As the new vice president of information security, Afia Phillips handles cyber security for all business units throughout the Ilitch companies, from box office ticket sales to network-connected screens at venues and beyond. With a strong background composed of 20 years’ experience working in multiple sectors, Afia offers a strong foundation for the companies in a world increasingly reliant on IT.
After she earned her Bachelor of Arts in computer science from Wayne State University, Afia started working as a network administrator for the City of Detroit, where she applied and broadened her general IT knowledge. From there, she sharpened her focus to cyber security. She began consulting at KPMG before working at Daimler, where she was promoted several times in 11 years.
Afia also works hard to promote diversity in the male-dominated field. In her spare time, she mentors younger family members to help them with life skills and preparation for higher education. Her passion for uplifting those like her inspired her to create Girls Get IT, her “prized possession,” a program which seeks to close the gender gap in the field. “Knowing that we could make a positive difference and help students be confident, intelligent future leaders in IT was amazing and very rewarding. Impacting the younger generation is near and dear to me,” she said.
Additionally, Afia is also a member of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation and a former co-chair for the Professional Membership Services Committee of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Additionally, she served as Audit Committee Member for the St. John Providence Health System. In 2019, she received a Crain’s honor for Notable Women in STEM.
Afia said that her short time at Little Caesars has exceeded her expectations. “Whenever I meet with people, they understand the importance of information security and want to know how we can make things better. Having that support is invaluable.”