Ryan Hicks joined the Trouw Nutrition Quality team in 2009. As Director of Quality and Food Safety, Hicks oversaw the development, implementation, monitoring, maintenance and improvement of the Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Safe Quality Food (SQF), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and Food Safety/Food Defense programs for Trouw Nutrition’s U.S. operations.
Toward ensuring the safest premixes and blends for our customers, Hicks created and launched our near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) testing program using a discriminant analysis technique he developed and introduced to Nutreco, Trouw Nutrition’s global parent company, and to the pet food industry at large. He also introduced X-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing and Six Sigma lean manufacturing techniques to streamline our operations.
As project manager and developer, Hicks implemented Lab RetrieverTM, the laboratory information management system (LIMS), and assisted with its programming. He led the Quality Control and Quality Assurance team.
To bring his knowledge and expertise deeper at the customer level, Hicks recently transitioned to Director of Sales. In this new role, Hicks hires and guides the Territory Sales Managers in providing top-notch customer service, as well as identifies new business opportunities.
As a member of Trouw Nutrition’s Innovation Team, Hicks develops the team’s strategy and guides them in the generation of new ideas and exploration of developing trends. Additionally, he serves on the Companion Animal Division Management Team and acts as Crisis Coordinator for the U.S.
The results of the process improvements and high standards Hicks introduced are evident in the new industry certifications he achieved for the company, including SQF certification for both the Highland, IL and Neosho, MO premix plants.
Prior to working for Trouw Nutrition, Hicks worked at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals as an Analytical Laboratory Chemist for diabetes and cancer research and stability and release testing on trial drugs.
As an expert in the field, Hicks’ certifications include Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), HACCP, Advanced HACCP, National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) basic Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), Internal Food Safety Auditor Certified, SQF Practitioner, and Financial Analysis for Non-Financial Managers. He also belongs to the American Society of Quality (ASQ).
Hicks graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry, specializing in protein chemistry and medicinal chemistry, both from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.