Powering Allyship

This award is presented to an Ambassador or Ambassador team who embrace allyship and promote inclusivity and belonging. The winners exhibit excellence in DEI&B and allyship leadership by connecting their organization with NextUp’s programming, which aids in removing the barriers that prevent women from advancing in the workplace.


  • Example 1: Supported belonging and inclusivity that resulted in a keen awareness and engagement in NextUp events, speaker opportunities, region activities, and leadership.
  • Example 2: Demonstrated ally leadership that resulted in employee career advancement, retention, innovation, and overall improved performance.
  • Example 3: Became an ally champion who promoted inclusivity in an actionable way for internal stakeholders and the community.

2023 Winners

Hallmark logo

Hallmark’s partnership stands out as truly exceptional as they whole heartedly embrace Allyship and championed inclusivity and belonging within the NextUp community. Hallmark has proven to be an exceptional advocate level partner with the NextUp community over the past decade. Under the dedicated leadership of James Melton, Chief Customer Officer and Executive Sponsor for NextUp, Hallmark has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary level of male allyship. Hallmark’s engagement in NextUp programming has further solidified their position as a trailblazer in allyship. Their alignment with NextUp’s programming, particularly, Rising Stars and SOAR, underscores their commitment to breaking down barriers that hinder women’s advancement in the workplace. This year they are looking to do a customized program with L&D on a level above SOAR. Hallmark’s dedication extends beyond mere association, it directly contributes to creating an environment where women can thrive and succeed.

One of the driving forces behind Hallmark’s engagement is their remarkable ambassador, Carly Unger. Carly’s close collaboration with NextUp’s events, regional activities and leadership amplifies Hallmark’s particpation to the partnership. Through these efforts, Hallmark not only showcases their commitment to fostering growth and inclusivity but also sets an inspiring example for others to follow in supporting diversity and empowerment within the workplace.

Hallmark’s commitment to maximizing memberships and expanding their presence has been rooted in a deep-seated focus on DEI&B. They have consistently demonstrated their commitment to learning, growing and adapting. I believe they are more than deserving of this award with their impactful contribution and emphasis on DEI.

SC Johnson logo

At SC Johnson, cultivating diversity and inclusion is fundamental to how they hire, retain, and inspire the best people. They make diversity and inclusion a priority today and for the future.  The leaders at SC Johnson believe inclusion is creating a work environment where all opinions are valued and where talent is recognized, cultivated, and rewarded. The SC Johnson Ambassador team’s North Star is to transform SC Johnson for women through the power of NextUp.

In April 2023, the Ambassador team followed the course established in the prior year and hosted a perennial meeting inclusive of a NextUp Emotional Intelligence workshop that afforded the team the opportunity to have a better understanding of leadership and decision-making capabilities.  The team aligned their workstream pillars, led by 3 lead Ambassadors, Keri Weeter, Suzanne Borne and Darlene D’Souza and 16 co-Ambassadors, to define measures for success.  The perennial meeting afforded them the opportunity to connect on their goals and objectives for the year, with a keen focus on awareness, activism and allyship.

Under the leadership of their Executive Council spearheaded by Al Schretter, Katie Kellerman, Kylee Elbin, Polly Baur, Renata Ferraiolo, support is extended to the Ambassador team to exceed their NextUp initiatives.  Al Schretter also conducts DE&I monthly meetings; leadership council connects and quarterly meetings with the Ambassador Leads; taking learnings from NextUp and incorporating them into their programing.

The Ambassadors have recognized the following 2023 accomplishments YTD:

  1. SC Johnson unlocked 500+ NextUp memberships, driving engagement opportunities throughout the organization
  2. In 2022-2023 SC Johnson had over 1000 registrations for events and programs, including sponsorship for three regions, and showcasing 9 SC Johnson employees on Region Committees
  3. They drove engagement internally through Annual All Member meetings, communication through Monthly Newsletters (called Monthly Minis) and amplification of learnings, and sharing best practices broadly
  4. There was an increase in external engagement by leveraging NextUp speakers such as Nancy Lyons – and partnering with internal ERG groups to drive attendance and participation
  5. Participated in Ambassador team training and leadership planning sessions annually to drive engagement and excitement across teams, setting clear goals aligned to NextUp
  6. SC Johnson consistently participated in NextUp’s Beyond Allies, Rising Stars, and annual conferences to promote allyship for their employees
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