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James W. Hood

Founding Member, Chair

Jim has had a distinguished career helping countless organizations, across many industries (including nonprofit entities) identify and implement strategies for significant growth. He has more than four decades of experience in general management, business strategy, marketing, finance, consulting, private investing, and as an entrepreneur.

During his years in advertising, Jim managed some of Young & Rubicam’s largest accounts, headed the agency’s strategy review board, served as Director of Global Business Development, and was CEO of the joint venture between Y&R and Dentsu, the largest advertising agency in the world. During his years on Wall Street, Jim was Chief Marketing Officer of Lehman Brothers and First Boston (later Credit Suisse), where he worked closely with Wall Street legends including Peter G. Peterson, Stephen Schwarzman, Roger Altman, and Larry Fink. Jim also had a successful strategic consulting practice for more than a decade, working with clients in the financial services, telecom, defense, technology, and restaurant industries. While a consultant, Jim co-founded and became CEO of HipCricket, a groundbreaking mobile marketing firm that went public in 2006. He was also a director of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and served as a member of their executive committee when the company went public.

Since the death of his son, Austin, from an overdose in October 2012, Jim has devoted all his time helping teens and parents across America understand and overcome the profound stigma surrounding this adolescent-onset illness; urging the country to tackle this issue head-on; focusing on prevention, as America does with every other serious illness. Jim has been part of many pioneering efforts in the addiction/prevention field, including Executive Producer of Unite to Face Addiction, a history-making event in front of fifty thousand people on the National Mall on October 4, 2015, and partnering in the publication of Facing Addiction in America – The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health in 2016, with U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy. He has appeared on panels discussing America’s drug crisis with President Bill Clinton.

Jim currently serves as CEO and board member of Generation S.O.S., whose mission is, “Helping teens mike life-saving choices about substance misuse and other mental health issues.” Generation S.O.S. is unique in that our programs, content, and outreach are driven and delivered by teens and young adults, with support from the leadership team and board.

Jim holds a BA in Psychology and Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard University. He has lived with his family on Compo Beach for 26 years.

James W. Hood
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