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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Michelle Cirocco

Chief Impact Officer & CEO

Televerde & Televerde Foundation

Location: Phoenix

Founded: 1994 & 2020

Industry: Nonprofit

Michelle Cirocco earned her associate degree in science via handwritten correspondence courses while incarcerated, launching her passion for learning and self-development. After her release, she completed her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Ohio University. She then went on to earn her MBA from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business in 2008, where she currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board.

Today, Cirocco serves as chief impact officer for Televerde and CEO of Televerde Foundation, which provides comprehensive reentry programs for more than 500 incarcerated women each year.

“March 1, 2020, I agreed to start the Televerde Foundation. This was an incredibly difficult decision, as nonprofit work was not something I had ever imagined as part of my career, nor did I view (it) as a progressive opportunity,” Cirocco said. “However, due to extenuating circumstances, there were 65 incarcerated women working for Televerde that were due to be released that year, who did not have access to reentry programming and support necessary to prepare for their successful transition back into the community. Today, what started out of a sense of moral obligation has become the greatest endeavor or my entire career.”

Cirocco’s goal for the foundation is to have 20 to 25 centers in 10 to 12 states, serving more than 3,000 incarcerated women a year by 2030. The overall objective is to reach less than 10% recidivism, with 90% employment and salaries greater than $40,000 for all program participants.

Televerde, based in Phoenix, is a sales, marketing and customer experience solutions partner that delivers revenue as a service and customer care expertise with a human touch, best-in-class technology and an operating model that is resilient to shifting market conditions, the company said. Since 1995, Televerde has generated more than $12 billion in revenue for the world’s leading B2B companies, including SAP, GE, Adobe Marketo Engage and Securus Technologies.

“Televerde believes in second-chance employment and strives to help disempowered people find their voice and reach their human potential,” the company said. “Seven of Televerde’s 10 engagement centers are staffed by incarcerated women, representing 70% of the company’s 600+ global workforce. The Arizona State University Seidman Research Institute recently documented the model’s success in a study. The results reveal that participants of Televerde’s program go on to attain employment, earnings and education at higher rates and re-offend at significantly lower rates than other formerly incarcerated females in the United States.”

Cirocco has received numerous awards and recognition for her role in business, social justice and social responsibility, including being named one of the 2020 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business by Conscious Company magazine and 2021 Most Admired Leader by Phoenix Business Journal. In 2022, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business.

Cirocco organized and hosted TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional, the first TEDx to be held in an Arizona prison. She also dedicates time to supporting justice reform as an ambassador for Represent Justice.

Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

An absolute love of travel and adventure. Michelle is always planning or returning from vacation.    So far, she has been to 15 different countries, 35 states and her bucket list includes visiting all of them. So far, the most unique adventure was swimming with the pink dolphins and fishing for piranha in the Amazon river and the most memorable was driving to California and meeting first grandson at the height of the Covid lockdown. >  

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