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It’s been six years since the world of work and business, as we knew it came crashing down. September 15th, 2008, Lehman filed bankruptcy and the insanity called the Great Recession began. Before the month was over, budgets were being slashed, travel was being cancelled, the layoffs started, and the newsfeeds from New York and Washington were scary. In retrospect we know the litany of mistakes made before and since by the government, financial institutions, corporations and consumers. There was plenty of blame, but not plenty of answers.

In September 2008, we were in the midst of planning our annual Best Practices Conference, launching our new brand of Financial Intelligence (formerly Black Box Intelligence), and talking to potential investors. By the end of the month, we didn’t know if people would come to the conference, if we could really hang onto Black Box, and the potential investors were rattled. Along with most of the country, I was growing increasingly attached to the idea of staying in bed with the covers pulled over my head.

Instead I found Twitter and the blogosphere. I found community; connections with colleagues, entrepreneurs and the new thought leaders of the digital age. In 2008, Twitter was like a big virtual hug. The blogosphere was filled with experts and pundits who actually responded to comments and questions. Lots of times they offered help and a sounding board during the days when there were not a lot of answers.

Two of the first people I met online were Laurie Ruettimann and William Tincup. They had a lot in common; wicked smart, more than a little opinionated, funny and genuine. Laurie recently left a Fortune 50 corporate human resources job, after flying around the world ala George Clooney in “Up in the Air” for a year. She started the “Punk Rock HR” blog, then the “Cynical Girl”, which were listed in the Top 100 websites for women by Forbes. She has built a thriving personal brand and business as an influential speaker, writer and advisor. She has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today and AOL. She has keynoted, lectured and participated at business events around the world held by Harvard Business School, SXSW, Microsoft, Google, NBCUniversal, American Marketing Association, MediaBistro and many others. Laurie is also recognized as one of the Top five career advisors by CareerBuilder and CNN.

William entered our world when we were planning our very first Summer Brand Camp. We connected on Twitter, and a week later he was in our offices, offering his advice and his help. He has had our back ever since. He is one of the country’s leading thinkers on social media application for human resources and is an expert on adoption of HR technology. William has been blogging about HR and technology since 2007. He’s a contributor to Fistful of Talent, Human Capital Institute, Human Capitalist, HRTechEurope, the Linkedin Talent Blog and the HRExaminer. His experience includes retail, advertising and B2B marketing.

You probably guessed by now (the title is a clue) that Laurie and William are joining the board of Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K). We are delighted to add their skills, experience and insight to our team. The world is a different place than it was in September 2008. We are a different business, with a unique platform that connects the dots of human, financial and now social capital. It’s a true pleasure to add two of the friends and colleagues that we made then, to help us take Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) to the next level.

“Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) represents the things I love most in life… faith, hope, love and trust. I like being around the entrepreneurs (Joni & Wally) that lead the firm. I like the Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) team that seems to own a bottomless well of innovation. Specifically, I’m inspired by the way they support a thriving community.

As a board member, I’ll listen, share, push, advise, debate but mostly I’ll have fun with people I respect and admire. Let’s face it… Charlie Sheen has nothing on me.” – William Tincup, CEO Tincup & Co.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) board and I can’t wait to learn from my fellow board members. My main focus is to provide strategic guidance and contribute to the overall growth of the organization, all while making a difference in the way that people experience the world of work.

People go to work to provide for their families, to meet their obligations in life, and to make a difference. Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) is positioned to help employees and employers change the world.”
Laurie Ruettimann, LFR