Staff Spotlight: Dani Hale

Our Geneva Global team members have different backgrounds, life experiences, interests, and expertise – but we share a dedication to collaboration, innovation, equity, and integrity – all in the name of delivering excellent client service and furthering our goal to change the way we think about philanthropy. To top it off, our team is made up of genuinely nice humans who are a joy to work with. We’re excited to share the next installment of our staff spotlight feature: Dani Hale, Director of Talent.

How did your career journey lead you to Geneva Global?

After college, my career has taken me from Counselor in the Massachusetts Department of Correction system in my early days, to working in the Recruitment and Human Resource capacity for the UMass Health System for fourteen years. While hiring was the initial priority in that role, over time other bodies of work were central to my role and essential for the community. These included recognition programs and a voting and awards luncheon that feature categories of work streams that improved patient care and created excitement for the work each year.

Coming together as a community to celebrate hard work became a welcome and essential annual activity. I am proud to have been a part of the Idea Board System movement at the hospital where each member of a hospital unit, from physicians to housekeepers, came together to give their ideas for best patient care. This movement helped to horizontalize what is typically a hierarchical work environment and improved retention as all felt their important voice could be heard and respected.

I joined Geneva Global in the summer of 2018 in the recruitment capacity and have enjoyed the company and the team immensely.

How has your role at Geneva Global evolved?

My initial recruitment assignment was to hire Program Advisors in the six countries where the Girls First Fund (GFF) operates: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, India, Nepal, Niger, and Uganda. GFF is a donor collaborative focused on helping to end child marriage. It was a pleasure to support that effort and I have great relationships with many of the team members still present. I have hired and onboarded most of the team members now present at Geneva Global; each person hired is so special and willing to share their talents, knowledge, and generous spirit! Together we have created a community of learners, willing to challenge each other for best outcomes.

What fulfills you most about your role?

I love introducing new talent to the organization because our culture is innovative and exciting. I enjoy watching new team members discover and experience that truth.

I’ve also been a member of our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee for four years and working for real enhancement in these areas helps me feel content. With such massive societal problems that need serious care, it takes targeted solutions and a team willing to dive in, so we can do what we can. It’s a space that has occupied my mind and voice and I’ll continue to give this space careful consideration on every level to equalize the world we live in and make it a better place for marginalized communities.

How has the talent management landscape changed over the last few years?

I am grateful for the expansion of thinking that although there are certainly criteria one must have to fill a role, many things can be learned on the job! There is no need to check all the boxes initially. At Geneva Global we like to say that professional development happens not only at conferences and classrooms, but in our everyday work. We learn and grow each day.

I am also grateful that some of the formality of talent management has gone away. Presenting your best self and at the same time being authentic can make the difference between connecting and relationship building or remaining on a superficial level with your team members and clients. What was once known as “soft skills” is not easy for some. It can be hard! My hope is that we can rename “soft skills” to convey that for some, emotional IQ is a learned talent that needs to be cultivated.

What are you reading right now?

My favorite book right now is Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown. I have gifted this book to some of my favorite people. It’s a hands-on how-should-I-work-this-out-with-my-fellow-humans type of book. How to lead with your heart! Quite the concept, no? I was able to witness Brené’s brilliance a few years back at the SHRM Conference. What a delight!

I am also reading The Quiet American by Graham Green and Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. Because of the level of content devoured for work, I find reading to be harder to do at night and on the weekends. The pandemic has influenced my ability to focus and not in a good way (maybe it’s my age.) I unabashedly consider myself a Netflix connoisseur. I’ll take a good movie or series any day!

Where do you get your news?

Although I now live in the Philadelphia area, I still love to listen to Boston’s WBUR and all its content. I also love the PBS Art (news) show, Articulate, that details all kinds of artists and their gifts to the world. I faithfully watch PBS Newshour and was lucky to meet and spend some time with its co-founder, Robert MacNeil, last winter.

How has your work-from-home journey been? Any tips or tricks?

I love working from home. I can sink into the details of work in my very quiet space. I also love being able to now see my co-workers from time to time in the office to have lunch and find out what’s current in their life and what’s important to them. We will always need each other.

Relationship building is essential for everything that’s good. And my team members at Geneva Global are among the best people and professionals I have ever known. I am grateful to have them in my life.

To meet the rest of our team, please click here.