Anthony’s Story: Why Leaves?

Anthony Phills, Co-Founder
Making a Difference in People’s Lives

It was August of 2003. Bobby Lee Bonds Sr. passed away. Bobby was an American right fielder in Major League Baseball from 1968 to 1981, primarily with the San Francisco Giants. His son Barry Bonds is MLB’s home run leader. Barry was my client at the time. I wanted to do something to honor his father. I decided to build a website enabling Bobby’s friends and family to leave a message, pictures, and videos. The goal was to generate content and use it to create a commemorative book for his mother, which we did.

Then, tragically and unexpectedly, on October 6, 2010, my father Norris W. Phills passed away. I was in Paris, France, spending time with my friends. The flight to Toronto was the most challenging flight I have ever taken. I wanted to hear his voice again, but knowing I would never speak with him again hurt so much. At his Wake in Toronto many people came up to me and told me all the great things my father did for them, which went back at least two generations.

I asked myself, how do I capture all these great stories? There was no easy way to capture all these stories of my father that I never knew about. I then came up with The Document Capsule — a play on what I had done for Bobby Lee Bonds Sr. The Document Capsule enabled me to digitize the stories and memories of my father, share them with family members, and preserve them for safekeeping.

About a year later, my mentor Michael O’Donnell launched the first version of Leaves. I was so happy for him and realized we had both thought of the same thing, but had come at it from different directions.

In 2022, Michael reached out to me and told me about the re-launch of Leaves and how he was working to create an application that used Ai to help people capture their lived experiences and preserve their life’s legacy for future generations. As luck and timing would have it, I was just finishing up my certificate program at Berkeley University in Artificial Intelligence (Ai). Leaves would be a great platform to leverage my previous work and create new products that would achieve my goal of “Making a Difference in People’s Lives.”

For the past few years, I have been spending time documenting my mother as she tells me about her life in Trinidad and Tobago with my dad. These have been some of my most memorable days with my mother. In the video below, True Love, you see a few elements that I will bring to Leaves dynamically. One of my goals for Leaves is to help people capture their stories and the stories of their loved ones. Then be able to deliver their stories in different formats for their enjoyment, and for the enjoyment of their descendants, from digital to print, to Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (ARVR). These ideas are things for which I won the Anthem Award* and the International Design Award**. I can’t wait to scale these ideas for you, the storyteller of your life’s journey, and perhaps one of the co-biographer’s of your parent’s and grandparent’s lives.

Just think about it, no more lost stories! A famous narrator like Morgan Freeman could voice your life story. Your virtual biographer could be someone like Opah. The possibilities to bring your story to life and to forever preserve your legacy, in all new ways, are endless.

Get Started Today!

*Brought to you by the Webby Awards, the Anthem Awards honors the mission and purpose-driven work of people, companies, and organizations worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, we’re defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their own communities.

**The International Design Awards (IDA) exists to recognize, celebrate and promote, exceptional design visionaries and discover emerging talent in Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic, and Fashion Design worldwide. The Farmani Group founded the IDA as the design sibling of the Annual Lucie Awards for Photography, which has emerged as one of the world’s most prestigious photography awards.

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