Holding considerable expertise in data analysis, data literacy, and business strategy, Suzannah Hicks attributes much of her success to giving back to her community and her commitment to lifelong learning. She began her career in the hospitality industry in 1991, two years before she achieved a bachelor’s degree in history from Berea College in 1993. In 2010, she became a franchise owner and general manager of one of the country’s largest pizza delivery businesses, something she considers to be her most fulfilling professional highlight to date. In these roles, Ms. Hicks gained expertise in writing business plans and proposals to secure funding, handling human resource management, and she even developed her own data analytics system, drawing on her longstanding love of statistics.
Although the economy was in a difficult place when she opened her franchise, Ms. Hicks was able to increase its revenue by 30% within two years. She is also incredibly proud to have leveraged her position as a business owner to benefit her community, bringing jobs to an economically depressed area and striving to be a good mentor to her high-school-age employees. Alongside owning the pizza delivery business, she also served as the chief operating officer and owner of KMA Group Inc., from 2010 to 2016. In 2016, Ms. Hicks took a leap of faith and sold her pizza franchise to pursue studies as a full-time master’s student at the University of New Hampshire. She graduated in 2018 with a Master of Science in analytics and data sciences.
During her master’s studies, Ms. Hicks held a variety of positions, including as a business and management consultant for The Maine Thing, LLC from 2016 to 2018. She also spent time as a data scientist for Martin’s Point Health Care and a data scientist and team leader for the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability from 2017 to 2018 and a senior customer insight manager for Market Intelligence International in 2018. Since 2018, Ms. Hicks has served as a data strategist and scientist for the International Association of Privacy Professionals and later became adjunct faculty at Southern New Hampshire University in 2022. She is also currently pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration in organizational development at Johnson & Wales University and is projected to graduate in 2024.
To stay abreast of new industry developments, Ms. Hicks maintains membership with DAMA International, for data management professionals, and the Enterprise Big Data Framework Alliance. Additionally, she was a presenter at the Big Data Days virtual conference in 2023, where she gave the talk, “Organizational Culture Transformation: Challenges and Benefits of Adopting a Data Culture.” For her early work as a pizza delivery franchise owner, Ms. Hicks was nominated as both the Small Franchisee of the Year in the Southeast Region and Small Franchisee General Manager of the Year in the Southeast Region in 2013.