DON HICKS:
 
DON HICKS




 
 
 
 
 
Founder, President, and CEO of LLamasoft Inc. in Ann Arbor. LLamasoft provides software and expertise to design and modify supply chain network operations. Hicks is an industry leader on supply chain strategy and technology issues and a sought-after speaker and author. Over the past 15 years, he has consulted with and coached supply chain professionals at hundreds of companies around the world to optimize and improve their operations. Hicks envisioned the company's "Supply Chain Guru" application in the late 1990s. The program provides business analysts a tool in which they can optimize supply chain networks and simulate "what if" business risk and logistics scenarios before implementing actual changes in their operations. Today, LLamasoft's Supply Chain Guru is valued by many Fortune 100 companies as their tool of choice for supply chain strategic modeling. Clients are many of the world's largest organizations, including ConocoPhillips, Dell, J.C. Penney, Cadbury-Schweppes, and Unilever Corp. LLamasoft has established a global presence in the past year with the opening of an office in Singapore and the establishment of multiple alliances in Europe and North America. LLamasoft was named one of the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” in 2008. Hicks has been selected by Supply & Demand Chain Executive as one of the "Pros to Know" in 2006, 2007, and 2008. He received his bachelor's degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his MBA from the University of Michigan.


WHERE BORN: "Rochester."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My kids – they've chilled me out. I have two little ones and it has radically changed my perspective on things more than anything else. And historically, George Washington and Carl Sagan are figures I admire."

LAST BOOK READ: "The truth is, the last one was my sister's book, Busy, Busy Butterfly by Kelly L. Hicks. In nonfiction, Newton's Clock: Chaos in the Solar System by Ivars Peterson and the Science Business: The Promise, the Reality, and the Future of Biotech by Gary Pisano."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Curious and interested in the world."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "In the industry of decision support, we're quantifying people's choices so they can make better decisions about pretty complicated systems. Where it's headed is really enabling humans and their flawed decision-making to incorporate the power of computer technology to fundamentally change the way they make their choices. In business, people have been largely ‘winging it' in order to manage incredibly complex systems, relying more on support. They have used obscure mathematical models, yet with one small error, your entire model is off. We're going to see radically improved decision-making and better upside and downside risk and improvements in productivity. The economic meltdown proves that that model needs to be revised."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "I have two. The first thing is an egg poker. It has a little pin on the bottom of a cup and you press an egg into it and it never breaks. The second is my DVR – it may take me 12 hours to get through a two-hour football game with two children running around."

FAVORITE PLACE: "The left bank of the Seine where my wife and I went on our first big and long classic date. It's where they filmed An American in Paris and a variety of other movies."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "I play jazz trumpet, I'm a soccer fanatic, and sailing."

FAVORITE FOOD: "I had a black truffle fontina fondue at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. Everybody should go there at some point in their life."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I'm the best bartender in Ann Arbor. I take my bartending very, very, seriously."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "Frequently and fondly."