Powering the Partnership

This award highlights an Ambassador or Ambassador team who excel at creating awareness for NextUp cross-functionally at their company. They are strategic and leverage internal relationships, engaging with all levels of employees, including executive involvement in NextUp Ambassador Calls, ‘Lunch and Learns,’ and regional engagement and leadership.


  • Example 1: Participated in NextUp opportunities and encouraged member participation in NextUp – e.g: the Ambassador Call Best Practice Showcase, ‘Lunch and Learns,’ the Advancing All Women podcast, Regional events, speaking opportunities, or volunteering on Regional Committees.
  • Example 2: College/university engagement– extending NextUp to students and interns, and getting them involved in NextUp Regions.
  • Example 3: Collaborated with other external NextUp Ambassadors (outside of Ambassador Calls) to build a network and sharing of best practices.
  • Example 4: Employed new ideas to increase membership and engagement. Membership seats filled at 90 – 100% activation.

2023 Winner

Coca-Cola has achieved the remarkable feat of winning the “Powering the Partnership NextUp Award”. Coca-Cola’s ambassador’s Barbara Poremba and Jennifer Hale play an essential role in setting the stage for ongoing support and seamless integration of NextUp within the Coca-Cola system.  Their contributions not only highlighted Coca-Cola’s commitment but also fostered a sense of unity and purpose among NextUp members. In 2023, Coca-Cola demonstrated their unwavering commitment to enhance the NextUp partnership as Dagmar Boggs, President of Food Service and On-Premise joined the NextUp board. Her leadership and engagement efforts were instrumental in strengthening the collaboration between Coca-Cola and NextUp.

Coca-Cola’s longstanding commitment to the NextUp partnership is truly remarkable, as they have been a dedicated partner for 22 years.  Their significant contributions are reflected not only in their participation but also in their investment to NextUp.  Over the course of the years, Coca-Cola has successfully reached and engaged over 4,700 members through a variety of channels, including regional events, webinars, and learning and development initiatives. Most recently, Coca-Cola’s ambassadors re-organized their entire 500 Next Up memberships with 30% bottler partners through a comprehensive outreach and communication plan. Through their stewardship and dedication to NextUp, they doubled their member representation to Summit this year, bringing 150 members!

Coca-Cola’s commitment to the partnership is evident.  NextUp worked closely with the Coca-Cola Ambassadors to successfully develop a comprehensive 4-part career accelerator program that is offered free to all members.  The titles of these programs are, Resumes that get Noticed, Rocked Your Linkedin Profile, Interviewing Tips and Tricks and Building Your Network.  This program has showcased Coca-Cola’s dedication to fostering growth and development within the NextUp community.

Coca-Cola plays a pivotal role in the NextUp community by actively participating in ambassador calls.  During these calls they share their insights and experiences helping to prepare other NextUp ambassadors in a “Know Before You Go” campaign for both NextUp conferences, Executive Forum and Summit.  Through these interactions, Coca-Cola contributes their expertise, providing valuable guidance on how to navigate and make the most of the NextUp events.

Moreover, Coca-Cola’s commitment goes beyond preparation. Coca-Cola also brings wonderful speakers, such as Elaine Bowers Coventry Chief Customer and Commercial Officer to Executive Forum and most recently, Laurie Hernandez, Olympic Athlete, Author and Mental Health Advocate welcoming us all to Summit this year. These speakers share their knowledge, perspectives, and insights with the larger NextUp community.  With this involvement, Coca-Cola not only enhances the quality of the conferences but also demonstrate their dedication to fostering learning, collaboration and growth within the NextUp partnership.

Coca-Cola’s commitment to NextUp is a shining example of a strategic partnership with engagement across all levels.  Their involvement extends to active participations, leadership representation and creating meaningful opportunities for their employees to learn and grow within the NextUp community.  This level of dedication showcases their deep commitment to fostering a culture of continuous development and collaboration with NextUp.

Coca Cola logo

Previous Winners

2022 Recipient

SC Johnson: Shannon Blum, Keri Weeter, Susan Borne

2021 Recipient

Conagra Brands: Jesse McHugh

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