On June 8th, 2023, we gathered to honor dynamic leaders in business, technology, and philanthropy and their outstanding contributions to advancing cross-cultural dialogue, collaboration, and community. Meet our 2023 Globe Ball Honorees:
2023 AWARD FOR CONNECTING ACROSS DIFFERENCE
Joy Allen-Altimare has always thrived and expressed her gifts across cultures, grounded in the knowledge and self regard instilled in her as a child. Born and raised in Chattanooga, TN, of Jamaican heritage, Joy felt her belonging within a Black family, going to a Black church, and being part of a community rich in Black culture. From this strong foundation, Joy attended a predominately white, all-girls school, founded in 1906, where she was one of three Black students in her class of 86 students. She was also the only Black girl on the school’s nationally ranked swim team. Her father was instrumental in Joy’s understanding that she was traveling between two worlds and two distinct cultures. “I learned how to navigate cultures successfully without anxiety,” she recalls, “because I was exposed and an active participant in both.”
Her willingness to explore culture extended into her artistic and educational pursuits. Joy credits her modern dance teacher with introducing her to the Horton technique and the dance scene in New York. And her world history teacher, a Boston University alumnus, drew her attention North for college. Vanderbilt had once felt like the only option; she chose Boston University instead.
Today, Joy expresses her leadership and passion to increase people’s well-being through her work in the healthcare industry. She has 20 years of experience as a marketing and operations executive in healthcare and has championed diversity, equity, and inclusion in these spaces. Today, she leads global marketing and operations at Kindbody, the technology-driven fertility clinic network and family-building benefits that expand women’s access to options that enrich their lives.
Active on the Board of Directors of Alvin Ailey, Joy nurtures organizations that foster women’s autonomy and invest in Black artistry. She extends her impact as an advocate for Girls Write Now and founding member of CHIEF. “We have to be really intentional to see the similarities in the heart and soul of human nature to truly feel connected,” says Joy, who feels inspired by the mission of Global Nomads. “It doesn’t happen because you wish for it. Connection is an intentional action that has to happen every day.”
For her curiosity to cross borders, spirited breakdown of barriers, and savvy to inspire growth and change wherever she goes, Global Nomads is honored to present Joy Allen-Altimare the Global Nomads 2023 Award for Connecting Across Difference.
2023 AWARD FOR DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP
Veronica Villasenor left her hometown of Colima, Mexico, for college, just as her cousins and others were encouraged to do, but then went further to forge her own growth as a leader. She chose a university in Guadalajara, rather than a college closer to home, and then moved with friends to Vancouver. “In my family, it was expected that you would study to become a professional and come back,” says Veronica. “And everyone had done that, until I didn’t.” Her goal was to stretch her capabilities and lead life on her own terms.
For Veronica, the choice involved risk, since it would be her first time being financially independent. The risk made the rewards even sweeter. Together in Vancouver, Veronica and her friends practiced English and learned to balance their finances. She explored a multitude of cultures working three jobs in three restaurants—one Korean, one Greek, and one Middle Eastern. Eight months later, Veronica heard about a marketing position at The Hershey Company in Guadalajara. Within a week she had the job. Five years later, she was on her way to Hershey, PA.
During her 20-year tenure, Veronica has become a driving force in Hershey’s category leadership in confection and has taken on a role leading the company’s expansion beyond chocolate. Her next feat is building Hershey’s recently acquired and already fast-growing salty snacks brands including Dot’s Pretzels. This growing snacking portfolio enabled Hershey to exceed $10 billion in net sales in 2022.
As one of Hershey’s many women leaders, she is gratified knowing her company lives its values and celebrates the partnership between Hershey and Global Nomads Group that began in 2020. Since then, Global Nomads has translated its programs into Spanish and Hershey has invested in launching Global Nomads programs in Monterey, Mexico, where Hershey has a strong community presence already.
It’s this spirit of constant evolution that Veronica loves about the company and also brings to it. I have learned to embrace change and see it as opportunity,” says Veronica. “By looking at change as enabling growth, I now feel the most energized when overcoming challenges and approaching new experiences as an opportunity to learn.
For following her own call to lead and inspiring worldwide teams at Hershey to forge pathways that benefit the company and the community, Global Nomads Group is thrilled to present Veronica Villasenor the Global Nomads 2023 Award for Dynamic Leadership.
2023 AWARD FOR GLOBAL VISION
Suzanne Heidelberger is the daughter and granddaughter of architects, and building structures to support growth, expansion, and change are part of her DNA. Suzanne’s home base as a child was Long Island, but she grew up in Egypt and South Africa; anytime her father took international assignments doing large architectural projects overseas, the family went with them. Suzanne experienced it as a gift—landing in different places, having to make new friends and attend school in a different language. She still has the friends she made then and recalls the only hard part was leaving: “Connecting with people who have completely different concepts and norms for living makes me live my life better, do my job better, be a better mom.”
As an adult, she and a friend decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. They chose the scenic route and found themselves in the company of only professional climbers. A documentary film crew who accompanied those climbers interviewed the two women, who shared that their training was life at sea level and Stairmaster. Motivated by the voice of an imaginary narrator saying, “They never made it,” the two climbed at their own pace, and made it.
Partly due to that life-changing experience, Suzanne describes her professional climb as “more of a jungle gym than a ladder” and, today, she heads Corporate Real Estate for Fidelity Investments. For all of Fidelity’s office spaces across the globe, Suzanne leads the team of real estate professionals who oversee the company’s real estate strategy, transactions, project management, design, hospitality, operations, and engineering.
Suzanne has attended gatherings hosted by Global Nomads Group over the past two years, where she has experienced the impact. As someone who embraces differences to achieve better results, she values resilience and ability to debate as vital to the building process. She sees no difference in how Global Nomads positions youth to connect, keeping it personal through collective conversations about common interests. “Global Nomads Group starts the conversation and allows those waves to build and build—it has the ability to impact the world in such a seismic way and I can’t imagine a time when we need it more,” says Suzanne.
For her daring to seek out international adventure, scale bold challenges, and invest in building inclusive workplace experiences and vibrant communities in our interdependent world, Global Nomads is delighted to present Suzanne Heidelberger with the Global Nomads 2023 Award for Global Vision.