Jill van Nortwick, President

Jill recently joined the Global Ties Board after being both a member and volunteer. Her exposure to new cultures started when her family moved to Iran when she was 9. Lucky enough to travel the world at an early age, her love of traveling and experiencing other cultures is steadfast. Jill currently works as principal consultant for curate impact, an intercultural consultancy service dedicated to helping boards and top management teams identify their values, establish patterns of behaviors for ethical decisions, and discover and advance their vision.

Melora Palmer is a Communications Consultant specializing in content development and technical
writing, she has over 20 years’ experience in the marketing and communications field.

Always internationally inclined, Melora worked in the private sector in both Canada and France
where she was lucky to travel extensively… losing count at 30 countries! She then made a 360° shift
into the non-profit sector, first in starting her own company to launch fair trade and ethical products
from her home in Paris, France. She then lived in Haiti and West Africa where she worked in
communications, report and grant writing for prominent humanitarian organizations such as CARE
and Aid for Artisans.

Melora recently relocated to Albuquerque, her Alma Mater, to put her teenage daughter in High
School… and you think communicating in business is hard, try it with a 17-year-old! Here, she works
as an independent contractor within the non-profit sector. All along her commitment to serving her
community and being part of the solution has held strong, she has volunteered for numerous
charitable groups over the years and continues to be engaged in civic activities be-it political, social,
or environmental. She is a daily yoga and meditation practitioner and is often seen at events
arriving by bicycle. Melora is fully bilingual in French and English and conversationally adept in
Spanish and Haitian Creole.

Josh Edwards, Member-at-Large

Joshua is the Director of Finance for RiskSense, a homegrown cybersecurity tech company based in Albuquerque. He has his Masters Degree from UNM, and is a licensed CPA with years of experience in public accounting at KPMG, and heading up the finance function for emerging tech companies like Lavu and RiskSense. Joshua has a passion for Albuquerque and seeing it succeed and grow into a truly international city.

Laura Hille, Member-at-Large

Laura Hille is the International Admission Director at the Menaul School, which has a long history of welcoming students from around the world. She is passionate about international education and preparing students, our future leaders, to be global citizens. She is excited to be a part of Global Ties ABQ and its work in welcoming visitors, further expanding Albuquerque’s global opportunities, and building exchange programs. Previously, during her 7.5 years at the Institute of International Education (IIE), she managed outreach, recruitment, and section activities for a variety of global scholarship programs and institutions, including Schwarzman Scholars, Boren Awards, and New York University Abu Dhabi. Prior to IIE, Laura worked at the American Society of Hematology on international programs and at the U.S. Department of State on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has a MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University. Laura and her husband, Tyler, moved to Albuquerque after eight years in Washington, D.C. and New York City. In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling, hiking, writing, and visiting New Mexico’s wealth of archeological sites.

Kory Hoggan, Member-at-Large

Kory Hoggan is a certified public accountant and senior manager with Moss Adams LLP.  He has over 20 years of accounting experience and serves clients throughout New Mexico and the United States. He received a Masters of Accountancy from Brigham Young University. Kory has lived and worked in South America and the South Pacific and enjoys traveling and further developing his understanding of different histories and cultures.

Sommer Smith, Member-at-Large

Sommer is a communication artist, creative director and writer committed to problem solving and contributing to possibilities for social change. She is the co-founder and creative director of MediaDesk NM, a communications agency that provides high quality, professional and values-based communications services to nonprofits and community organizations. As creative director at MediaDesk she is currently working with nonprofit organizations across New Mexico to further their missions through effective, imaginative and coordinated communications and marketing efforts. Her expertise includes message branding, strategic planning, creative direction, project management, copywriting and media relations. Sommer has a Bachelors of Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she studied anthropology, Latin American studies and writing. She was awarded the Spencer Barnett Memorial Prize for Excellence in Latin American studies for an ethnographic project regarding the links between individual experience and sociopolitical and architectural processes at work in the city of Salvador da Bahia. As a young person (at age 16 and again at 20) she studied abroad in Brazil, first as a Rotary International Exchange Student and later as a Gilman Scholar. She believes it is essential that we explore new ways of approaching our cities, re-envisioning them as places where we realize our potential as creative, resourceful and compassionate beings.