Founder, Rancho Cielo and Supervisor, District 2, County of Monterey

John Phillips is a long time resident of Monterey County, having served as Deputy District Attorney, Assistant District Attorney, Superior Court Judge and most recently, as Founder and President of Rancho Cielo Youth Campus.

In 1971 John joined the District Attorney’s office and was quickly appointed as the Assistant District Attorney in 1975, in charge of the Salinas office. He served as the Assistant District Attorney until he was appointed to the Monterey Superior Court Bench in 1984. He served on the Monterey County Bench for 21 years before his retirement in 2004.

After many years of witnessing the tragic cycle of offending and incarceration of so many young people, in 2000, John and several other concerned citizens founded Rancho Cielo, a successful and innovative program for at risk youth. Since his retirement in 2004, he has devoted most of his time to the continued development of Rancho Cielo, working closely with the County of Monterey.

In addition to serving as the President of the Board of Rancho Cielo, John serves on the Board of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, and was formerly on the Board of Directors of the Gateway Center, member of the Mayor of Salinas Violence Prevention Task Force and the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace (CASP).

He has been honored with the Salinas Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year award, the Jefferson Award, Community Commitment to Peace Award from Partners for Peace, the Monterey County Bar Association Gibson Award, the Humanitarian Award from the American Culinary Federation and the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award.