Summit Award Winners

NextUp Leadership Summit 2022: Award Winners

We want to take a moment to acknowledge our incredible award winners from NextUp Leadership Summit 2022! Read on to learn about these wonderful individuals and regions and their amazing accomplishments this year.

Bobbie O’Hare Impact Award Winner

Ebony Wyatt, NextUp Twin Cities

Ebony took on the role of Region Executive Co-Chair of her region this year, and inspired confidence and action in her peers by refusing to settle for mediocrity. At the same time, she demonstrated vulnerability that endeared her to sponsors, volunteers, and members. She generously tapped into her extensive network of talented leaders to support her region, the NextUp mission, and all NextUp members. She embodies a model of leadership that is clear and direct, and consistently pushes her team to think inclusively.

Region Award Winners

Emerging Leader Award

Emma Luten, NextUp Twin Cities

Emma joined NextUp Twin Cities as a programming volunteer in January of this year. She immediately embraced the region’s goals and advocated for programming that helped set the Twin Cities region apart. Her regional peers value her contributions and love her ability to jump in with her fantastic ideas and positive energy.


Jamie Martinez, NextUp Pacific Northwest

Jamie became a co-lead for the Growth & Development committee and created a process to welcome and more deeply connect with volunteers. Her work for the region has significantly strengthened Pacific Northwest’s volunteer network. Her region teammates say she is always thinking about how to invite more people in, and how to share the mission and vision of NextUp in the most genuine way possible.

Courageous Leadership Award, presented in honor of Kristine Pettoni

Dianne Galang, Anywhere Region

Dianne is a founding member of our newest region and helped pioneer a way to bring our mission to life in a virtual world. She built a programming strategy with little to no resources and managed to do 16 events in 2022—and counting! She is a committed leader who has ensured that each event is better than the last. Her region peers say that the high performance of her team has been essential to what the NextUp Anywhere Region has achieved.

Male Ally Award

Andrew Morris, NextUp Anywhere

Andrew has gone all in by demonstrating his dedication to allyship. He stepped up as Executive Co-Chair to lead a brand new region, and he advocated for NextUp within Accenture and worked to bring people along. His passion and generosity are deeply appreciated by NextUp and his regional peers.

Powering the Partnership

NextUp Cincinnati

NextUp Cincinnati has fulfilled NextUp’s mission by reaching more than 700 students and helping with their job placement. They’ve built strong local partnerships with Dress for Success and MORTAR, a local non-profit that works to highlight marginalized communities.

NextUp Toronto

NextUp Toronto excelled in a time where in-person connection was next to impossible! They engaged their community to nurture current relationships, provided 40 mentors to NextUp members, and created unique mentoring experiences by holding a series of virtual round-table forums.

Powering the People

NextUp Northwest Arkansas

NextUp Northwest Arkansas is a powerhouse. They’ve invested in their leadership team to ensure new officers are well-positioned for success. They intentionally created a succession plan to ensure the strength of the region for years to come, and they hold quarterly offsite meetings to ensure cohesion, and leads regular Connect Events for volunteers to network. 

NextUp Pennsylvania

This tenacious group had to work to rebuild their region almost from scratch. From the beginning, they committed to building a diverse and inclusive group of leaders. In just five months, they recruited 10 new board officers. They surveyed their members and put together a meet and greet to relaunch the region. Since May of this year, they’ve increased their LinkedIn followers from 40 people to nearly 600!

Powering the Purpose

NextUp Mid-Atlantic

Intention is clearly part of everything NextUp Mid-Atlantic does. They built a region presence that reflects NextUp’s goals of having representation by a diverse group of leaders. They successfully welcomed 15% men, 38% NewGen and 46% women of color. They sponsored NextUp memberships for 10 students from historically black colleges and universities, and conducted mock interviews and resume writing events. They’ve championed women of color and women in technology through their events. They clearly took NextUp’s mission to heart and put it into action. 

NextUp Twin Cities

NextUp Twin Cities established a clear vision that would take them into the future. They planned to support NextUp’s mission to advance all women in business by creating a boldly inclusive community where members belong and grow together. They showed their dedication to this mission through their events, communications, and mentorship programming. Their ‘Breaking Glass Ceilings: Black History Month Celebration’ was a huge success, and they engaged allies with the ‘Men Who Get It’ event. They also grew their mentorship participation by 52% this year!

Powering the Pivot

NextUp Nashville

NextUp Nashville pivoted to create a strategy to navigate the rebrand. They committed to keeping inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of all they do–from their board, to their social media following to their in-person and virtual events. This group has seen record numbers at their events, and have even sold out for one of their most popular. This group has created a high standard to ensure their branding conveys our combined mission of being a future-focused, inclusive organization. 

NextUp Anywhere

NextUp Anywhere is a forward-thinking group. They created a brand new region in 2021, and incorporated the NextUp brand and vision in everything they do. They have helped people around the world see NextUp as the premier destination for women, DEI&B awareness, allyship, professional development, and networking.

Expanding across borders, NextUp Anywhere has grown our membership into countries including Australia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and China, just to name a few. They have also put on an average of more than two events each month to engage members.

Ambassador Award Winners

Powering the Partnership

Shannon Blum, Keri Weeter, and Susan Borne; SC Johnson

To build awareness of our partnership, they purchased t-shirts from a woman-owned business for their internal teams. They brought together ambassadors from around the country to plan how they could develop their leaders through NextUp events and learning programs. And they intentionally created KPIs to increase the number of women and allies benefiting from their partnership with NextUp.

Powering the People

Melanie Peyton, Visa

Visa has been a valued Ally-level partner since 2017. Melanie leads an all-star ambassador team and helps manage 196 members to make sure they’re getting the most out of their NextUp membership. She actively engages a broad team to support the partnership so she can lift others by helping them expand their leadership skills. Our winner manages generous NextUp conference sponsorships on behalf of Visa and is a true collaborator.

Brittany Hull, Advance Auto Parts

Brittany joins ambassador calls nearly every month to gather fresh ideas, then brings them to the DEI team that owns talent development at her company. In conjunction with other DEI Business Partners, she worked with the executive team to identify high-potential female talent across the organization—from store managers to interns to executives. In just a short time, she helped allocate 90% of their memberships!

Powering the Purpose

Kelli Zwick, Holly White, Amber Epperson and Nicki Heitzler; Altria

This is a stellar team with so many accomplishments it’s impossible to list them all. This team has increased participation in NextUp events – including Forum, Summit, Rising Stars, the Soar Program, and DEI workshops – by 210%! They’ve engaged senior leadership and worked hard to provide a diverse group with memberships to NextUp: 26% of their members are women of color and 21% are male allies. Additionally, this team has reached out to many other departments within Altria to champion the work we do together to raise up all women. 

Nicole Wright, Acosta

Nicole champions NextUp every chance she gets. She is continually looking for ways to connect Acosta employees to the many programs NextUp offers to support their professional development. As if that weren’t enough, she is also an active region volunteer. She’s even been known to reach out to new NextUp staff to welcome them in, offer support, and share her historical knowledge of the organization.

Powering the Pivot

Perri Gordon and Heather Davila; Glanbia

Perri and Heather became ambassadors in Q2 of 2022, and since then engagement has increased 120%! They’ve worked hard to spread the word about the purpose of our partnership: to drive development of future female leaders at their organization. In the last year, our partnership has expanded dramatically. These passionate ambassadors have driven participation and ensured NextUp educational opportunities and events are on their member’s calendars.

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