Friends of Ben: Carol Rutlen

Network: Ben Casnocha > Mike Patterson > Carol Rutlen

Google: Carol Rutlen

I met Carol several years ago when my closet mentor Mike Patterson organized a dinner of folks to help me think through the idea behind Comcate. Carol is founder and CEO of ExpatEdge, a software company helping human resource professionals support employees on domestic and international assignments. She started ExpatEdge after leaving PwC. Currently she is on the Advisory Board at Comcate.

Carol is a great person to have in the room when it comes to tackling big, strategic issues but she can get detail oriented quickly and that’s what I like. I am trying to hone my skills at being able to go from 50,000 to 500 feet of analysis when asked. I’ve been in too many meetings where we will be trying to figure out a roadmap for the next 3-5 years and someone asks about a tactical marketing issue. Or we’re trying to wordsmith a brochure and someone keeps focusing on the big message and not the individual sentences.

Carol can review a packet of information ahead of time and come in with questions. Being prepared for meetings and having thought about it ahead of time makes her participation in our advisory board so much more potent. There are few people who actually digest and reflect on stuff you send them before meetings – even if it’s only a 2 minute exercise, Carol does it and she does it well.

Finally, I like Carol because she has a social/philanthropic side to her. She sees a glass ceiling when it comes to women in business and that’s something that fires me up. Although we haven’t needed to rely on our advisory board much in the past few months, I know when we gather the group next time we all will look forward to capturing some of Carol’s insight and wit. All these reasons make Carol Rutlen the first in my Friends of Ben series.

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