Hutch Hodgson, Firestorm Principal, Cummings GA
Firestorm Principal and Franchisee Consultant
“Jim Satterfield is president and COO of Firestorm Solutions, which helps companies assess and identify potential disasters and/or deal with their aftermath. In 2009, after four years of strong growth, Firestorm began looking for new ways to expand. That’s when Satterfield met Hutch Hodgson, founder of Heavenly Ham, which had 216 units before being sold in 2002 to HoneyBaked Ham.
“Hutch asked me, ‘Could you teach me to do what you do?’” Satterfield recalls. “When I said yes, he said, ‘Well, then you could franchise.’”
Crisis management may seem an unlikely service to franchise, but Hodgson’s instincts were right: With the proper training, franchisees can become as adept at managing catastrophes as Olivia Pope on Scandal, though Satterfield’s aim is to help companies avert disaster in the first place.”
Hutch Hodgson received a degree in Economics from Kenyon College in 1961. He accepted a position in a new executive training program with the Coca-Cola Company and was moved to Canada for two years of intensive training. Upon completion of this training program in 1963, he and his family spent three years based in Johannesburg South Africa where he worked with the Company Owned Coca-Cola plant and eventually Coca-Cola bottlers south of the Sahara in Africa. Traveling a great deal when Apartheid was at its’ height, and tribal unrest was prevalent throughout Africa, the security of his family was paramount, as was the security of the Coca-Cola Bottlers and their factories.
After returning to the U.S. in 1966 to enter the MBA program at the Harvard Business School, he rejoined The Coca-Cola Company in 1968 and was moved to London with marketing responsibilities for all brands from Scandinavia to India. Again, travel security and the safety of the Coca-Cola Bottler’s investment in plant and equipment were top of mind in many countries. Moving on to Brussels in 1970 as Assistant Area Manager for the European Area, he worked extensively in Belgium, Holland, France and the Scandinavian countries. Moving to Paris for two years as Area Marketing manager, he traveled and worked through most of Europe until his return to the U.S in 1974.
Mr. Hodgson ran three of the six Area Offices for the Coca-Cola Company, from 1974 until 1980. While living in Atlanta, San Francisco and Chicago, he again traveled extensively and worked with hundreds of Coca-Cola Bottlers and retailers throughout the United States. He then became Area Vice-President of Marketing based in Hong Kong. From 1980 until 1984, he traveled and worked extensively in China, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore. Personal security, family security, and the security of bottling operations throughout this part of the world were always top of mind during his four years there. Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand were the hotspots for Coca-Cola in those years. Cyclones and floods had to be dealt with in many countries to maintain production and distribution. Returning to the U.S. in 1984, Mr. Hodgson pursued an entrepreneurial interest and as president and CEO, he developed the Heavenly Ham Company into 216 franchised stores by 2002.
After selling the company to HoneyBaked in 2002, Mr. Hodgson developed townhouses and condos in Georgia and Florida. In 2006, he entered the Healthcare business, by purchasing an in-home care franchise to provide professional in-home care to the elderly. In 2007, he also started The Hodgson Group which provides consulting services to C- level executives to discuss, implement, and achieve their goals.
Mr. Hodgson is happily married to Pam Hodgson and between them they have 7 children and 7 grandchildren.