time to help carry the business through the oil embargo of 1974 that was shortly followed by the sudden illness of his father, Mac Sr. Despite trying times, the family’s entrepreneurial spirit was not stopped. In 1979, the company bought land for Campbell Oil Company’s first convenience store, which would be the first of 33 that the family owns and operates today.

The perseverance of his family members before him paved the way for Brian, current President and CEO, as well as Chris Campbell, Vice President and Lubricant Sales Manager, to join the family business in the early 1990s. The brothers were later joined by the youngest of their siblings, Wesley Campbell, who would become Secretary and Retail Division Manager in 1998.

Nearly 70 years later, the fourth generation is leaving their mark on the family business with the addition of Chris’s three children to the Campbell Oil Company staff in August of 2017.

"Our success is due to our people and our teams," says Brian as he reflects on the people who have assisted his family and his business. "We are blessed to work with hardworking personnel who are passionate about helping their fellow man. If there has been any success, it is tied to the core group of people that we work with, and the genuine care and respect that we each have for each other."

Onwards and Upwards

Like his father before him, Brian was also faced with a challenge shortly after joining the business full time. The economic downturn of 2007 was Brian’s version of the oil embargo that his father had persevered through in 1974. In response to the challenge, Brian pulled together his team and created a board that would implement a long-lasting and comprehensive plan, the result of a thorough in-depth internal review, one that would ensure success for years to come and fortify the company structure. The new company structure created a dynamic that would maintain the integrity of the company and withstand any future economic hits.

This courageous plan and restructure is what led Campbell Oil Company to expand their product mix and identify four distinct business divisions: wholesale and commercial fuels, lubricants, convenience stores and food service.

Partnering with Phillips 66 Aviation

"We are extremely fortunate to have a 30-year relationship with Phillips 66," says Brian. "They have been instrumental in helping us grow and they continue to be very supportive of our efforts. We look forward to growing our aviation business with Phillips 66 as a dedicated partner as our business grows."

Phillips 66 Aviation has played an important role for the family of aviation enthusiasts in their desire to keep Mac Sr.’s tradition of flight, hard work, service and integrity alive and well at Campbell Oil Company.

To learn more about Campbell Oil Company, visit their website here.

To learn more about Phillips 66 Aviation, click here.