Patti Phelps is the owner and CEO of Phelps Security, Inc., which is the oldest security guard firm in Memphis, celebrating 69 Years of service to our community and is also the largest certified woman owned entity in Memphis, TN. Phelps Security provides security guard and patrol services to businesses and residential areas in the Memphis community and in the Mid South.
Patti joined the company in 1981 to assist her late husband, Lloyd Phelps, Jr., who was then working for his parents, the owners of the company at the time. As a team, they brought different business talents to the company, and together began to realize a different vision for the company’s future. In 1982, Lloyd and Patti purchased the business from his family and began a true partnership that changed the trajectory of the company. Together they turned around the struggling security firm and rebuilt it again after a fire destroyed their facilities in 1988. That teamwork and ability to come back even stronger is what Phelps considers her crowning professional achievement.
“Our firm today continues to be managed by the very individuals who will feel the ultimate result of any failures,” states Patti Phelps, the CEO of Phelps Security. “Because we are confident in the level of service and dedication we provide, we are proud to put our family name on our company. Our trucks bear the Phelps name, as do the uniforms of our officers. We are proud enough of our product to stake our name on it.”
That pride has been maintained for 69 years. Managing the business with her husband, Lloyd Phelps, Jr. until his death in 2016, Patti continues to lead Phelps Security today along with her three adult children who represent the third generation of family as managing partners.
Patti and her late husband, Lloyd Phelps, had a vision to give back to their community to help keep Memphis the place people want to live and work. They co-founded the B.I.G. for Memphis organization, which is an organization that provides a forum for the Memphis business community to attend meetings to learn the most recent crime statistics for their precincts, to have an opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with their precinct colonels, and to hear a presentation from a speaker highlighting the many positive events happening in our city. B.I.G. for Memphis was highlighted on the cover of the Memphis Daily News in November 2010, as the “B.I.G. IDEA.”
Phelps is proud of the numerous awards the company has received for service to clients and the Memphis community. Phelps Security has been recognized with the Civilian Excellence Award, the Police Department Patch from the Memphis Police Department and a Certificate of Recognition for their support of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Phelps Security is also a recipient of the Spark Award, recognizing those igniting change and making a positive impact on the Mid-South, the 2008 Tornado Award presented by BOMA Memphis in recognition of outstanding response to members to restore operations after a natural disaster, and the Eaton Award in appreciation for exceptional efforts supporting their firm after a natural disaster.
Patti is proud to serve on the Fallen Officer Memorial Committee, the CrimeStoppers of Memphis and Shelby County Board, serving as Board Chair for 2020 and 2021, and 2019 Vice-Chair. She also served several years as Vice President of the Commission on Missing and Exploited Children (COMEC) Board of Directors. She is a member of CityCurrent and the LeBonheur National Leadership Council. Patti has also been a recipient of the 2015 BOMA President’s award for her Emergency Management preparation for the organization, was recognized as a 2019 Memphis Business Journal Superwoman in Business and a Memphis Magazine Security Power Player for the past 6 years.
As Patti looks back on her career today, she sees an entirely different career than she planned. Patti had been known for her talent as an accomplished singer and attended Memphis State University on a full tuition Memphis Opera Theatre scholarship. She feels God led her to what she was really meant to do. She does not feel you should limit yourself to what you think you are supposed to do in your own mind. Patti advises young people to grasp the best “seed opportunity” they see in life and develop new dreams from that opportunity. Patti sees an entrepreneur as someone brave enough to step outside their box and take a chance on the opportunities presented to them.
Entrepreneurship is not always intentional. Sometimes opportunity presents itself and a true entrepreneur will take the risk and nurture the opportunity into a reality. It is so important to keep your mind open to what you were really meant to do. Your destiny depends on your willingness to remain flexible in your possibilities. Without entrepreneurship, our business world would cease to progress.
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