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Speaking Engagements

UPCOMING
HR Tech, Las Vegas, 10/8-10/2014
HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/23-24/2014

PAST BUT AVAILABLE FOR REPLAY
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

PAST BUT NO REPLAY AVAILABLE
Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

The Wallace And Me: A Love Story

Ron and I met when he was a Captain in the US Air Force, stationed at Hanscome Field outside of Boston, and I was the payroll operations and systems manager at Polaroid by day and getting my MBA by night at Boston University.  Was it love at first sight?  Who remembers?  But what I do remember is that he was the first man I’d known — and there’d been a few — who wasn’t thinking “you’re perfect, I love you, now change.” 

We became friends as I dated two of his fellow officers, one of whom was my last valiant attempt at dating a Jewish guy and the other of whom was going to be a doctor, which almost qualified him as Jewish (and who later married a Jewish woman as I recall).  My most active anti-war years were behind me, along with the demonstrations, sit-ins and one arrest, but it was still pretty wierd walking into the Officers’ Club on the base.

Ron was (and is) funny, smart, reliable, able to fix almost anything electro/mechanical/even plumbing, and did I mention funny?  He shares my love of travel, meeting new (some might say strange) people, casual (some might say crummy) clothes (but now worn with nearly perfect large diamond stud earrings because any fashionista knows that accessories make the outfit), a wide range of intellectual pursuits (here our interests are VERY different but equally non-obsessive), and the list goes on.  His acting out of various communication satellites, complete with their “voices,” leaves me ROFL, even now.  And it’s really hard to have a lingering fight with someone who’s wiggling their ears.

We took to each other as friends and then, through circumstances that should not be a part of my indelible electronic story, became so much more practically overnight.  But Ron was headed to the West Coast when his tour was up (he’d grown up in the Pacific Northwest but had been stationed on Mt. Tamalpais for a while and had fallen in love with California) , and I was a Northeasterner born and bred.  More importantly, neither of us had marriage as an exit strategy.  So we just enjoyed our time together, although that was very limited by my much more than full-time job and graduate studies and Ron’s several stints of TDY. 

As my MBA graduation was in sight, we had the wild idea of my taking time off from work after my graduation and our doing a cross-country camping trip (yes, camping — money was very tight, and it sounded like quite an adventure to a girl whose furthest journey west had been to Pittsburgh).  Ron would hang out in San Fran while looking for his first real job (BSEE, MSEE, Air Force), and I would fly ‘home” to pick up where I left off.  But Ron’s tour was going to end in December of my last year of graduate school, so he decided to hang out in Boston, working on bio-feedback devices for a semi-crazed inventor, until I graduated. 

Well, somewhere along the line, our plans changed, and the cross-country camping trip became our honeymoon.  At the end of June, 1972, I graduated from BU with my MBA, said goodbye to my great job at Polaroid, and said I do.  It never occurred to either of us that I should change my name, which is just one more thing I loved then and love now about The Wallace.  He came with no preconceived notions of who should do what in a marriage or about marriage itself.  So off we went, with my shattered parents sobbing because I’d married not only a gentile but an out of work engineer at a time of high unemployment in that field (as evidenced by newspapers clippings on the subject that my mother sent to me quite regularly).

I won’t bore you with the details of the next thirty-eight years, but if spending many weeks in a 6 x 6 foot tent with the occasional night in a crummy motel (just to use a real toilet and shower) and crossing Texas in the blazing summer heat (this before A/C in cars, or at least in the budget car that Ron owned) didn’t end our marriage in its first few months, then this marriage stood a reasonable chance of success.  And so it did, but not without a ton of ups and downs and sideways, rescoping, rescheduling, rebudgeting, re-everythinging, just like every wholesale organizational transformation project that you’ve ever seen.  Why Ron didn’t run screaming into the night on many an occasion is beyond me, but this is one tough hombre.

And that brings us to today and the impetus for this post.  Ron had shoulder surgery this morning, and I so wish I had a third shoulder so that he wouldn’t have to go through what I’ve already been through twice.  There’s little in ordinary life more painful that shoulder surgery rehab, and I know he’s facing many weeks to months of that.  He doesn’t complain, he just gets on with it.  We’ve even had a few laughs today as I try to help him with the things he can’t do with just one hand.  You know that part of the traditional marriage ceremony that goes “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health?”  Well, if you’re married long enough, all of that and more happens.  How very lucky I am to have found The Wallace.

19 comments to The Wallace And Me: A Love Story

  • meg mallory

    dear, dear naomi
    what a sweet posting!! you are both very blessed! and you know it!! keep these coming!! miss you both!
    love!!!
    meg

    • Naomi Bloom

      Meg, I miss you too. It’s been way too long. We’ll be doing a New England swing this summer, in August, so perhaps we can arrange something then. Or perhaps you’ll escape winter down our way. And how is “Peter Pan?” Did you get our annual letter? The Wallace doesn’t age, but the years have been less kind to the rest of us.

  • Beautiful. He seems to be just as lucky as you are :)

    • Naomi Bloom

      We’re a team. And like any successful project team, really any kind of team, it’s the mix and commitment that matter. My boss at my last real job believed — and I agree — that there are no winners on a losing team, and no losers on a winning one.

  • Arlene

    A great love story. I am glad you found my brother and my brother found you. You and Ron found a common ground, laughter, and let everything else fall into place.

    • Naomi Bloom

      He wouldn’t have become The Wallace without you there to guide him (or at least to prevent Dee from wiping him out). And getting the whole clan has been the frosting on the cake.

  • Debbie Brown

    Bravo, cant wait for the encore.

  • Naomi – I love reading your posts – the personal ones really give such an amazing insight into life, love and happiness and show why you are such a respected person in our HR Tech world. Thank you (again) for sharing!

    • Naomi Bloom

      Growing up, we were taught that a lady only appeared in print on the occasion of her birth, engagement, marriage and death with perhaps the odd birth of child thrown in, so you can well imagine the cultural overhaul needed to get me from there to here. Your encouragement really means a lot. I’ve got a lot more intensely and hopefully useful professional posts to come, but I’m taking more of my personal correspondence online. We’ve just sent out our annual holiday letter, which goes to friends and family, to about 400 people as a ten page email attachment, a tradition that started with handwritten, copied (yes, they did have copiers or at least mimeograph machines as far back a I can remember) and snail-mailed letters the first year we were married. Long distance calls were very expensive then, and we were both distant from family and all of our friends, so we used an annual holiday letter as a way to catch up. That first one was the travelogue of our honeymoon; the most recent one chronicles not only our travels but also the highs and lows, the celebrations and losses, the professional and personal struggles and accomplishments of our full to overflowing lives. I had actually thought about turning this year’s letter into a blog post, but even our close friends say they’ll be reading it until the Spring thaw, so it remains “unpublished.” But who knows what I may do by the end of next year. Here’s hoping that our paths will cross in the physical world in 2011.

  • Christine Cefalo

    Naomi, the first time I met you in-person was (no surprise) at an HR Tech conference. Ron was there. I asked about your secret to a long and happy marriage and you said “laughter.” I have no idea what else we talked about during that hour but, I always remember that advice. Thanks for sharing this blog!

    • Naomi Bloom

      The latest laughter was at my attempts to put dinner together tonight. I nearly exploded the microwaved (baked!) potato. I’m definitely keeping my day job. Looking forward already to our next meeting.

  • Debra

    loved reading this, i only know you through twitter and sometimes you come over hard, here you come over passionate, adventurous and compassionate. thanks for sharing

  • Naomi…what a beautiful and touching post. I’ve never had the good fortune of meeting Ron, something I hope we remedy soon, but he sounds like a really wonderful guy. I hope his recovery is quick and fairly painless!

  • Naomi, you made me cry. Tears of joy that you’re one of the lucky ones that found a love like The Wallace. Posts like this are what take a great analyst/ HR Tech blog and turn you into a master storyteller. Bravo and so glad you shared this. xo Trish

    • Naomi Bloom

      Trish, I am indeed blessed. I look forward to your getting to know The Wallace and to my getting to know you better. And I so appreciate your encouragement around the storytelling for that is going to be a larger part of my life as the years proceed.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Naomi Bloom, Dawn Crew. Dawn Crew said: RT @InFullBloomUS: Naomi's new blog post: The Wallace And Me: A Love Story http://bit.ly/gLJly6 #IN [...]

  • Jonathan

    Beautiful post.

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