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People of Stanford Research Park: Phillip Martin

by SRP on October 4, 2023
Get to Know: Phillip Martin, Driven to Serve

Account Manager, Stanford Blood Center

Ask anyone who’s gotten the chance to work with Phillip Martin, and you’ll hear them use words like “inspiring” and “sunshine” to describe him. He’s the type of person who, when fortunate enough to meet, you think, I want to be more like that!

And it’s easy to see why. Phillip, a Sacramento native who grew up in the Fairfield area, has built a career around service—work that pays him back with the deep and humbling joy of helping others. After completing his service in the Air Force, he joined a blood center as a phlebotomist—a person who performs a blood draw—in Alexandria, Louisiana. Two years later, per a friend’s suggestion, he took and passed the civil service exam required to be a firefighter. In 2005, he joined his first fire department.

In 2008, Phillip felt a pull back to his roots and returned to California, where he worked as an engineer and certified EMT at Fire Station 47, which operates across the Suisun/Fairfield/Solano county area. This work put him on the front lines of saving lives, on teams deployed to fight wildfires, and on support as fellow firefighters delivered babies. This past February, Phillip hung up his hat for the last time and retired from the force.

But service still calls, and Phillip is still able to answer. In 2011, Phillip joined the Stanford Blood Center as an account manager and phlebotomist, work that continues to fulfill him all these years later. Be it at the center or in one of its mobile vans that docks at The Hub once a month and other Stanford Research Park sites throughout the year, Phillip plays a critical role in delivering vital blood supplies to hospitals and patients up and down the Bay Area. Always humble, Phillip is quick to shift the credit to those who generously give their time to donate blood to people in need in our larger community.

We’re excited for you to get to know Phillip Martin, yet another person who makes Stanford Research Park a unique and special place.

Mobile Blood Drive in Stanford Research Park
What do you enjoy most about your work?

The thing I enjoy the most about my work is that it's reward based. You see this with my work as a firefighter and in blood banking. I didn’t plan to do either one of these things, and I didn’t know much about them. Life kind of presented them, and I was smart enough to say “yes.” As a firefighter, you go, you pick somebody up, you help them. With blood banking, you draw someone’s blood, and you’re the first part of a chain of lifesaving events. You’re a spark, the first step, and it ends with improving someone’s life down the line.

At the Stanford Blood Center, I’ve never had trouble getting up in the morning or supplying top notch customer service because I realize what blood donors are doing is crucial. My favorite people are those who come in to donate blood on their birthdays. I always thought that was just a really perfect way to give back, to be selfless in that way. I get to thank these people for coming in, and I love doing my best to make their experience as painless and enjoyable as possible. I always take a lot of pride in this. And it’s a community. It’s been very rewarding through the years.

At the Stanford Blood Center, I’ve never had trouble getting up in the morning or supplying top notch customer service because I realize what blood donors are doing is crucial.

Phillip Martin, Account Manager, Stanford Blood Center

What was your first paying job?

My first paying job was at Round Table Pizza in Suisun, making pizza back in about 1996.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I think the best advice I received is from my father. He was talking about if there is a God or is not a God. He said, if you follow God and there is no God, well then you’ve hurt nothing and been a pretty good person. But if you don’t follow God and there is a God, well then you’re in a whole world of hurt. That’s been really instrumental in just trying to be a good person and treat people the right way.

What is your favorite day-off activity or destination?

I have two young ones, a five year old and a two year old. So my favorite activity is being with them and being able to pick them up from school every day. We love to go to different parks. My kids are really good at making friends. They’ve never met a stranger. I love watching them grow, it's just exciting, and I don't take it for granted.

For years, working in blood banking, I had a tough schedule. Your hours can be very fluid. You might get off at seven o’clock in the evening and have to be back at work by seven o’clock the next morning. But now I’m able to make my own schedule and pick up my kids every day, and it’s very, very enjoyable. Life can be very taxing, so I just try to keep it simple and be as present as possible, especially with my kids.

What is something that has surprised you about this stage of your life?

You know what, I'm pretty surprised by how much peace I have in my life. I'm very thankful for that. I'm so glad to have this boring life that I live. Everything goes pretty much according to plan. So I am surprised by how much peace I have fostered in my life. I’m not rich by any means. But I’m definitely rich in peace and stability in my household and family structure and things of that nature.


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