I recently had the incredible privilege of participating in the Women of the Channel East event in New York City, a gathering that left an indelible mark on my heart and mind. Invited by our esteemed partner Broadcom, alongside a colleague from Televerde, we joined a panel discussion with another key partner, Carahsoft. Reflecting on my experience, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude.
For those unfamiliar with my journey, I’d like to share my story of transformation and resilience. In my late teens and early twenties, I grappled with an addiction to OxyContin, a drug misleadingly marketed as a “safe” pain management solution. This path I was on led me to serve nine years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for prescription fraud. It was a desperate attempt to sustain my addiction without resorting to more dangerous alternatives, and I ended up paying a severe price.
However, it was within the prison system that I discovered Televerde. This company was a beacon of hope, offering women like me a chance to learn valuable skills in sales, marketing, and technology that would translate into a meaningful career after prison. The women of Televerde exuded confidence and intelligence, and their success stories inspired me to apply.
When I applied to work for Televerde, I was shy, reserved, and lacking in many of the traits one would normally associate with a successful salesperson. However, the hiring manager saw potential in me and I was given an opportunity that changed the trajectory of my life. I immersed myself in learning about business and technology and stayed hungry, building my knowledge and skills while advancing through the ranks. I moved into account management and then sales, and today, I lead Televerde’s global sales organization and sit on the executive team.
Yet, the shadow of my past lingers. With a felony record still three years away from potential expungement, I often wrestle with the fear of judgment. Despite societal progress, the stigma of past mistakes can haunt those seeking redemption.
The panel at the Women of the Channel event was a pivotal moment. Tasked with condensing my story and Televerde’s mission into just five minutes, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. Telling my own story, much less the story of an entire company and what it stands for is no easy task – especially when you only have five minutes to do it. Standing before over 1,300 accomplished women, doubts and fears threatened to overwhelm me. What if they judge me? What if I’m not credible? What if I stumble? What if I freeze?
Before I let the “what ifs” take over, I reminded myself that I have seen the CEO of Televerde Foundation, Michelle Cirocco, tell her version of the story countless times and the response has always been positive. So, in that moment, I chose to embrace my narrative with confidence.
The panel was a triumph. My colleague, who recently returned home from a lengthy incarceration, delivered an outstanding presentation. Her presence on stage was truly incredible and her poise and knowledge were a testament to the transformative power of opportunity and support. The audience’s engagement was palpable, their responses a mix of admiration and empathy.
The outcome of the event was a whirlwind of connections, conversations, and social media engagement. The overwhelming message was one of gratitude for giving voice to a frequently ignored issue. It was a humbling reminder of the power of sharing one’s truth.
In reflection, I am awestruck by the journey. The receptiveness of the audience, the courage of my co-presenter, and the societal strides in accepting and valuing individuals from all walks of life fill me with hope. Televerde stands as a shining example of the impact a company can have on society, its employees, and their families. We are not just a business; we are a catalyst for change, proving that the redemption of human potential is not just possible but immensely rewarding.
This experience reaffirms my belief in the power of second chances and the untapped potential that lies within each of us. It’s a testament to the progress we’ve made as a society in recognizing that discarding individuals for past mistakes is not only irresponsible but a terrible waste of human potential. We’re moving towards a future where past mistakes are not perpetual shackles, but stepping stones to greater understanding and growth. It’s a future where the potential in each person is recognized and nurtured, regardless of their history. Those who embrace this idea, that people are more than their past, find themselves and their businesses enriched by the most dedicated and high-performing employees imaginable.
As I reflect on not only this event, but the incredible journey that got me to this point, I am filled with gratitude and optimism. Gratitude for the opportunities to grow and lead, and optimism for a future where the narrative of redemption and transformation is not an exception but a norm. Here’s to a world where every individual’s potential is valued and nurtured, where every story of resilience and redemption inspires and empowers. At Televerde, we’re not just witnessing change; we’re driving it, one life, one story at a time.
Televerde is a company that provides B2B demand generation and sales solutions, and our second-chance mission is driven by our ability to deliver superior results for our clients and partners. We specialize in helping businesses generate leads, engage with prospects, and accelerate the sales process.
Connect with me to learn how we can drive revenue for your business and hear about how Televerde is transforming lives.