January 20, 2012
Last week was incredibly special for me. On Monday morning, I was invited to join the board of directors of Dr. Campbell’s foundation. Upon acceptance, Colin asked me to prepare a one-page summary of my background leading up to this appointment to his board. Here is that summary:
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
After a career in business as a management consultant and senior corporate executive, Jim Hicks became curious about the “optimal diet” for humans in 2002. Having always been a “big picture” guy in business, he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective—discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. Leveraging his expertise in making complex things simple, he documented his findings in his powerful book, Healthy Eating, Healthy World, published by BenBella Books in October of 2011.
In his business career, he had lengthy stints as a management consultant (Kurt Salmon Associates and Conway Quality), serving such clients as Holiday Inns, Sears, and ITT. In 1981, he moved from consulting to line management and held senior executive positions with a number of fashion companies, such as Ralph Lauren in New York before launching his own executive search firm in Atlanta in 1999; The Ansley Consulting Group, a firm that is still active today.
Executive recruiter by day, Jim has spent his spare time learning all about food since 2002. After studying plant-based nutrition, reading hundreds of books and getting to know many of the top physicians in the field, he began to document his findings and conclusions on his Harmony Earth website in 2006. Then, after writing his book in 2010, he launched his blog site at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com in February of 2011. With a tagline of promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth, as of August 2012, he published his 564th consecutive daily blog on this topic.
To be sure, his interests in plant-based nutrition go far beyond human health; he is equally passionate about the impact of our rich Western diet on our environment, our supply of fossil fuels, world hunger and the widespread suffering of billions of factory-farm animals. He is now leveraging his business skills as he works to improve all of those facets of our world.
Throughout his career, he has always focused on improving processes—whether in the hospitality industry, consumer products or retail; always looking for the best bang for the buck in terms of improvement potential. In 2003, he discovered what he referred to as the single largest process improvement opportunity in the history of the world. The implications of shifting to a plant-based feeding model for humans are enormous—and J. Morris Hicks plans to spend the rest of his life improving that model. Now a speaker, blogger and consultant in this exciting field, here is a brief summary of the background that led to his new role—and the passion of his life.
- Early childhood in Mississippi & Tennessee (even some dairy farm experience, like Dr. Campbell)
- BS Industrial Engineering, 1968, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
- MBA, Business Administration, 1971, The University of Hawaii
- Officer, United States Coast Guard, 1969-1971 (Based in Honolulu)
- Management Consultant and Corporate Executive (1971-1999)
- Executive Recruiter (1999 to Present) Atlanta and New York
- Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, 2009, T. Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell (division of Cornell University).
In my letter of acceptance, I explained to Colin what this appointment means to me:
As you know, I am 100% in support of the center’s mission and have been for many years. I frequently tell people that it was your Plant-Based Nutrition course that was the catalyst that led me to write a book. Your instructors encouraged us in the classes to talk about how we would explain this powerful message to others—and, in so doing, I realized that I had a story to tell—a story that I hoped would resonate with the mainstream, non-vegetarian/vegans of the world.
Looking back to the early days of my learning in 2003, I can’t begin to tell you what an honor it is for me to be joining your board. Long before “The China Study” was published, I discovered your work on the Internet and remember thinking to myself that “this Dr. Campbell was the real deal, and that maybe someday I would be privileged enough to meet him.” Later, after your book came out and I first met you and Karen at the Zen Palate in NYC on December 6, 2005; I knew that I would always look to you as the “father of the science” that formed the platform of legitimacy on which all of those great pioneering physicians now operate. —J. Morris Hicks
Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s latest book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes
- Dr. Campbell’s new book: WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
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—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info: