top of page


Regina Brett, then Vivian Greene stated “No matter how you feel, get up, show up, and never give up”. “Life is not about waiting for a storm to pass. It is about learning how to dance in the rain”. Lester Brian Hicks joined an eclectic group of athletes recruited from other sports to play for the legendary coach, Jack Lengyel at Marshall University. Hicks cashed in on his football talent by attracting prominent suitors from the Big 10, Big 12, Pacific 12, Notre Dame, Maryland, Syracuse, and others before, and after, his stint at Ellsworth Junior College in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Mr. Hicks earned an Associate of Arts degree from Ellsworth Junior College; a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degree from Marshall University. And a Doctorate of Philosophy and Humane Letters and Chaplaincy License from Global Oved Dei Seminary & University. He made the dean’s list several times at Marshall University and Ellsworth Junior College where he was listed in Who’s Who amongst Students in American Junior College.

Mr. Hicks, a recently retired staff safety engineer, was employed with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. His experience at Marshall shortly after an ill-fated plane crash in November 14, 1970, cultivated life lessons that he brought to work each day, and in fact drove him to his career choice.

He is active in his community, sharing the benefits of his experience on multiple fronts. He serves as a mentor to troubled youth and teens in Marietta City Schools-Performance Learning Center, teaches Sunday school, served on the Cobb Literacy Council to decrease the dropout rate and improve literacy in his county for several years. He also served on Lockheed Martin’s Employee Communication Forum to improve Company relations amongst all employees while increasing productivity.

Mr. Hicks earned twenty-one awards from the State of Georgia for his pollution prevention and community service efforts during an eight-year period. He received two Best Practice Awards for his Non-hazardous Waste Recycling Program and two additional Best Practice Awards for his Machine Guarding Program from internal and external auditors. He coordinated and implemented recycling programs at his church and Atlanta Metro School Systems; reduced non-hazardous waste to landfill by 72 percent at Lockheed Martin. Mr. Hicks served on the Georgia Recycling Coalition where he made several contributions in recycling throughout the State of Georgia.

He was appointed as Lockheed Martin’s Safety Coordinator for the North and South Campuses where he decreased the incidence rate and property damage significantly while driving down the Worker’s Compensation cost.

Mr. Hicks has been on the front page of the Atlanta Business Chronicle twice and has been featured in national news, television, and advertising publications. He served on speaker panels at Environment, Safety and Health Conferences in Texas, Colorado, and Georgia. He lectures undergraduate and graduate engineering, nursing and safety students at Marshall University.

Marshall University named Hicks as one of its 125 Most Impactful Black Athletes during the 20th Century including all sports. He received the prestigious Pathfinder Humanitarian Award from Steubenville, Ohio. In addition to that, he was honored with a community service and sports award from Lockheed Martin. He holds four United States patents. 


Hicks is the author of “Against All Odds-4th Down and Forever…How the 1970 Marshall University Plane Crash Inspired Me”.

He has shared Marshall University football program “Ashes to Glory” and his life stories on talk radio throughout the nation. Mr. Hicks’ life story, “Finding Purpose Amongst Tragedy” was featured in Lockheed Martin’s Employee Spotlight News, was one of the most read stories in his Company’s history. Mr. Hicks also appeared on the Company’s television news telecast and appeared as a special guest on the Business Unit President’s world-wide webcast. He received Marshall University‘s most covenanted Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2016. 

Nominated to Marshall University's Board of Director's July 1, 2021.


Lester B. Hicks                                                                                              678 469-5273

Powder Springs, Georgia 30127                                                                                                                   



Fiscally minded value-based professional who embraces safety and people while inducing a culture of innovation and drive to succeed. Demonstrated the ability to manage all aspects of an effective safety program in the food, chemical, steel, and aircraft industries. Respected for strong work ethic, professionalism, integrity, and high character. Is respectful and not afraid to lead. Accomplished speaking, teaching, coaching, and networking skills. Skillful in concisely summarizing and presenting information in written or presentation form. Worked across organizational boundaries utilizing proven ability to establish rapport with management and production workers of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and professional levels


  • Occupational Safety                                                                          Pollution Prevention

  • Construction Safety                                                                          Teambuilding

  • OSHA Injuries and Illnesses Reporting                                                  Audit Preparation


Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Company, Marietta, Georgia 30127                                           1984-2016

Staff Safety Engineer, 2000 – 2016

Collaborated with employees and supervision to identify and mitigate unsafe acts and unsafe conditions. Developed standards and safe work practices with line personnel while monitoring performance through daily inspections. Submitted clear and concise written reports to senior and facility management based on floor “Opportunities for Improvement” inspection results.

  • Appeared as special guest on the Company Business Unit Vice-President’s worldwide webcast for safety achievements and being the recipient of Marshall University’s prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award.

  • Received special recognition from the C130 Program’s Vice-President for changing the safety culture at the Marietta facility.

  • Earned Corporate Internal Audit’s Best Practice Award for highly regarded Machine Guarding Program.

  • Collected 21 awards from the State Of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Commerce for Pollution Prevention Programs over an eight year period.

  • Lauded by production workers for making their work area hazard-free.

  • Earned a First Place Award from Keep Georgia Beautiful for developing and promoting Anti-Litter Program for the Governor.

  • Made 1433 non-OSHA compliant OSHA regulated machines compliant

  • Coordinated twenty-seven Quality Circles that generated a legitimate $4,900,000 cost savings

  • Reduced incidence rate every year

  • Volunteered to serve as acting F22 Program Safety Lead for the entire Marietta facility resulting in a significant reduction of personal injury and property damage.


Master of Science, Occupational Safety and Industrial Management                

Marshall University, Huntington, WV 25701

Bachelor of Arts, Health Education                                                                        

Marshall University, Huntington, WV 25701

Professional Development Courses

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s How to Prepare OSHA Injuries and Illness Log

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Machine Guarding

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Construction Safety

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Fall Prevention

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Scaffolding

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Excavating and Trenching

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Electrical Safety

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Introduction to Industrial Hygiene

  • Georgia Tech Continuing Education’s Safety Management

  • Crane Safety

  • Root Cause Analyses

  • CPR and First Aid

  • Arc Flash

  • Lockout Tagout

  • Hazardous Chemical


Published Author

Against All Odds

bottom of page