Behind and (Beyond) Prison Walls: The Transformative Power of Learning 

About This Episode

Behind and (Beyond) Prison Walls: The Transformative Power of Learning

In the pursuit of leading inclusively, organizations must be willing to establish learning, development, and job opportunities for underrepresented populations. Incarcerated women is just one of many underrepresented populations rarely discussed, but who deserve a place at the forefront of the conversation surrounding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

We explore this topic deeper in this episode of The Edge with Danna Tongate, the Head of Demand Generation at Televerde. Together, Danna and host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek chat about how a corporate commitment to embracing DEI initiatives and Impact Sourcing can drive quantifiable results—a “win-win” for both employees and the organizations who are willing to hire diverse talent.

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About Our Guest

Danna Tongate
Head of Demand Generation, Televerde

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Danna Tongate is the head of Demand Generation for Televerde. In this role, she oversees creating and managing marketing strategies to amplify brand visibility and stimulate lead generation. Since joining Televerde in 2005, Danna has served in integral roles in customer experience, sales, and marketing.

Embodying a commitment to continuous learning, Danna is augmenting her professional experience with formal education. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Phoenix, with an anticipated graduation in 2024.

Danna dedicates much of her free time to supporting Televerde Foundation, a non-profit organization that prepares incarcerated women for success in the workforce after release. Driven by a "pay it forward" belief, Danna mentors women transitioning out of prison and leverages her marketing and project management expertise to extend the foundation's reach. She deeply believes everyone deserves a fair shot, regardless of background or circumstance. Danna's journey of transformation and success as a second-chance hire has been recognized by FOX10 News.

About Our Host

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

As Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle leads a global marketing organization, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. Since joining the company, she has been responsible for Skillsoft’s global marketing strategy, which includes generating awareness, driving preference, and building affinity for Skillsoft. Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – Michelle serves as the company's brand evangelist, helping to build a vibrant community of passionate learners.

With more than 25 years of marketing, branding, and strategy experience, Michelle has made it her personal mission to support the advancement of women in business. Prior to Skillsoft, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Watson, where she was instrumental in developing the first “Women Leaders in AI” program, which honors women who put AI to work across industries and around the globe. She also served as the global head of marketing for The Weather Company, an IBM Business, helping companies understand how to anticipate, plan for, and ultimately make better decisions – with greater confidence – in the face of weather.

Michelle is a prolific speaker on a range of topics, including the war for talent, digital transformation, and marketing in a post-pandemic world. She covers these topics and more as the host of Skillsoft's podcast, The Edge, now in its second season. She has authored countless papers covering a range of business and marketing topics, was at the center of Skillsoft’s leadership role in DEI through free “Leadercamps,” and has taught two Percipio courses on the Pink Pandemic and Public Speaking.

Michelle is also a founding member of CMO Huddles, a group dedicated to bringing together and empowering highly effective B2B CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness. Michelle holds a Master’s degree from Simmons University and sits on the pro side of the Oxford comma debate.