| Posted in And so It Begins!, Updates | No Comments

And the adventure begins

Friday was my last day at the University of South Florida, so what’s the natural response to what has been a most challenging year? Sell both cars and buy a new electric vehicle. Let the adventure begin!

Indeed, we’re about to embark on the next phase of our lives with the two dogs. Not sure if it will be retirement or just a much needed period of rest and relaxation. Time will tell. Our first adventure, taking Grits McGee and Redford (our two Papillons) on a road trip to Woodstock, Georgia to see the Grandchildren. In an electric car. Yikes.

I’ve been talking about electric for quite a while and decided why not now. When I say talking about electric that means doing my traditional due diligence and studying the market obsessively looking for that buy of the century. Found it at Brandon Ford, the largest Ford dealer in the country. Where else would you find a used Tesla with low miles and the performance option, right!

So off we go.

There was a time when I was blogging almost everyday (I did for my first 100 days at NC State University – an awesome place, by the way) but I’ve fallen off the wagon. With the new car and a new look at the life ahead, we’ll see if I can get back to a more regular routine.

Stay tuned.

Passion Rules!


| Posted in Updates | No Comments

Last of their Generation

It has been a rough couple of months for the family.  First my 91-year-old father, Joseph Spurgeon Hice, died in August, then my Dad’s “little” brother, Thomas Searcey Hice died on Oct. 28.

It’s hard to believe that all the “Greatest” generation of Hices are gone.

Little Brother – Big Brother — Thomas Hice, 87 with Joseph Hice, 91

On top of losing two amazing men who were role models for a generation of Hice’s, our 18-year-old dog, Jackson Dudley passed.

Uncle Searcey was preceded in death by my dad, Joseph Spurgeon Hice, brothers, Ewiel Edmond Hice, Margie Jay Dee Hice, Charles Nathaniel Hice and Freeland Eugene Hice and by sisters, Aubania Cecilo Hice, Janie Kate Hice Broome and Willie George Hice McCorkle.

A sad day to be sure. My dad and Uncle Searcey were close and we visited often. They talked on the phone every day.  We took our girls to see him and our Aunt Betty on numerous occasions, and my brother Charlie and I had quite a few “memorable” experiences with cousins Tommy and Jody Hice.

Uncle Searcey was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, gentlest men you’d ever meet. He was the tallest in the family. He towered over dad and used to joke with dad, calling him “little” brother.

They were quite a pair and we will miss them both terribly.


| Posted in Updates | No Comments

Jackson Dudley — 2001 to 2019

He was the toughest and most determined little dog I had ever met.  He was the runt of his litter with a deformed front leg and oversized chest.  His tail was almost as long as his body.  He had velvet ears.  He became an instant part of the family.

He was a Wisconsin shelter dog and his bark could scare Babe, the Blue Ox.  It was that big chest the kids said.  He loved the snow and would run, nose buried, the entire block, two girls close behind.

His name was Jackson Dudley, but he answered to Jackie, Jackie J, J Jeru, Jinkus, J-kees co.  You know you’re loved when you have that many nicknames.

His soul mate for 17 years was Rufus, a black and white jellical cat.  They played together, slept together, burrowed under the rug together. Jackson would chase the other cat relentlessly, paws skittering across polished cherry floors.  But Rufus, they were best friends. 

He ate anything.  As a pup, he lapped up shaving cream left on the driveway during a Halloween T-P incident.  He got sick but recovered.  Sandy left a bag of bird seed on the floor and he ate it.  All two or three pounds.  He pooped bird-seed cutlets for a week.  A tasty treat for the birds.  I don’t know. What did the birds think.

He traveled like a pro making the drive from Wisconsin to Florida, From Gainesville to Miami, From Tampa to Atlanta.  Put him in the backseat and he was gone until the next stop. Up and at ‘em. A quick pee and poo and back in the car.  Never a complaint.

As he got older car trips were harder.  His legs and hind quarters didn’t always work the way they should after a long drive.  He’d tremble until he knew he was not going to the vet.  He really didn’t have a problem with the vet and I always thought his “fear” was curious.  They treated him like the beloved elder worshiped by the tribe.

Well into his 17th year he’d have a dog fit now and then when I came home.  Circling the couch with his buddies Hominy and Grits, the Papillons, close behind.  Reversing direction so I wouldn’t catch him.  He was the pup I remembered from all those years ago.

When he turned 18 three months ago things really slowed down.  He had trouble walking and mostly slept.  He lost control from time to time and was embarrassed. He’d go into his kennel, head down.  But offer him a treat or “biscuit,” and he’d be out of that crate lickety split. 

In dog years he had 126 great ones.  In people years a little over 18.  He lit up our lives and never complained.  Despite his stature – a big dog in a little dog body with a tail of epic proportions – a deformed left front leg, soft tissue cancer at 13, a cataract that got so bad he lost his eye, and hearing he lost long ago, it was hard to say goodbye.

But as one of the girls’ favorite childhood friends, Winnie the Poo (misspelled intentionally for Jackson), said; 

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard….” 

So goodbye old fella.  We’re going to miss you.

Passion Rules!

He was 18+ and a great dog!


| Posted in Updates | No Comments

Eulogy for a Hero

Col. Joseph S. Hice, USAF (RET), was born in Cherry Log, GA on February 28, 1928. While times weren’t always easy – growing up in Cherry log could never be easy – he led a good life.

He would proudly tell everyone he met about the family farm and sawmill, the apple orchard and the railroad. If you knew dad for a day you knew he held the record for the 100-yard dash at Ellijay High School and Drove a school bus along North Georgia’s mountain roads when he was just 15.
That was about the time he began to dream of a life in the sky; being a pilot.

Dad joined the Army Air Corp when he was just 17. He tried to join earlier, but Mama Hice found out. That was not about to happen to her little boy.

Even though he wasn’t the youngest of the kids – that claim goes to Uncle Searcy – he was the smallest, but aviation fit him like a glove.

He became an officer candidate a little more than a year after he enlisted and entered flight school, the youngest in his class. And that was a big deal back then. He graduated, at the top of his class…

He also met our Mom, Phil, in Washington, after he completed his combat flight training. A friend had set him up with a blind and when my mom walked into the room – even before he met her – he said he was going to marry THAT girl. They were married for almost 60 years.

When they were dating he used to fly from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to Washington, D. C. on weekends just to see her.
From time to time he was known to do a flyover and Wing Wave down the valley in Cherry Log on his way back.

He went on to fly the T-3, Stearman, P-51 (his favorite), B-25, F-84, F-86, F-100, F-104, KC 135, B-52 and more.

He led the first flight to circumnavigate the globe without landing. 49 hours in the air. Can you even imagine. He retired after a magnificent 21-year career as a Colonel.

Dad was smart and good with people and that’s probably why the Air Force General Staff adopted him. He spent most of his time flying with Generals, Heads of State and other military leaders. He contributed his thoughts and ideas to running the Strategic Air Command.

He helped create the Looking Glass program which put aircraft in the sky 24 hours a day, 365 days a year during the Cold War. He helped keep America safe.

He saw the need for that program during the Cuban Missile Crisis when his squadron of U-2s and other reconnaissance aircraft – SPY PLANES — discovered Soviet missile sites on the island. They were pointed toward Florida.  He briefed President Kennedy about the situation and helped the nation, and the world, avoid World War III.

Following the Air Force he went on to a long career with Eastern Airlines where he was the chief flight instructor. If you flew Eastern during the 70s, 80s or 90s, chances were that dad and his team had trained the flight crew.

He never really retired. After Eastern he tried his hand at Real Estate. He could sell anything and was an active realtor until he was 90.

Speaking of selling anything, after our mom and the kids, he loved automobiles. The house in Miami usually looked like a car lot. In fact, it still does.

He probably owned more than 500 Pontiacs, Fords, Chevrolets, Ferraris, Porsches and Mercedes. Then there were the Cadillacs and Corvettes. Boy did he love his Cadillacs and Corvettes. When he died last month he still had two 1984 Corvettes sitting in the garage just waiting for him to find time to restore them.

We are all going to miss Dad. He was an amazing father and role model. An amazing Grandfather and Great Grandfather. An amazing friend and mentor.

He led a wonderful life and we’re all so happy he was with us for so long.

So, after 91 years, it’s time to say goodbye.

So dad, as you used to tell us all, Fly Low and Slow … and keep the doors open.

Mom and a whole bunch of angels are out there who want to hitch a ride and fly with you.

10 – 4, Roger and Out.


| Posted in 1 of Many, Updates | No Comments

Bullish on “New” USF logo

Dear USF community:
Last Fall we introduced a new academic logo for the University of South Florida that we believed was a positive representation of our pride and optimism. This new logo featured the image of a bull and was meant to help usher in a new era for USF and to celebrate the incredible momentum we have built over the past 63 years.

As you know, there has been a great deal of controversy over the bull image and the new color palette. We heard this from many of you over the past six months through email, on social media and in person. We know that the feedback comes from a place of great pride and passion for USF, and we have listened. As a result, we have decided to stop using the new bull logo. Instead, we will adopt the “Iconic Bull U,” which has been used by USF Athletics for almost 15 years, to represent the entire university. We will also return to the traditional green-and-gold color palette of the university. Implementation of the changes will begin immediately and continue throughout the summer.

Think of what we have accomplished under the Bull U, the students we have attracted, the faculty we have attracted. We became preeminent and were awarded for our performance. We raised more than $1 billion. We created an ever-improving culture of student success and academic achievement. We are building one of the most significant projects in the university’s history, the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in downtown Tampa, and the story continues.

We wouldn’t be Bulls if we didn’t take risks. That’s part of our nature; to push boundaries; to venture in new directions; to try new things. Even if we have to turn back, we grow and we learn.

And we have learned.

The new “A Future Without Limits” marketing initiative will continue with the “Bull U” logo. It is already paying dividends. Since we launched the effort this Spring, the USF story has been featured in print and digital media throughout the nation and around the world. More than 25 million people have seen our ads. They are taking notice and asking to learn more about USF.

Thank you for your passion for USF. As our most ardent supporters, you play a huge role in advocating for our continued success. We hope we can continue to count on that support through this transition and into the future.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for all you do on behalf of our great university.


Joe Hice
Vice President Communications and Marketing

One of Many

Passion Rules!


| Posted in 1 of Many | No Comments

And now the really BIG news: President Genshaft to retire

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 7.09.14 PMhttps://tinyurl.com/yaobvvvy
USF System President Judy Genshaft announces plans to step down, effective July 2019 – University of South Florida
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2018) –Following another record-breaking year and unparalleled stretch of recent achievements, University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft today announced her decision to step down from her position, effective July 1, 2019.

One of Many

Passion Rules!


| Posted in 1 of Many, Updates | No Comments

USF Branding — Be BULLISH.

So woke up Sunday to page 1A in the Tampa Bay Times, complete with photo on the jump page.

USF works to remake its muddled brand. Right now, ‘it doesn’t really say anything’


| Posted in 1 of Many | No Comments

So this happened — Go Bulls!

So about five weeks ago I joined the University of South Florida (USF) System as Chief Marketing Officer.  A coming home of sorts, back to Tampa and back to higher education, two things I really love.

Green Ties

I’ve been charged with working with the USF System (Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Manatee) to develop a branding campaign that will tie it all together and tell the incredible story of the USF journey over the past 60-plus years.

There will be challenges, but the opportunities are huge.  Stay tuned as we begin the journey.

1 of Many

Passion Rules!


| Posted in 1 of Many | No Comments

Damn, I just poured gravy on my Cobb Salad

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll be eating Christmas dinner for the next week. Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, peas, cranberries, applesauce, biscuits, pies and more.

Not that I’m complaining. My average meal is pretty standard fare but the holidays always put me over the top.


I don’t feel bad though.  The average person eats more than 7,000 calories on Christmas day. That’s more than three times the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily caloric intake.

I try to be good, starting with a healthy breakfast of . . . bacon, eggs and cinnamon rolls. Might have a pancake or two, too.

Not going to eat lunch because dinner will be mid-afternoon, but I end up snacking until then.  Then I pound down the 7,000.

But so much for dinner and now leftovers.

I’ve just poured gravy all over the Cobb Salad I was having for lunch two days after Christmas!

Trying to defeat some of those 7,000 calories, I was going to have salad for lunch. The salad dressing came in a little plastic container that looked just like the container that held the leftover gravy.  Knew I should have left it in the gravy bowl.

And I ate it, nevertheless. And it was good.

Read more »


| Posted in 1 of Many | No Comments

Creativity Trumps Big Data

Some marketing execs are having a hard time dealing with Donald Trump’s win and it will take time for the nation to come to grips with change. But as we all know, change is inevitable and it’s generally a good thing.

Change is not always easy. For those of us in the marketing & communications business change is constant. New tools and analytics, big data, small data, snapchat, instagram, sprout, vine . . . not, there’s that change thing.

And this won’t make you feel any better: A Forrester Research Report says at least 30% of CEOs will fire their CMO’s for “not mustering the blended skill set they need personally to pull off digital business transformation.” The report cautions CMOs to “develop their art and science acumen to survive.” Because, the report states, companies “with analytic-focused CMOs underperform, while marketers with both analytic and creative skills helm the strongest companies.”

Forrester just confirms what we all know, creativity is king when it comes to brand development and differentiation.

The report comes on the heels of a great article by brand guru Bob Hoffman which he titles:

The Opposite of Data (http://adcontrarian.blogspot.com)

You don’t need an MBA to figure out that most of the really big marketing successes of our time did not come from data analysis or business models or strategy briefs or professional marketers. They came from daydreamers with a hunch:

Steve Jobs
Walt Disney
K. Rowling
Mark Zuckerberg
The list could go on for weeks.

Read more »