2019 Globy Awards Celebrates Our Region's Global Leaders

Although you can’t shake it like a traditional snow globe, a Globy Award epitomizes the same festive spirit; it celebrates how international pioneers across the city have embodied Philadelphia’s diverse ethos. Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) hosted the fifth annual Globy Awards and Luncheon on December 9, 2019, in celebration of five local leaders whose contributions have elevated Philadelphia’s international businesses and community.

Opening its doors at 11:30 a.m., this year’s event was hosted at The Westin, located at 99 S. 17th Street. Chitchat echoed throughout the room as The Westin’s General Manager Jay Dellavecchia welcomed guests to find their seats while introducing members of GPA’s leadership to the podium, including GPA Board Chair Robert J. McNeill and Executive Director Zabeth Teelucksingh. After lunch was served, all eyes turned towards the center stage as the emcee for the awards ceremony, Jonathan Lovitz, Senior Vice President of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, commanded the crowd’s attention from his very first joke.

This year’s awardees represent the inclusivity and innovative spirit ingrained in the fabric of Philadelphia. First, John Smith, GPA’s Chair Emeritus and Senior Counselor, presented Osagie Imasogie, Senior Managing Partner of PIPV Capital, with the Globy Award for Corporate Leadership. Imasogie has amassed over 30 years of experience in the fields of law, finance and business management, healthcare and pharmaceutics. In addition to this, Imasogie serves as Chairman and Founder of Ilera Therapeutics and a variety of other pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He also serves on the board of several financial institutions, including FS-KKR, Haverford Trust and StoneRidge Investments. “Philadelphia has always been a global city,” said Imasogie in his acceptance speech. “The fact that we’re the first World Heritage City in the U.S. is a consistent first for Philadelphia. I appreciate this award because I think it continues to emphasize the importance of not just Philadelphia, but of our global and international connections.”

Next, Philadelphians welcomed Safeguard Global’s Tommy DiMissa to the stage to present the Globy Award for Community Leadership to Julie Coker Graham, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB). At the cutting edge of the city’s business and cultural scene, Coker Graham oversees PHLCVB’s efforts to promote and sell Philadelphia as a top destination for meetings, conventions, overseas travelers and group tour visitors. She additionally serves on several boards, including GPA, the International Airport Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Committee as well as co-chairs the Mayor’s Shared Spaces Initiative to combat homelessness. “This award is recognition of our team’s steadfast dedication to preserving Philadelphia’s history and culture, and making sure the rest of the world hears our story,” said Coker Graham. “Having an organization like Global Philadelphia and peers like, Jay, Osagie, Amid, and Cynthia all working toward the same goal has certainly increased the collective success of the region.”

Following her acceptance speech, Urban Engineer’s Ken Fulmer introduced Cynthia MacLeod, Superintendent of Independence National Historical Park (INHP), to accept the Globy Award for Historical and Cultural Preservation Leadership. In addition to several education and philanthropy initiatives, MacLeod has spearheaded several projects that have promoted and elevated Philadelphia’s world heritage, including the restoration of Independence Hall’s tower exterior, renovating to the Benjamin Franklin Museum and the Independence Visitor Center and developing and constructing the President’s House Site. MacLeod says that visiting Independence Hall and Independence Mall is one of the best ways that Philadelphians can foster a globally conscious mindset because it provides an opportunity for the community to “interact with the international visitors and the stories of the World Heritage Site!"

After this, Philly Smiles’ Joseph Roberts presented the Globy Award for Educational Leadership to Dr. Amid Ismail, Dean of Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry. As an exceptional figure of scholarly excellence, Ismail has brought his educational expertise to both the Philadelphia community and the global stage. Over the course of his career, he has developed several global educational programs with dental schools in China, Taiwan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority. He has been a pioneer in hosting Israeli and Palestinian dental students and faculty in Philadelphia and creating lasting friendships among them. “Global Philadelphia is a prestigious network of partners who see the beauty and richness of this city and share their love for Philadelphia with other Americans and citizens of the world,” said Ismail. “It’s indeed an honor to receive the recognition for my effort as an educator to build bridges for understanding among people and promote Philadelphia and, my area, North Philadelphia.”

Last but certainly not least, Stradley Ronan’s Bill Sasso welcomed Jay Shah, CEO of Hersha Hospitality Trust, to receive the Globy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Overseeing a 125-hotel portfolio, which includes The Westin itself, Shah has become one of the most powerful voices in the hospitality industry because of his commitment to implementing sustainable and innovative practices that benefit the environment and local and global communities. Involved in all areas of business, Shah’s work with Hersha particularly revolves around fostering Hersha’s strategic relationships, capital transactions, asset management and acquisitions. Even in his everyday life, Shah exudes an infectious sense of appreciation and dedication to the city of Philadelphia. “I have a beautiful view of Independence Hall from my office,” said Shah during his acceptance speech. “When I’m walking from my garage in the morning, I often-times stop to give directions to visitors. It’s such a wonderful experience because everyone is so awestruck by what they’re absorbing and consuming as they’re walking around the city that they forget they might be only one block away from where they need to be.”

Before everyone returned to the bustle of the work day, GPA’s representatives announced the winners of the Globy Awards’ highly anticipated raffle prizes. This year’s big-ticket prizes included tickets to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert, donated on behalf of Marilyn Russell and 98.1 FM WOGL, and a framed National Historic Landmark map.

The 2019 Globy Awards spotlighted the work of Cradles to Crayons, a local charity dedicated to providing children living in poverty or low-income situations with the resources needed to thrive in school and at home. To do this, Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children’s items, which they package at their warehouses and distribute to local disadvantaged children. You can learn more about this organization at https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/philadelphia/.

Check out additional highlights from the event on our Flickr Album, here.

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Article written by Amelia Winger on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association