Who we are

About Black Box Consulting

Founded in 2011 by talent process, strategy and technology expert Andy Rice, Black Box Consulting is a talent management consulting firm comprised of an elite group of expert senior-level consultants with a combination of experience in both business strategy and daily operations.  All of our consultants bring this combination of strategic and operational expertise to our engagements, enabling us to provide a single contact and a seamless partnership with clients through both the planning and execution of critical talent initiatives.

Through our expertise, we are helping companies large and small maximize the business return of their talent management functions.  We can help you:

  • Link your talent and human capital management operations to business strategy
  • Develop a plan to integrate your human capital management function and to manage your human capital management transformation program
  • Optimize your human capital management processes, use of technology and organizational model
  • Select, implement and launch your human capital management technology
  • Manage the execution of your critical talent initiatives

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Andy Rice, Principal and Lead Strategist

Andy has played an instrumental role in the success of his clients, working with Fortune 500 companies and other organizations on critical initiatives including integrated talent management strategy and planning, talent management transformation, change management, business process improvement, and technology selection and implementations.

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Prior to establishing Black Box Consulting, Andy developed an extensive background in business process management, talent management and human resources. He held roles as Practice Manager for Integrated Talent Management and Principal Consultant at the Newman Group (a division of Korn/Ferry International), Senior Project Manager at Yahoo! Resumix, Staffing Director at Genentech, and Regional HR Director of Viant, a global internet and business consulting company. He also has an extensive background in talent acquisition, learning and development, performance management, leadership development, succession planning, compensation, workforce planning and employee relations.

Andy has been invited to speak and facilitate workshops on talent management for organizations such as the Human Capital Institute, the Conference Board, IHRIM, Argyle Executive Forum, the Electronic Recruiting Exchange, HRMAC and IHR.

Andy graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and spent the first five years after graduating as an engineer and engineering manager at Intel.

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Jonathan Grafft, Principal Consultant

Jonathan comes to Black Box Consulting with significant background as a strategic and technical consultant and a proven track record working with Global Fortune 500 and emerging new economy clients. Jonathan brings a unique combination of talent management knowledge and technical skills to clients.

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Jonathan has developed industry knowledge and project management experience to help organizations evaluate best practices and implement process and technology for success.

Jonathan specializes in the management of large scale global projects, with experience in developing achievable project plans, communications, change management and training strategies to ensure on time, on budget, quality delivery. He has managed all phases of the systems implementation lifecycle: requirements definition, business process analysis and design, development, implementation and post-implementation optimization.

Prior to Black Box Consulting, Jonathan’s expertise was developed through client delivery and leadership roles with Korn/Ferry International, The Newman Group, John Deere and Hewitt Associates. He has experience utilizing Agile methodologies for project execution, allowing for continuous improvement at a pace sustainable in the client organization.

Jonathan obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

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Kathy Karneth, Principal Consultant

Kathy is an accomplished Project / Program Management Consultant who specializes in Human Capital Management and Information Technology. She has demonstrated ability to aggressively deliver global projects while achieving high levels of client satisfaction and endorsement from multi-cultural audiences. She builds strong cross-functional teams managing to strict deadlines and budgets.

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Understanding the uniqueness of every client, she utilizes the appropriate methodology to assess the current climate, develops a plan of attack, and then skillfully harmonizes the processes, policies and technologies that deliver effective talent management strategies. She has extensive experience in Management Consulting, Global Project Leadership, Program Management, Change Management, Strategic Integrated Talent Design, System Implementation, Training, Vendor Relationship Management, Technical Recruiting, and System Development.

Prior to joining Black Box, Kathy was a Principal Consultant at Futurestep Consulting (a division of Korn/Ferry International) and had her own company where she managed global projects, servicing clients like Intuit, Cisco, AlliedSignal/Honeywell, Merck, Edward Jones, Kaiser, US Foods, and CAP. Before that she was the Strategic Staffing Architect at Honeywell where she was recognized for her achievements in selecting, negotiating, implementing, supporting, and optimizing integrated talent management solutions for the global HR community. She also managed multiple staffing organization mergers during her tenure there.
Kathy began her career at Computer Task Group as an IT consultant/analyst supporting clients with full life cycle systems development for diverse industries such as Aerospace, Finance, Manufacturing, and International Services. After the better part of a decade and completing her MBA, she made the jump into the Staffing Arena as a Staffing Manager, leading all recruiting efforts for the branch.
Her rich experience with Talent Management systems stems from her system design of an integrated ATS for a National College Relations organization, and her further co-development and implementation efforts of a premier web-based Hiring Management Solution. Since then, her domain has expanded to the design, assessment, recommendation, negotiation, deployment, testing, training, and optimization of large-scale global integrated human capital solutions. She has proven experience in a wide range of talent genres including Talent Management, Pre-Employment, Onboarding, System Integration, Learning, Career Sites, and OFCCP/Compliance.
Kathy holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Canisius College and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from SUNY Buffalo State. She is also Six Sigma Green Belt certified, and has completed the Global Leadership Program: Managing Cross-Cultural Relationships at Thunderbird School of Global Management.

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Kelly Keating, Principal Consultant

Kelly brings over 18 years experience to Black Box Consulting in helping clients improve the effectiveness of their HR systems and processes. She has served as senior consultant and project manager for complex HR projects with over 50 companies spanning 40 countries.

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Kelly brings expertise in the areas of implementation planning, process and systems design, requirements definition and documentation, change management, training delivery and development. Her project experience includes designing and implementing global Talent Management suite of offerings, project management of large scale HR initiatives and transitioning clients to an outsourced environment.

Prior to joining Black Box Consulting, Kelly’s extensive expertise was developed through client delivery with Korn/Ferry International, ADP, PricewaterhouseCoopers and AIG. She is also certified in Prosci change management methodology.

Kelly has a Bachelors of Science in Business from Seton Hall University and completed an Advanced Strategic HR Practices Certificate Program at Cornell University.

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Sally Millick, Principal Consultant

Sally brings a unique holistic view to helping clients achieve their goals in Talent Management. Her career spans positions in talent acquisition / RPO management, HR technology implementations and optimizations, technology and contingent labor vendor management, competency and selection processes, employment branding, and consulting operations.

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Sally is successful at defining high-level talent management processes, technologies, and change management strategies; tactical plans to achieve these strategies; and hands-on client delivery. With over 20 years of experience in the talent management field, she has served large clients in the Pharmaceutical, Financial, Defense, and other industries.

Sally is an accomplished communications and change management consultant. She has authored and delivered process and technology training for delivery to clients in classroom, webinar, and video formats, and facilitated both large and small workshop sessions at clients and national conferences.

Prior to joining Black Box Consulting, Sally had played both client delivery and operations leadership roles at Futurestep (a Korn/Ferry Company), including Vice President, Strategic Accounts and Principal Consultant. Other previous positions were as Principal Consultant at The Newman Group, and Manager, Strategic Staffing for Bausch + Lomb.

Sally has a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Potsdam, and has been certified by HRCI as SPHR since 2001.

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Ernie Nunez, Principal Consultant

Ernie is a seasoned talent management program manager, skilled in helping clients successfully complete large scale global talent management transformation and technology implementation projects. He has lead teams on a variety of initiatives that include talent management program management, strategic assessments, requirements definition, system selection and system implementation.

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Ernie also uses his broad experience in other aspects of corporate human resources, including competency framework development and application, on-boarding, goal setting and management, performance management, succession planning, legal compliance and contract management, in support of successfully achieving the client’s goals. Ernie is skilled at liaising with business leaders, client team members and technology vendors. His deep understanding of human capital processes and technologies, combined with his ability to drive complex global organizations to make decisions and meet timelines are keys to his repeated success. Ernie’s systems expertise includes SuccessFactors, Workday, Kenexa Recruiter BrassRing and Jobvite.

Prior to joining Black Box Consulting, Ernie held positions as Principal Consultant at Futurestep, Inc. where he was practice lead of the SuccessFactors Technology Group. He was the lead Corporate Recruiter for ENSR International and the Environment Division of before taking on the role of Global Talent Acquisition Technology Manager at AECOM. He also spent a number of years with Lockheed-Martin’s Aerospace Division where he held a number of technical and leadership positions.

Ernie holds Bachelors of Applied Science degree in Organizational Behavior and Information Systems from Loyola University, New Orleans.

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Carole Seymour, Principal Consultant

Carole is a strategic partner to her clients, helping them realize the business value of their talent management processes and systems. She brings 20 years of Program Management, Change Management and Talent Management experience solving business problems with her clients, specializing in global and complex strategic initiatives.

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Carole’s results provide repeatable and measurable operating models for her Fortune 500 client base. Through her consulting roles, Carole has developed teams and solutions that meet the rapidly changing demands of business, applying a realistic perspective focused on the clients’ ultimate business objectives and their ability to adopt, implement and sustain the resulting solution. With a unique blend of business and technical acumen, Carole is able to navigate between technical and functional stakeholders to drive significant business results.

Her project experience includes large scale organizational adoption, program management, career transitions, HR metrics, talent program optimization and technology implementations. Her technology experience includes Taleo, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Avature, Jobs2Web and integrated partners supporting the talent management lifecycle.

Prior to Black Box Consulting, Carole’s extensive expertise was developed through client delivery and leadership roles with Korn/Ferry International, The Newman Group, Yahoo! and Robert Half. She also has experience incorporating Six Sigma DMAIC and Agile methodologies into project execution, allowing for continuous improvement at a pace palatable to the client organization.

Carole has a Bachelor’s Degree from Valparaiso University.

Holistic Approach

One of the primary challenges in a consulting relationship is the gap between strategy and execution.  Organizations are recognizing that a consultant that focuses on delivering “recommendations” or “strategies” often contributes to a failed partnership. The reason is simple: in many of the more challenging situations, the discipline for developing a practical strategy must be driven by a responsibility for its success in execution.
A core value of Black Box Consulting is the ability to provide both the expertise to establish the right strategy and the partnership to support its execution. Ownership and responsibility for the project is handled through a single Black Box consultant.  No ivory tower plans. No handoffs to junior associates.
When strategy and assessment are all that you need, we provide the results that drive success. And when complete partnership is required through execution and change management, we are with you all the way. 

The Black Box Method

Whether your organization needs to develop an overarching talent strategy, solve a persistent challenge or address a specific need,  an engagement and assessment framework we apply called “The Black Box Method” can prove critical to your success.  This approach yields deep insight in developing both an actionable, detailed plan and the means to put that plan into practice. The Black Box Method is built on four key steps:

Link talent operations to business results

One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of talent strategy is the connection to core business goals. This is understandable, as talent decision makers focus on addressing specific and known talent challenges, such as a slow recruiting process, high turnover or quality or performance. The Black Box method begins with a look at your talent operations as they relate to business goals

Architect and envision the future

Building from a current-state picture of your talent operations and broader business goals, we can then develop a snapshot of the desired future state of operations needed to drive optimum business impact. This includes addressing the specific challenge or need being addressed as well as the related functions that may influence performance.

Perform a gap analysis

Where do the current systems, processes and organization support your future vision, and where do they fall short? These are the questions we answer when establishing strategic priorities. By identifying the specific gaps that stand in the way of your goals, we can ensure that you apply the right allocation of time and effort to the top priorities.

Develop a roadmap to close the discovered gaps

Based on the impact and effort needed to close the discovered gaps, Black Box can then develop a roadmap for action that is based on clear priorities. This is a tremendous advantage, particularly in the very common situation where different parties are promoting conflicting interests. The result is a plan that is best positioned for adoption and support by all stakeholders.