Board Led by Teresa Hodge, a Formerly Incarcerated Executive, Now a Leader in Re-Entry
Diverse Cross-Section of Community, Public Policy, and Business Leaders to Accelerate Aventiv’s Transformation Empowering Rehabilitative Justice
Aventiv Technologies, the leading technology company empowering rehabilitative justice by pioneering the development and deployment of educational platforms as a rehabilitation tool for the incarcerated, today announced the formal launch of a Corporate Advisory Board to help fulfill its aggressive, multi-year commitments to transformation.
The board comprises 11 leaders representing a diverse cross-section of constituencies and communities. Its chairperson is Teresa Hodge, a formerly incarcerated business leader turned advocate and President and CEO of Mission: Launch, a nonprofit that works with financial institutions to help the formerly incarcerated get access to capital to start businesses. In addition to Hodge, members of the advisory board include a former Vice Chairman of General Electric; a retired Vice President of IBM; former officials from the FCC and Department of Labor; community activists; and several formerly justice-involved individuals.
“Mass incarceration is failing America. The system isn’t working for those inside or their families. This board is incredibly important to changing the status quo because we understand how important it is to actually listen to diverse voices when addressing the problems in the system, and Aventiv is committed to listening to all of us,” said Ms. Hodge, who was named to the Forbes 50 Over 50 list of America’s leading women executives and entrepreneurs. “I have committed myself to reducing the harm prison causes to individuals and their families, especially children. This is based on lived experience for me. We make coming home too hard. I am pleased to play an impactful role in helping Aventiv use its place inside facilities to improve outcomes for justice-involved families and cement the foundation for systemic change. Once part of the problem, Aventiv is now part of the solution.”
The board reports to Aventiv CEO Dave Abel and will work cross-functionally with other members of the company’s management team on its sweeping transformation into a modern technology business providing education, re-entry and rehabilitations services in addition to communications.
“When I became CEO two years ago, I committed to permanently changing this company by transforming how it does business, and by putting the incarcerated people we serve at the heart of every product and decision we make. We have undertaken an ambitious transformation to make investments work for all the people whose lives are affected by the criminal justice system,” Mr. Abel said. “These changes were long overdue. Now we’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a broader suite of technology products and services that support not just communications but also education, reentry, and rehabilitation. This is about saving lives, and I am lucky to have this group of advisors in our boardroom who are going to be instrumental to transforming Aventiv even more, and to helping us advocate for a more just system.”
Mr. Yusef D. Jackson, a senior advisor to Aventiv, was instrumental in developing the board structure and roster. He will partner with the incoming chair launching its work and integrating the board into the operations of the Company.
“The formation and launch of the Advisory Board is a crucial step in Aventiv’s ongoing transformation,” said Jackson. “We’ve made notable progress, but to be most effective, we must be better connected as a Company to the communities we serve and have unfettered access to bold, independent perspectives from people who will help guide us in new ways and hold us accountable to our commitment for change. I am confident this group of advocates will hold a mirror to our actions and role as an industry leader, and speak the hard truths necessary to fix a broken system for good. We’re well positioned and ready for the work ahead.”
Aventiv also retained the Black-owned corporate strategy and development firm HP Global Advisors to advise the board curation process.
The 11 Advisory Board members are (full bios can be found HERE:)
Johnny Barnes, director of Dream Builders Foundation, former IBM Chief Technology Officer
Jeff Carlisle, attorney and former chief and deputy chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau
Teresa Hodge, President and CEO of Mission: Launch, Inc.
Tricia “CK” Hoffler, attorney and former President of the National Bar Association
Johnel Langerston, founder and president of Urban Born
Andre Norman, CEO of Academy of Hope
Jane Oates, former U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) official and President of WorkingNation
Rick Raemisch, former executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and former Dane County (WI) Sheriff; currently chief consultant at Falcon Inc.
Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Lloyd Trotter, founder and managing partner of GenNx360 Capital Partners, former Vice Chairman, General Electric
KC Wilbourn-Snapp, former school principal, community activist, principal consultant at Inspire the World Training and Consulting, Inc.
Each of the Advisory Board members will be paired with C-Level executives at Aventiv who share similar expertise and responsibilities to drive actionable business engagements and ensure the company is best serving the needs of its consumers and customers.
Board members will also collaborate with individuals in correctional facilities, their loved ones, community leaders, government agencies, reform advocates, and others on ensuring that Aventiv is fully utilizing its connectivity for those who need it most.
The Advisory Board is a key component of Aventiv’s reform efforts to keep families connected easily and affordably, to motivate and inspire, provide access to the fundamental human right of education to individuals during incarceration and create reentry paths to success that reduce recidivism. The board will balance those commitments against the vital security needs of our communities and the requirements of local, state, and federal corrections departments and their staffs.