New York City – Day 1

Our first Global Ambassadors Program (GAP) in New York City is off to a great start as mentors and mentees finally met in person to begin a week of mentoring and training workshops to hone their leadership and skills in managing and growing their businesses.

Nina Farran, founder and CEO of Fashionkind, on the first day with GAP NYC Global Ambassadors and mentees

It may be our 17th GAP event but each “day 1” feels like the first. Participants have come from across the U.S. and around the world, weary from travel and preparing to be away from home and work for a week. But there’s a magic that happens during our introductions that sustains everyone for the work ahead. By encouraging honesty and vulnerability, we create an open, trusting atmosphere that fosters deep connections leading to effective mentoring relationships.

Our mentees couldn’t be more diverse. We have women running high-end, ethical fashion enterprises, a solar energy expert, fintech and biotech founders, a hot sauce entrepreneur, and more. Our Global Ambassadors represent industries ranging from banking and finance to oil and gas, corporate communications and video technology.

Global Ambassador Mine Ozturk, General Manager, Baxter International

“How am I going to help her?” was the question running through Global Ambassador Mine Ozturk’s mind when she met her mentee, Claudia Castellanos Roques, founder of Black Mamba Foods in Swaziland. As a health care industry executive, Mine wasn’t sure if her expertise would convey. 

“We’re opening the channels,” said Mine. “We’re taking a 30,000 feet view of her business and prioritizing next steps.” They quickly realized that despite coming from different backgrounds the skillset Mine offered was a perfect complement to Claudia’s specific business challenges.  

The first day also featured a luncheon discussion with past Global Ambassadors Lauren Anderson, Shelley Brindle and Kim Kingsley, moderated by Bank of America Global Human Resources Executive Sheri Bronstein, who served as a Global Ambassador in Poland in 2014. The conversation centered around career journeys, leadership challenges and knowing when it’s time to move on. Their collective advice to GAP NYC participants was to get out of their comfort zone and put their heart and soul into the week. As Lauren summed it up, “Have a sense of humor and get out of your cone.”

Stay connected to #GlobalAmbassadors this week:

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Watch the program’s YouTube playlist.

Visit the Global Ambassadors page at Bank of America and learn about their other women’s empowerment programs.

Photography: David Hume Kennerly