Bruce E. Hicks
General Manager - Houston
Bruce Hicks is a senior public relations and crisis management
consultant with 49 years of experience in the news media and public
He has operated the Houston offices of The Alliant Group and its
predecessor firm, Darcy Communications, since 1989, serving a wide
range of international, national and local clients in travel and
tourism, airlines, energy, commercial real estate development, legal,
technical and manufacturing industries. His clients have included
American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, Marriott International, Wyndham Worldwide, United Airlines,
Virgin America, Aeromexico airlines, World Airways, AirTran Airways,
Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Allstate Insurance, KPMG Peat Marwick,
American Express Travel Related Services Company, Ethyl Corporation,
Coastal Corporation, Crown Central Petroleum, Olympic Figure Skating
Gold Medalist Tara Lipinski, Mexico City Tourism Board, Hawaiian
Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Midway Airlines and others.
Hicks is recognized as an expert in crisis management with experience
in labor (contract negotiations, strikes, lockouts, corporate campaigns,
union organizing), financial (bankruptcy, takeovers), legal and
regulatory (lawsuits, government investigations and hearings), and
physical (airline crashes, office building fires) crises.
His crisis work also includes developing crisis and emergency operating
plans for clients. He has directed or supported communications during
six major airline fatal accidents.
For Starwood Hotels, Hicks was the senior crisis consultant from
2003 until the merger with Marriott in late 2016 and continued to
assist Marriott during the transition through May 2017. He developed
Starwood's emergency and crisis management plans as well as assisting
directly with all major crisis events. He went to New Orleans in
the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina spending six weeks
assisting in Starwood's crisis management efforts and leadership
in the city's recovery.
From January 2012 through March 2013, Hicks served as chief spokesman
for American Airlines on labor and bankruptcy related issues. From
1992 through 2005, Hicks consulted with American Airlines on a wide
variety of issues, including labor organizing attempts, contract
disputes and strikes, the September 11th tragedy and the November
2001 A300 crash in New York. For more than a year, he served as
internal and external communication strategist and public media
spokesperson in the successful effort in 2003 to restructure all
labor agreements and avoid bankruptcy.
In 2006 and 2008, respectively, Hicks consulted with Delta Air
Lines and United Airlines on labor issues facing those carriers.
Additionally, he consulted with Delta and subsidiary Comair on the
NTSB investigation of Comair's tragic accident in Lexington, the
sixth commercial airline accident investigation in which Hicks was
In his 41 years as a public relations executive, he has both agency
and corporate experience, including his highly public role as vice
president, corporate communications for Continental Airlines and
Texas Air Corporation for the first decade of deregulation. As a
journalist, Hicks was the spaceflight bureau chief for both United
Press International and the Houston Chronicle, night city editor
of the Austin American-Statesman and editor of the weekly Austin
He has won numerous awards, including the Public Relations Society
of America's top national honor, the Silver Anvil, twice (crisis
communications and special events). Hicks holds a Bachelor of Arts
degree from the University of Houston. He is active in community
affairs. He has been a volunteer Little League umpire for more than
20 years and was selected to umpire at the 2017 Little League World
Series in Williamsport, PA.
||An early mentor
taught me that creativity requires a broad brush for the panoramic
view and a fine brush to paint in all the details to make it
hope I haven't had it yet. To date, it would have to be
the feeling of having contributed something worthwhile through
my clients, American Airlines, in the aftermath of
September 11th, 2001, or Starwood Hotels, in New
Orleans immediately after Katrina in 2005.
through a throng of laid-off fellow employees the morning after
Continental Airlines' first bankruptcy in 1983, feeling guilty
to still have a job and knowing that how well I did my
job could be the difference in how soon they would have theirs
||The opportunity to serve as a leader of the local Little League’s Challenger Division for special needs children and as a 20+ year volunteer umpire, reaching the pinnacle of being selected to umpire at the 2017 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.