Sydney Smith Hicks is CEO of SSHICKS Advisors, a strategy, operations, and investments consulting firm created in 2007. She served for over 20 years as a director at Smart Start Inc., a private, international company that produces and manages ignition-interlock devices, software, and services; Smart Start was sold in August 2015 to a private equity firm. In 2007 Hicks became a Co-Founder of DeviceFidelity, Inc., a technology firm that develops plug-and-play technologies and software for transforming mobile phones into interactive secure transaction devices. From then to November 2014 when the company was sold, she served at various times as Executive Chairman of the Board, Director, Chairman of the Audit Committee and consultant to DeviceFidelity, Inc.
Prior to her most recent endeavors, Hicks was CEO of VECTORsgi, an international banking software and services company selling solutions to large financial institutions. She successfully led the company through a technology transformation of their software offerings, doubling sales and enhancing margins. She took the company private (it was a separate corporation within Sterling Commerce, Inc., which had become part of SBC), with a private equity company, Thoma Bravo, and later managed its successful sale to Metavante Corporation (now FIS).
She has more than 20 years focused on business to business software and technology businesses, overlapping with 30 years of experience in the banking industry. She served as chief economist of NCNB (the current Bank of America and prior NationsBank); started and managed nationwide strategic initiatives focused on reengineering the delivery of transaction services in the following categories: electronic check presentment, electronic return item notification, check loss avoidance, image delivery and truncation of paper; served as Chairman of the Board of PSN, a new payment services company owned by several banks; managed nationally NationsBank's cash assets and the operational risk functions; and was a member of the Economic Advisory Board of the American Bankers Association. She taught at several universities; did research at the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis and Dallas, advising the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank; and was a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
A Past Chairman and more than 25-year member of the UTD Jindal School of Management Advisory Council, Hicks also serves as life member of the UT Dallas Development Board. She is a member of The Dallas Assembly; member and Past President of IWF Dallas; member and Past Membership Co-Chair of UT Southwestern President’s Research Council; member and Past Treasurer of Charter 100; and, is a member of the National Association for Business Economics and the American Economic Association. She is a member of the Economics Department Advisory Committee at Washington University (St. Louis).
She received her BA in economics with distinction from Cornell College (Iowa), and her MA and PhD from Washington University (St. Louis).