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The six individuals who will be honored with the 2022 Globy Awards. Photo Credit: AL DÍA Archives, Courtesy Photos.
The six individuals who will be honored with the 2022 Globy Awards. Photo Credit: AL DÍA Archives, Courtesy Photos.

Six prominent local leaders to be honored at the 2022 Globy Awards

The honors will be bestowed during the premier recognition of Global Philadelphia Association's leadership event on Monday, December 12.

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Since it was founded in 2010, the Global Philadelphia Association’s mission has been the same.

In the words of Global Philadelphia Association President Zabeth Teelucksingh, it’s “to position our city internationally,” she said. 

In order to do so, it takes a group of individuals and organizations engaged in local activities that are making a global impact.

However, after a few years, Global Philadelphia Association’s leadership team came to realize that there wasn’t an official recognition of folks in the region who are doing that critical work on a daily basis.

“And so we decided upon the Globy Awards,” said Teelucksingh. 

The Globy Award is an annual award handed out to prominent leaders across the Philadelphia region who have made a global impact for the benefit of the city. 

What started out as originally four categories grew to five, and since last year, is now six. The six leadership categories are Education, Corporate, Community, Lifetime Achievement, and more recently, Heritage & Preservation, and Sustainable Development. 

Each year, the honorees are selected by an internationally diverse committee of 12 individuals. 

“We cast a net through the entire Global Philadelphia membership to receive nominations for each award,” said Teelucksingh, noting that typically, there are about 30 to 40 nominations that then get narrowed down.

Community Leadership Honoree

This year’s selection for the Community Leadership Globy Award is Jennifer Rodriguez, the President & CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to the award ceremony, she spoke with AL DÍA to detail what the award selection means to her, and the work she has done, particularly in the past year. 

“I was certainly surprised,” Rodriguez said. “I certainly was not expecting it at all. It had never even crossed my mind that I would be eligible for it.” 

As Chamber President & CEO, her work is centered around advocating for the region’s 22,000-plus Hispanic-owned businesses, and supporting the advancement of Latinx professionals in the corporate sector. 

When looking back at all the work that has been done in the past year, there are two particular components that stand out most as her proudest accomplishments. 

First, is the creation of the Diverse Chambers Coalition of Philadelphia. The Coalition is a formal partnership of the Hispanic, African American, Asian American, and Independence Business Alliance to facilitate entrepreneurship, advocacy, and growth for the region’s diverse businesses

“We have come together very intentionally [and strategically] to really represent and be a sound, effective voice for small businesses owned by people of color and diverse communities,” she said. 

This led to the successful advocacy for the reduction of the BIRT and wage tax for small businesses in Philadelphia — the first time since 1988.

Secondly, Rodriguez is proud of the Chamber's work in building, scaling, and advancing Latino-owned businesses across the region. This, in particular to the Chamber’s Accelerate Business — formerly Accelerate Latinx — program. 

“That program has begun to yield great outcomes,” she said. 

Currently, in its fourth cohort, the Accelerate Business program has helped many Latino businesses make strides. The first two cohorts of the program have taken all they have learned in the program, and as a result, retained a total of 110 jobs, created over 13 more, and 88% of those businesses reported profit gains in 2021 — a full pandemic year. 

This is despite studies showing that 40% of Black and Latino-owned businesses were lost during the pandemic. 

“Knowing that when you provide Latino entrepreneurs with the tools, the resources, and the networks in a high-quality environment, they deliver in spades,” said Rodriguez. 

“That is particularly meaningful because that’s really what this organization is all about,” she added. “It’s about helping Latino business owners and entrepreneurs meet their fullest potential and contribute to the economy at the maximum level they can.” 

As the Community Leadership Award recipient, Rodriguez also reflects on what leadership means to her.

“I think leadership is not about the individual who is considered to be the leader, it’s about the people that individual works with or for,” she said.

“I consider a leader as somebody that oversees — in my case, an operation or advocates it at a higher level for a community — needs to be very close to that community, needs to listen and learn,” Rodriguez added. 

In addition, she believes a good leader can identify strengths and weaknesses, and be unafraid to surround themselves with individuals who can fill gaps, and empower others to do so.

“Culture is everything,” said Rodriguez. “The most important asset that your organization has is its people, and I truly believe that so long as we respect, trust, and build our people, leadership will be much easier to undertake or to attain.” 

Meet the Other Honorees

Five other notable leaders will join Rodriguez this year as 2022 Globy Award recipients. 

The Education Leadership Globy Award will go to Dr. Donald Guy Generals, President of Community College of Philadelphia. In his role, he serves more than 30,000 credit and non-credit students from diverse social, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Since he arrived in 2014, he has implemented a school-wide transformation by instituting the Guided Pathways model of program and curriculum development, increasing the both graduation rate and retention. 

The Corporate Leadership Globy Award will go to Susan Jacobson, President of Jacobson Strategic Communications and the former Chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. She leads of the city’s leading public relations, public affairs, and crisis management firms. Having just finished her term as board chair for the Philadelphia Chamber earlier this year, her leadership was on full display as she helped tens of thousands of businesses in the region navigate, survive, and also thrive, during the pandemic. 

The Lifetime Achievement Globy Award will go to Judith von Seldeneck, the founder, chairwoman & CEO of Diversified Search. She is a pioneer in the search industry, helping identify and place senior-level executive talent around the country for more than 40 years. 

The Heritage and Preservation Leadership Globy will go to David Seltzer, co-founder of CraftNOW, a consortium with over two dozen programming partners that promotes Philadelphia as the nation’s craft capital. He is also a principal and co-founder of Mercator Advisors LLC, a registered municipal advisory firm that provides financial consulting services to governmental, corporate, and nonprofit organizations sponsoring major infrastructure projects and programs. 

The Sustainable Development Leadership Globy will go to Vik Dewan, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo. He leads one of the region’s foremost conservation organizations and the area’s most-visited ticketed cultural attraction. During his tenure, the Philadelphia Zoo has opened several one-of-a-kind animal exhibitions, launched new groundbreaking initiatives, and instituted a comprehensive 10-year transformative site master plan to enrich experiences for the animals and guests alike. He announced last month that he will be returning from his post in 2023. 

“They are all very high-level leaders… it is a very erudite group of people,” said Teelucksingh. 

When she thinks about all the different ways each honoree has “tackled the subject of leadership and the work that they do,” Teelucksingh shared that Philadelphia is fortunate to have such great leadership and commitment at a number of different levels. 

The 2022 Globy Awards will take place Monday, December 12 at The Westin Philadelphia from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. To learn more or purchase tickets for the event, click here

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