Tina ThomsonTina Thomson

Tina Thomson

Chief Operating Officer

What did you do before Openbox?

As a single parent, I often worked two full-time jobs at the same time. This equipped me with priceless experience across many industries. The roles ranged from PR and Branding to HR and Labor Law. I have also owned and run 4 businesses. When the day arrived that my son started to earn more than I did, I was finally able to choose to work for positive impact as opposed to working as a means to an end. Whether it was my role as CEO of a national organization for businesswomen in South Africa or my Global Director role in an enterprise in The Netherlands, or even my roles as General Manager at two US companies, I always wanted to contribute meaningfully to society. Along the way, I learned which leadership styles work and which don’t. I learned how vital an inclusive culture is in an organization and most of all, I affirmed that investing in people is the silver-bullet for growth in companies.

What do you like about the work you do?

I love the culture at Openbox. Every person is ‘seen’. Every person matters. The work we do is meaningful and has positive impact on communities. Being able to be part of a team of extraordinary talent that lives our company values, is a privilege.

What does inclusivity mean to you?

I’m born a South African and therefore I espouse the spirit of UBUNU! Ubuntu is best defined by the great Archbishop Desmond Tutu who said, “Ubuntu [...] speaks of the very essence of being human. [We] say [...] "Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu." Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours." We belong in a bundle of life. We say," A person is a person through other persons."

[...] A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.”

Ubuntu is what inclusivity means to me.

When do you feel most like yourself?

When I’m dancing! I love to dance and I love music. I believe that song and dance are able to heal the soul.

I spend a lot of time thinking about...

The health of future generations. Our planet is groaning. How will we reverse the damage that we have done? How will our children and our children’s children be healthy body, mind and soul?