While Ray Hicks is President of CO2Meter, Inc. most days you'll find him on the phone with customers or testing a new sensor from a manufacturer. The responsibility of running and growing the business falls to Irene Hicks, CEO of CO2Meter, Inc.
That's why we were proud when Irene was honored as a CEO, entrepreneur and businesswomen running one of Florida's finest women-led companies by the Commonwealth Institute this spring.
The Commonwealth Institute (TCI) is devoted to advancing businesswomen in leadership positions. TCI membership includes CEOs, senior corporate executives, entrepreneurs, executive directors of nonprofits and solo professionals who are committed to building successful businesses, organizations and careers.
About Irene Hicks
Irene Ranner Tietz-Hicks lives her life with one maxim: “When opportunity knocks, answer it.”
A trained accountant in South Africa, Irene specialized in re-organizing failing companies. After one successful reorganization, Irene was asked to take over the reins of a German-based company manufacturing hazardous gas detection instrumentation for the South African mining industry. Ready for a new challenge, she said yes.
Accepting this opportunity changed her life. She traveled into the mines to understand the requirements of the devices that thousands of miners worldwide relied on daily for their lives. Not only did Irene learn first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment, but she found a new respect for the miners that worked in these harsh conditions.
At the same time, Irene discovered the world of manufacturing was more exciting than sitting in an office. She realized she had the skill and determination to turn a business around with more than moving numbers on balance sheets.
After her success with the German company, Irene was asked if she would head up their US facility. Ready for a new challenge, she moved from South Africa to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
It was during her time in Michigan that Irene met and married Ray Hicks. Ray was a successful entrepreneur and engineer looking for a new project. He became fascinated by the gas detection technology used in the mines. As the result of their shared interest, Irene left her job, and she and Ray founded CO2Meter.com, a manufacturer and e-commerce company that provides best-in-class solutions for CO2 gas detection in the HVAC, beverage, agriculture, safety and scientific industries.
Today, Irene lives in Florida full-time with Ray. In addition to running the company, they visit manufacturers worldwide to learn about cutting-edge gas detection technology with occasional side-trips to share their passion for downhill skiing.