5 Things We’re Looking Forward to in 2022

As 2021 comes to a close, we asked five members of Team SGN to reflect on the past year and share what they are looking forward to most in 2022.

30 Dec 2021 / By SGN

Finally meeting Zoom friends in real life “

Valentina Ko
Senior Lead, Network and Partnerships Division (NPD)

Valentina at home with her family

What is your role at SGN?

I’m currently the Senior Lead in our Network and Partnerships team. We are constantly looking for exciting ways and new partnerships to engage with our community. For example, in our virtual National Day celebrations, we worked with Wild Rice for an online screening of their play Grandmother Tongue to reconnect overseas Singaporeans – who haven’t been home due to the pandemic – with Singapore culture. 

As the Senior Lead for our Singapore Engagement and Outreach team, I work with colleagues to engage with friends of Singapore based here. Our goal is to build a community to welcome friends and family that arrive in Singapore, as well as support those who relocate to help us build communities overseas.

Which connections do you cherish the most in your life?

Before SGN, I lived in the US for almost 10 years. Being away from family and friends for such a long time was very difficult, and I missed many milestones in their lives. As such, I really cherish the time that I get to spend with them now and try to be present for everything – no matter how small.

What do you enjoy in your downtime? 

My partner and I have three dogs. We love bringing them to the park and the beach. I’m also very much into fitness, and I try to squeeze in a spin, boxing or strength class at the gym as often as I can!

Meet the pets! (from left) Elphy, Captain and Loki

How has 2021 been for you?

2021 has been a lot of changes for me. I moved into my own place, and I’ve really come to appreciate the little things my family used to do for me, especially with work from home – walking my dogs while I’m on calls, or buying lunch for me. These little acts really make a difference and I’m so thankful for their help over the years.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

I’m really looking forward to having meet-ups in bigger groups – and travel! I have friends getting married in the US and I hope I’ll be able to make it. For SGN, I hope we’ll be able to restart physical events and finally meet the people we’ve been talking to via Zoom in real life.

Connect with Valentina on LinkedIn.


“Connecting with Singapore family and friends

Koh Hui Rong
Senior Lead, Product Development Team (PDT)

Hui Rong holidaying in Hallstatt, Austria

What is your role at SGN? 

I am currently a product manager with the Product Development Team at SGN, where we develop products that serve our network members by better connecting them to opportunities and with one another. I enjoy solving problems by understanding my customers’ needs and meeting those needs using products.

We hear there’s a new membership portal in the works! Tell us more. 

Our team has been working on an exciting portal come 2022 for all members of SGN – so do stay tuned! Trying not to divulge too much, but we hope it will be a meaningful platform for members to discover and interact with one another. 

The process of developing the portal has given us opportunities to speak to members around to world to understand pain points and what they would like to see in the portal. Being a relatively new product manager, it has been a great learning journey for me!

What are your hobbies and interests?

I am an avid Chinese orchestra lover. I used to play the pipa for many years and now enjoy listening to orchestral music on a daily basis. I also enjoy online shopping – which my family would term an evil interest! 😝

At an SMU Chinese Orchestra concert in 2018

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

Hopefully the pandemic situation improves and we will be able meet up with our colleagues, family and friends more often. For SGN, I hope 2022 will be the year we reach out to more family, friends and fans of Singapore all around the world and connecting them with one another.

Connect with Hui Rong on LinkedIn.


Going on new travel adventures

Cheryl Lee
Senior Lead, Digital Marketing & Communications (DMC)

Cheryl (left) on a Geylang food tour with the Wonderlust vloggers

What is your role at SGN?

As part of the Digital Marketing and Comms team, I work on our social accounts (say hi to me @singaporeglobalnetwork!) and on branding and content. We share exciting stories about Singaporeans overseas, expats living here on our sunny island and highlights about Singapore – the best bites, local brands, places to go and so much more.

I love it when followers connect with us, comment on our IG stories, tag us in their day to day. With the lack of travel in the past two years, seeing all our SGN members around the world has really been virtual travel for us!

We hear you’re the one to go to for good deals and discounts. Tell us more!

This year, we launched SGNjoys, a membership perks programme that rounds up a whole bunch of discounts from local brands, bringing a slice of Singapore to wherever you are in the world. It is always inspiring to hear stories of brand owners overcoming the odds to bring their products to market.

In 2022, we are hoping to expand the programme – so if you have local brands in mind, or a business of your own, do drop us a note!

How has 2021 been for you?

2021 was a rather disappointing no-travel year again, but I have to say it has been a good year exploring new places and finding things to do on our sunny island.

I picked up new activities like wakesurfing and surfskating, explored our offshore islands, chased sunrises and sunsets (best part of island living for sure!), rekindled my love for art, and spent more time with family and friends. 2021 may not have had epic travels, but it was certainly filled with great memories with the best company.

Wakesurfing on National Day

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

Travel is definitely topping my list of things-to-do in 2022. Snowboarding in the Austrian Alps back in 2019 was awesome fun and I can’t wait to get back at it. Hopefully I can also go back to Bali and have a go at surfing and waterfall-chasing.

In 2022, we also hope to expand our SGNjoys offerings, getting more exciting partners on board for our community members. I look forward to showcasing exciting offerings in Singapore to everyone around the world – so join us as we check out cool new spots all around the island!

Connect with Cheryl on LinkedIn.


“Embarking on sustainability initiatives”

Ho Koi Foong
Regional Director, China

Koi speaking at a sustainability-themed event co-organised by SingCham Shanghai and SGN

What is your role at SGN?

I’m a Regional Director based in Shanghai, China. I manage SGN’s outreach efforts in East China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. As part of the Networks and Partnerships Division, I aim to connect with our community through professional talks, family events, or even small group catch-ups. Together with my colleagues in other regions, we hope to grow a strong Singapore community across the world. I like meeting Singaporeans and friends of Singapore from all walks of life. There’s always something to learn from everyone.

How has life been in Shanghai? 

Shanghai is a fascinating city. It’s fast-paced and dynamic, yet it holds on very well to its rich history and culture. I’ve been in Shanghai for a year now, and I’ve been travelling frequently to nearby cities like Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou for work.

A dinner with National University of Singapore (NUS) alumni professionals and business owners in Shanghai

What are your hobbies or interests?

China has beautiful scenery and landscapes. I try to take time off work to explore cities and provinces. I’m also currently pursuing the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines, which means there is plenty of reading on grape varietals and winemaking techniques to digest every day after work!

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

I hope 2022 will be a better year for everyone, everywhere, and countries can reopen borders safely so that we can reunite with our loved ones. As for SGN, I look forward to embarking on new partnerships and initiatives, especially in sustainability. It’s a crucial cross-border, inter-industry effort that requires a lot of time and sustained effort to yield results. We want to be part of this global call and hopefully it will inspire others to join us.

Connect with Koi on LinkedIn.


Welcoming a new family member

Dora Tan
Senior Lead, Strategy & User Design (SUD)

Dora loves the outdoors – here she is canoeing at MacRitchie Reservoir.

What is your role at SGN?

I straddle strategy and user design at SGN. To use a cruise ship analogy, our strategy team supports the leadership to chart the way forward. The user design team works to better understand our passengers so that we deliver the best cruise ship experience.

Bringing alignment and coherence within the organisation and across agencies is a big part of the work and I enjoy doing the mental gymnastics and seeing the dots connect. Being in the user design team allows me to meet new people and hear their stories, and I appreciate the space we’re given to try new ideas.

What are your hobbies or interests? 

I love the outdoors and nature, especially hiking. I love the adrenaline and challenge of ascending the mountain and of course the breathtaking views. Now that we can’t really travel, I have been exploring different hiking trails in Singapore with friends and have discovered some local gems.

I also recently started learning the violin. Being an adult learner is hard but playing the violin has become my break from the daily grind. Just a little apologetic to my next-door neighbour who has to endure my scratchy violin playing – and who happens to be a professional violinist!

Hiking Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with SGN colleagues

What are your thoughts on sustainability?

Personally, I’ve realised the importance of sustainability as the effects of climate change like rising sea levels and extreme weather events have become very real, and I often wonder what kind of world our future generations will live in.

It can be daunting to think about how to reverse the impact of climate change, but we can all start small and change parts of our lifestyle within our control. I now try my best to not use plastic bags when buying things, and it definitely took time and effort to change this habit!

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

Personally, I’m excited to welcome a new member into the family in 2022 – my nephew! Work-wise, I hope to be able to meet more of our members and teammates face to face.

My team is also looking forward to supporting Singapore’s sustainability efforts, in particular meeting with professionals in the sustainability sector and better understanding their career needs and motivations in order to help shape our talent attraction efforts. I definitely have lots to learn in this area! 

Connect with Dora on LinkedIn.



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