In fact, the refinery and the town of Borger are so well integrated that the Smiths say most of the businesses in town provide a service to the refinery in one way or another.
“Growing up, I had a bunch of family already working at Phillips 66,” said Bo.
“If it’s not my family, it’s my friends. If it’s not my friends, it’s my friends’ dads.”
Maynard “MW” Smith established his family’s legacy in the mid-1940s in Osage County, Oklahoma, when he was hired by Phillips Petroleum. He and his family ultimately transferred to Borger in the 1950s to start working at the refinery, where he stayed until his retirement in 1977.
His son, B.D. Smith, was raised in Borger and ultimately joined the company in 1972, after months of applying.
“There were lots and lots of people trying to get on, but you’d go back every day — which I did almost,” said B.D., dad to Bobby and granddad to Bo.
“Eventually, persistence paid off and I got hired.”
B.D., who served in multiple roles in his 24-year career with Phillips 66, retired from the company in 1996 as a shift supervisor.
Employees at Phillips 66 now span over five generational categories, from the Silent Generation born between 1925 to 1945 to the younger Generation Z, born from 1995. Generations X and Y, those born from 1964-1994, make up 78% of the company's workforce, while Boomers make up nearly 19%.
While four generations of the same family having worked at the same company may be rare nowadays, it's not surprising for the Smith family. Nevertheless, Bobby said it was a special moment for him when his son, Bo, got the call from the hiring manager.
“Phillips 66 takes such good care of their people, so to me I knew his family was taken care of,” he said. “It was a proud moment because I knew it was going to benefit him, it was going to benefit his wife and my grandkid.”