The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska Executive Committee is proud to announce that a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has been hired. Before an introduction is made, we would like to explain why it was decided to hire a CEO. Many rumors have been swirling around for some time and we’d like to take the time to address them. In 2014, the Tribe received a grant from the USDA to develop a Strategic Economic Development Plan. In this plan, one of the main priorities was to form a separate tribal entity wholly owned by the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska to operate all of the Tribe’s current and future for profit businesses. Many other Tribes operate their for profit businesses in this manner instead of businesses being operated under the tribal government. Research has shown that tribal businesses operated in this manner are more successful. Since the Strategic Economic Development plan was adopted, the Executive Committee along with the Business Advisory Board have been working towards creating this entity which will serve as the holding company for all future business operations and ventures. This holding company will have subsidiary businesses such as the Farm Operation, Ioway Bee Farm, Utilities and Grandview Oil along with new for profit businesses. Eventually, the holding company will be an IRA Section 17 Corporation. This does take some time to complete as it has to be approved by Congress. In the meantime, we have created a Limited Liability Company which will operate the businesses mentioned above as well as future developed businesses. The Chief Executive Officer will be responsible for operating these businesses and also be tasked with obtaining certification for Small Business Administration under the 8(a) Business Development Program rules which will allow the entity to contract with the Federal Government. The entity will be operated under a Board of Directors. The Executive Committee has appointed three tribal members who originally served on the Business Advisory Board to serve on the Board of Directors. They are Carl Liberty, Deborah Bryan, and Mary Delores Waite. The Board of Directors, like all other tribal boards and committees, report to the Executive Committee. We will be holding an informational meeting/presentation on June 9, 2018 at the George Ogden Building at 1:00pm for tribal members to attend.
With that being said, we’d like to welcome and introduce Jeffrey Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of Grey Snow Management Solutions, LCC.
Jeffrey Hicks most recently was the Chief Operations Officer of Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation, an Alaska Native Village Corporation, and the Chief Executive Officer and President of Midnight Sun Technologies, Inc. (MST), one of its wholly own subsidiaries. He was also the managing venturer for one of its 8(a) joint ventures and served on numerous subsidiary boards. After joining in 2014, Jeffrey was instrumental in establishing the technological and commercialization roadmap for both Federal and Commercial markets for their Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program participant companies. Additionally, he instituted programmatic controls, FAR/DFAR and contractual compliance measures, and pursued a corporate facility clearance utilizing his Top Secret / SCI clearance. Jeffrey developed, sought funding for, and began implementation of their first strategic and long term (twelve year) plan to address the fundamental and humanitarian needs of the village and its inhabitants.
Prior to Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation, Jeffrey was a founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Persistent Sentinel. Under his leadership since 2011, Persistent Sentinel’s security and surveillance business grew to a robust company gaining its share in a projected $1+ billion in cumulative revenue market by the end of 2020. While his responsibilities were diverse, much of Jeffrey’s efforts at Persistent Sentinel were focused on formulating strategic business plans, instituting revenue enhancement and cost reduction initiatives, updating the business model to ensure the firm’s long-term success, and executing business development campaigns designed to deliver the best return on investment in order to achieve key financial and growth improvement objectives.
Prior to forming Persistent Sentinel, Jeffrey was the Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Systems, a position he held since 2006. Jeffrey had joined the firm in 2001 as the Chief Operating Officer, following his tenure in the US Navy as a nuclear submarine officer. After rising to President, and recognizing the company’s potential, Jeffrey was able to orchestrate a buyout and acquired full operational control of the firm in 2006. Thereafter, Jeffrey dedicated himself to growing a profitable enterprise, as he led 21CSI to one of the leading software R&D business within Nebraska and the entire country for 8 straight years as documented by US Innovation.
Under his leadership, 21CSI made great strides in becoming one of the essential providers of state-of-the-art decision-support software for the United States Department of Defense and other government agencies. Successful in the domestic market, Jeffrey then turned his attention to the highly competitive global market, closing key security solution deals involving intelligence data collection and evaluation, security and force protection, and situational awareness programs for naval forces with countries around the world. Skilled at opening discussions with potential clients to accelerate expansion, Jeffrey’s ability to spearhead global business development initiatives and negotiate complex, multi-million dollar agreements is without parallel.
Entrepreneurial minded with a clear sense of direction and priorities, Jeffrey has established a clear record of making exceptional decisions in order to outperform the competition and lead the company to record levels of performance. He excels at building positive business relationships with both existing and prospective new clients, and his multi-cultural management and etiquette skills have provided the basis for his successful dealings with customers throughout the world. A team-oriented leader, much of Jeffrey’s reputation is based on his ability to thrive in a wide variety of social environments, while enhancing the corporation’s value.
Jeffrey has a keen understanding of macro-economic influences and has demonstrated the ability to maintain continued profitability during periods of both rapid growth and severe business downturns. Whether challenged to create initial market presence or accelerate sales within an established market, he has consistently delivered strong and sustainable performance well beyond expectations.
Jeffrey earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering with High Honors from Auburn University, and has subsequently received two Master of Science Degrees in Applied Physics and Astronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Currently, he has completed the Qualifying Exam and 40 study hours towards his Ph.D. in Information Technology at the University of Nebraska.