Engineer. Writer. “Big Picture Guy”
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 first 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.
Since 2002, he has invested well over 10,000 hours in becoming an authority in the areas of sustainability, health promotion and food-based wellness. To be sure, his interests in nutrition go far beyond human health; he is equally passionate about the impact of our rich Western diet on our environment, world hunger and the needless 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 hotels, industry 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–our food choices in the 21st century. 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 writer, speaker, consultant and activist in this exciting field, here is a summary of the background that led to his new career–and the passion of his life.
- 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)
- Writer, speaker, author and “big-picture guy” since 2011 (Weekly SOS Memos)
Background in Health Promotion and Sustainability (since 2009)
- Author of Healthy Eating, Healthy World, (BenBella, 2011), foreword by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, endorsed by ten others, including Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and Paul Allaire, former CEO of Xerox.
- Member of the Board of Directors of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies from 2012 to 2018.
- Creator of extensive international blog & website for promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth. Published over 1200 pieces since 2011.
- Creator of the trademarked 4Leaf for Life approach for promoting health by focusing on maximizing the percent of calories from whole, plant-based foods (4leafprogram.com)
- Creator of the innovative 4Leaf Survey for estimating an individual’s approximate percentage of daily calories from whole plants—without counting calories. Now available in five languages. Also available online at 4leafsurvey.com. (Now used by many physicians around the world as they lead their patients down the pathway to vibrant health)
- Along with co-writer Kerry Graff, MD, published his second book in 2015–4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health, Using the Power of Food to Heal Ourselves and Our Planet.
- Active speaker. Since 2011, he has spoken at colleges, junior high schools, civic organizations, health conferences and vegetarian groups in Connecticut, Canada, Massachusetts, Dominican Republic, Arizona, Kentucky, Italy, Colorado and at the Harvard Club in New York City.
- Published third book, OUTCRY, in April of 2020, on the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day.
More background information on J. Morris Hicks
- For my story about how I became a “big picture guy” in the first place, this May 2014 piece covers it well. From bigot to activist—my seven steps to altruism
- If you’d like to know more how a former Ralph Lauren executive made the move from fashion to becoming the “big picture guy” about the food we eat, you may want to read a piece entitled From Polo to Plant Food — The Long Version
- For my journey to the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. From Mississippi to the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies