Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

| posted by Joe Hice | Tags:

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 by Joe Hice |

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 by Joe Hice |

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 by Joe Hice |

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 by Joe Hice |

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 by Joe Hice |

Enterprise Florida names new SVP & CMO and it’s Me!!!

ORLANDO, Fla. (October 6, 2015) – Today, Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), Bill Johnson, announced the appointment of Joseph S. Hice Jr. to the position of Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for EFI. Hice will oversee all EFI marketing and communications activities.

“I am confident that, working with our team, Joe will take Enterprise Florida’s marketing program to a new level in raising awareness, managing perceptions and influencing public opinion in support of our economic development activities,” said Secretary Johnson. “I look forward to working with him to aggressively and effectively market Florida as the best state in the nation for business. Our state has an incredible business story to tell and I know Joe will lead us in our efforts to get that story out there.”

Hice has spent more than 30 years as a marketing, communications and public affairs executive at  prestigious institutions  and businesses including the  Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, the University of Florida, North Carolina State University, Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Segway Inc. Currently, he is a partner with Tampa-based Well Strategics, a communications firm specializing in clients doing business in the healthcare and wellness industries.

1 of Many

Passion Rules!



| posted by Joe Hice |

It is getting worse…10.43 GPA tops the list

The highest GPA for a graduating senior in Hillsborough County this year was 10.43.  Wow!

The average GPA for graduating Valedictorians was 6.839444.  The once elusive 4.0 graduate wouldn’t even make the cut as the lowest GPA posted by a Valedictorian this year was 4.25.

I know it’s a different world we live in, but when a student can earn (I use that term loosely) a TEN POINT FOUR THREE grade point average through his or her high school years, we’ve lost touch with reality.  So, if 6.8 is the new 4.0, I graduated high school with the equivalent of a 5.282 adjusted for today’s grade inflation.  And that, my friends, is just CRAZY.

Female Valedictorians outnumbered male Valedictorians 2 to 1.  By my quick count there were 30 female winners and 15 male winners.

So ask yourself, when a student can achieve a 10.43 GPA and the average Valedictorian earns a 6.8 GPA, is the 4.0 no longer relevant?

Here’s a link to last year’s story. That’s back in the good ole’ days when a 10.02 could win you top honors!

1 of Many

Passion Rules!


| posted by Joe Hice |

In 486 B.C., the Ice Princess died of cancer. She was self medicating on marijuana.

“I am quite sure of the diagnosis — she had cancer.,” said researcher Andrey Letyagin.

The Princess was found buried with cannabis, which she may have used to deal with her immeasurable pain. There is other archeological evidence that the Pazyryk people used cannabis, wine, and opium for analgesic purposes.

“Probably for this sick woman, sniffing cannabis was a forced necessity,” Natalya Polosmak told the Siberian Times. Polosmak led the team of researchers that found the mummy in 1993. “And she was often in altered state of mind. We can suggest that through her could speak the ancestral spirits and gods. Her ecstatic visions in all likelihood allowed her to be considered as some chosen being, necessary and crucial for the benefit of society. She can be seen as the darling of spirits and cherished until her last breath.”

She died of Breast Cancer 2500 years ago. She self medicated with marijuana!

She died of Breast Cancer 2500 years ago. She self medicated with marijuana!

Read the whole story here:

1 of Many

Passion Rules!


| posted by Joe Hice |

Russell Wilson is amazing. Richard Sherman is an (you fill in the blank)

I’m excited that Russell Wilson and Seattle will be playing in the Super Bowl, but so irritated by Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman that I’m tempted to not even watch the big game.

Russell Wilson is an amazing human being

Richard Sherman (#25 for Seattle) is a jerk.  He’s the reason people are moving away from the NFL. He’s a punk.  He’s an embarrassment to the NFL on National TV.

It is a shame because Russell Wilson is an amazing player.  I was fortunate enough to meet him when I was working at NC State. He has the drive, the passion, the compassion that makes us all proud.  I can’t imagine how he deals with idiots like Richard Sherman (#25 for the Seahawks.)

So while I’ll be rooting for Wilson and the Seahwaks in the Super Bowl, I hope Payton Manning and the Bronco’s throw at least two touchdowns over Richard Sherman (#25 for Seattle) and show what a fool he is to the nation, during the game.  Even if he really is a good guy (I have my doubts) his “first impression” made him many enemies.

So go Russell Wilson and Seattle.  Eff you Richard Sherman (#25 for Seattle.)   You’re an effing idiot.

1 of Many

Passion Rules!


| posted by Joe Hice |

We’re growing — Lehigh Valley Health Network Joins the Moffitt Oncology Network

Lehigh Valley Health Network  is partnering with Moffitt Cancer Center to enhance cancer care by joining the newly launched Moffitt Oncology Network. Lehigh Valley, based in Allentown, Pa., is the first member of the network outside of Florida.  As a member of the Moffitt Oncology Network, Lehigh Valley will have access to Moffitt’s experts and best practices, which include multidisciplinary cancer care, peer review, clinical pathways and quality assurance standards.

The Moffitt Oncology Network extends Moffitt’s knowledge and expertise to physicians and providers with the goal of offering the best personalized cancer care. Lehigh Valley’s physicians will collaborate with Moffitt physicians on patient care and novel clinical research.

Key elements of the relationship include:

  • Joint clinical research-driven cancer care
  • Utilization of Moffitt Clinical Pathways
  • Quality management strategies including physician education and audits
  • Development of strategic Centers of Excellence