GE Appliances searched throughout the US for a hip, savvy and connected grandma to represent its brands. After combing through nearly 700 deserving applicants, the brand has found a woman deserving of the title of ‘Great American Grandma.’ The Haier brand named Ally Phillips of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, to the coveted post.
As the GE Appliances ‘Great American Grandma,’ Phillips will be an advocate for the importance of cooking, cultural and family traditions in the kitchen, as well as a be brand ambassador for the company’s leading appliances.
“Selecting just one of the nearly 700 well-deserving grandmothers was a daunting task with so many vibrant, fun and beloved applicants,” said Wendy Treinen, director of ‘grandma relations,’ GE Appliances. “There were many standouts, but Ally ultimately had the style, panache and passion for life and family that made her an ideal fit for the position. We can’t wait to see what Ally cooks up over the next year.”
Phillips, known as Mama Ally, was born in West Virginia with bohemian roots that inspire her “Bohemian Bold” cooking today. A mother of five and grandmother of eight, she credits her own mother and grandmother for her love of cooking and bringing family together around the table. She began her professional career as an educator supervising special education, and then serving as a school psychologist. A recognized expert in learning disabilities and ADHD, she founded her own company serving children and adults in the Southeast.
After moving to Boston with her husband, Ben, in 2008, Phillips made a career change, focusing on acting and cooking. She made it to the semifinals in an audition for MasterChef season one and has since won numerous cooking contests. In 2015 she authored a cookbook, ‘Ally’s Kitchen: A Passport for Adventurous Palates,’ an Amazon Top 100 International. She produces her own website with original recipes and her own photography. She is also well connected on social media with a robust following of foodie fans.
Phillips is an avid traveler and brings back flavors and recipe ideas from around the globe, believing that the common DNA of all people and cultures is food.
“Time with my grandchildren and friends is always punctuated by food,” Phillips said. “I’ve been given a gift for cooking and what good is a gift if you don’t give it to anyone? Life happens around the table, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than giving this gift to those I love.”
Phillips has an impressive repertoire as a foodie but says her grandchildren, who range from 6 months to 28 years old, are her true inspiration. Known to them as “Mama Ally,” she enjoys taking them on outdoor adventures — hiking, fishing and skiing — or just staying home to work on puzzles or play board games. They even help her as her sous chefs in the kitchen.
“I’d like to set an example for my grandchildren and other grandmothers out there that dreams have no expiration date,” Phillips said. “Becoming GE Appliances’ Great American Grandma is a dream come true, and I’m so excited to begin this adventure.”
GE Appliances posted the #GreatAmericanGrandma position in January, a part-time role that comes with a $50,000 salary and five top-of-the-line GE Appliances kitchen products. Phillips learned of her selection during a visit to GE Appliances’ headquarters in Louisville. As the company’s Great American Grandma, she will focus on cooking, cultural and family traditions through appearances, interviews, events and social content.
The top 10 finalists for the GE Appliances Great American Grandma were announced on March 21. Phillips began her post today (April 2).