Name: Kim Ruth
Title: Director, Aviation Business Development
Location: Houston, TX
Years with Phillips 66: 5 ½ years
Describe yourself in three words. Loyal. Spontaneous. Sincere.
What’s one work-related project you’re most proud of and why? One of the things I’m most proud of is my position on the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Airport Operations Committee. It’s full circle for me. When I was at Galvin Flying Service in Seattle, Galvin’s president, Peter Anderson, was the NATA chairperson. I would assist with the arrangements for meetings and visits from the NATA president and members. I always found it interesting, and now I’m able to participate and contribute to this incredible organization and the aviation industry.
What’s your favorite Phillips 66-related memory? Attending EAA AirVenture every year, but especially my first year with Phillips 66. I was in awe of the support and gratitude EAA members shared of Phillips 66’s commitment to the EAA Young Eagles Program. The Phillips 66 Aviation Leadership Award and Rebate Program started in 1994, one year after the Young Eagles Program started. It is rare for a large corporation to continuously support an organization at this capacity, and it is an honor to be affiliated and to support this relationship.
What’s the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had? Most aviation positions are interesting, and I’ve had a lot. I did many random things as a customer service rep at an FBO. One time that stands out to me was when I was involved in a planned DEA bust. They used undercover agents as crew and a corporate plane to transport a drug dealer with merchandise to BFI Airport in Seattle. The plane radioed in for a taxi, and it was my job to respond that I would get one ordered. In reality, the agents had a taxi that would be used. Upon landing, the passenger (drug dealer) and his associate (thug and briefcase carrier - just like the movies!) came into the FBO to wait for their taxi and use the bathroom. Not completely part of plan, but we went through “what if” scenarios, so I was set. They were very anxious, and so was I. I pretended to call to check on their taxi. It felt like forever, but a few minutes later their taxi arrived, and they did bust the bad guys later that night.
Tell us about your family. I’m from Seattle, and my family still lives there. I have a cat, Whizbang, who showed up on my doorstep in Tulsa and adopted me. He moved with me to Houston and continues to train me on what suits him. I have six godchildren from four families. I’m honored that their parents share their kids with me, and I am thrilled to be involved in their lives.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I’m up for any adventure. I love getting together with friends, going to new places and doing new things. I enjoy traveling. I’ve been to every state in the U.S. except Rhode Island and Iowa. I have my motorcycle license, and my next goal is to get into adventure motorcycle riding. I’ll be taking classes and training over the next couple of years, and eventually hope to ride from Arizona to Glacier National Park in Montana, going via the backroads. I also love flying; I’ve had my private pilot’s license since I was 20.
What was your last vacation? Well, I was supposed to go to Bali, but due to the pandemic, I ended up camping in northwest South Dakota instead. It was a fabulous trip and there is so much more to see in addition to Mt. Rushmore.
What’s your next vacation? At the end of this month, I’m going back to Custer, South Dakota to attend the Buffalo Roundup at the Custer State Park, where I’ll watch cowboys and cowgirls as they roundup and drive the herd of approximately 1,300 buffalo. Not only is the roundup a spectacular sight to see, it is also a critical management tool in maintaining a strong and healthy herd.
What are you currently reading or binge watching? I’m currently reading “Untamed: The Wildest Women in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island.” I want to go to Cumberland Island, which is in Georgia accessible only by boat. There’s a passenger ferry from Florida. I want to see the island, wild horses and history. I also just binge-watched the first three seasons of Yellowstone. You must start from the beginning to get hooked. Can’t wait for Season 4!