When Phil died in 2019, I wanted to honor his legacy with a fund dedicated to helping victims of Traumatic Brain Injury. It isn’t the legacy that either of us wanted but life makes opportunities that you can’t avoid.
In his case, a drunk driver in a pickup truck ran him over one morning on the way to the gym changing the trajectory of his life and mine.
Phil was an award-winning creative director and advertising executive know for iconic slogans including Gillette’s “Never let ‘em see you sweat,” and the U.S. Navy’s “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.” He won numerous awards for his work including a Lion D’Or Cannes. Three of his commercials are in the Museum of Modern Art. His career was a success by any measure.
After the crash and a long arduous hospital stay, Phil worked constantly and with endless willpower to rehabilitate both his body and brain which had been terribly injured. He was obsessed with ‘becoming’ more. He wasn’t satisfied with just ‘being.’ Phil consistently and constantly fought on with strength and determination to make something of his life again.
Phil was an avid triathlete and loved Hawaii and all of the opportunities for biking, running, surfing, swimming, and just enjoying the outdoor life.
Post-crash, he worked tirelessly to run, swim and bike again. It took years of small steps to regain a semblance of his former self. He was tireless and simultaneously exhausted all the time.
Writing was where he channeled his intellect. Initially, he wrote a guidebook for presenters, Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat. Eventually, he wanted to help others with brain injuries and wrote a post-crash memoir, Damage Control.
Damage Control gave Phil a way to help others who struggle with the aftereffects of brain injury. He was particularly moved by all of the young men and women returning from war zones with battle and blast induced brain injuries. In this spirit, the fund targets organizations who are creating innovative ways to help TBI survivors.
What does this have to do with Mary Spears art? Without the years we spent during rehabilitation, I would never have discovered painting. That’s another story….
Please make a donation to the Phil Slott Charitable Fund through the Hawaii Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization. The money will be well used to fund organizations in Hawaii and across the U.S. who work with brain injury survivors. Thank you.