May 2018

BPW Connection | May 2018

The May meeting is another evening event. We'll be gathering at Puerto Vallarta Restaurant, and installing the new Board for 2018-2019. This evening event is being sponsored by Sue Woltanski, candidate for School Board District 5. 


May 16: Evening Networking Event at Puerto Vallarta:  Induction of New Board of Directors for 2018-2019.  May Event sponsored by Sue Woltanski, candidate for School Board, District 5.
June 20: Luncheon 11:30 am-1:00 pm. Holiday Inn-Key Largo, African Queen.  Speaker will be Kelly Penwell, SBDC Regional Director at FKCC, speaking on business continuity. 
July 18:  Evening Networking Event. Location TBD.
The Upper Keys BPW meets once a month, on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. We alternate between luncheons and evening networking events, and would love for you to join us! Click the button to see our full event schedule and register for an upcoming event. 
If you or your business would be interested in sponsoring one or more of our lunches or evening events, let us know and we'll provide you with details and prices.

Thanks to BPW Member Sue Woltanski, candidate for School Board District 5, for sponsoring our May evening event. A retired pediatrician and mother of two public school children, Sue is uniquely qualified to sit on the Monroe County School Board.

To learn more about Sue and her vision to improve the public school system, contact her, donate or volunteer for her campaign:
  • website:
  • FB and Instagram: ElectSueWoltanski
Paid for by Sue Woltanski for Monroe County School Board District 5

   bpw|member SPOTLIGHT

Meet the new 2018-2019 Board of Directors

Ilja Chapman – President
A Key Largo resident since 2013, Ilja just celebrated her 15 year wedding anniversary. She has no children, has two cats and works as a travel planner from her home office. Travel is her passion
Why she supports BPW: “I joined BPW after attending the Christmas party in 2013 and I felt immediately at home. The combination of offering business minded women a platform to educate themselves in such friendly and fun environment gives a lot of energy. When working from home you need your tribe”
Something you should know about Ilja: She speaks four languages fluently and was born in The Netherlands.

Theresa Sutter - Treasurer
Theresa was born and raised in South Florida, making Key Largo home 7 years ago. Married for 32 years, with two adult children who are functioning members of society which she considers an accomplishment!  She has been some sort of bookkeeper for her entire career and now has her own bookkeeping business.
Theresa was introduced to BPW by Tom Tharp, one of the few male members -- yes BPW is inclusive not exclusive!   With her connections at BPW, her business connections have grown and she is grateful for that.
Something you should know about Theresa:  She loves to hang out with her family and friends -- they bring her greatest joy.

Miriam Lazcos - V.P./Membership
Miriam is a wife of over 32 years with 3 grown children. She is a grandmother to two amazing boys, with one more to come this November!
She's part of the Lazcos Team as the real estate transaction coordinator and is also a mortgage loan originator for Columbus Capital.
Miriam joined BPW in June 2016 after attending the installation of the board that year. She's been involved in the board since 2017. As a BPW member she enjoys meeting new people and networking at the various events. 
Something you should know about Miriam: She enjoys time with her family and friends. She is outgoing and loves to help others.

Suzi Youngberg - V.P./Hospitality
Suzi is a 21 year resident of the Upper Keys.  She spent the first 18 of those years doing the corporate gig, and traveling for a living. In 2014, when her husband Scott survived cancer, she made the decision to stop traveling, spend more time with him, and become more a part of her community.  She recently accepted a position with the American Cancer Society as the Community Development Manager for the Keys. After volunteering for them the least 4 years, it was a natural fit.
One of the first things Suzi did when she stopped traveling was join BPW as a way to network and meet people. She has enjoyed the connections, both business and personal, and the friendships made from being part of this group.
Something you should know about Suzi: She is a sci-fi nerd, and her cat SugarBear walks on a leash.

Jackie Harder - V.P./Development
Jackie has been a resident of the Florida Keys - from Key West to Key Largo - almost continuously since 1975. She started and ended her newspaper career here in the Keys.
While working as editor/associate publisher of the Upper Keys Reporter, she became a certified coach, thinking it would be a great retirement gig. In 2005, she left the newspaper to become president of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce.  After nearly 7 years and on the eve of her 60th birthday, she quit her chamber job and devoted the next four years of her life (and all her retirement savings) to her business, Key Dynamics Coaching and Consulting. She recently got a day job to support her coaching habit. Her goal is to help tourism businesses succeed through advertising in SEE visitor magazines in South Florida, Florida Keys and Key West.
Jackie been a member of three BPW clubs since the early 1980s, serving as president of two of those clubs. 
Something you should know about Jackie: As a girl, she twirled the baton in the downtown Anoka (Minn.) Halloween Parade.

Wendy Coffman - Secretary
Wendy was born in PA and lived there, New Jersey and Maryland most of her young life, and went to Johnson & Whales University in Rhode Island for Hotel / Restaurant Management. Her first job out of college was at the Ocean Reef Club front desk in 1989. Her husband Tyler is a capt. for hire for off shore fishing; she has a 28 year old step son (and two granddaughters!) two boys, 20 and 17. She started in banking in 2004 as a teller, moved up through the years, and is now at CenterState bank as the assistant Branch Manager.
With wonderful, motivating, encouraging women in her life she has started to make a transition to being a better woman inside and out, and most importantly being a part of this great community. She has recently made steps she never made before, and with each one gains more confidence in herself. She is a graduate of Leadership Monroe County class XXV, a mentor with Take Stock in Children, and member of the Key Largo Rotary (as of two weeks ago) and now a BPW board member! 
Something you should know about Wendy: She wants to meet new amazing women and take everything she can from them to better herself and her community and hopefully give something of herself back. 

Pam Martin - Director
Pam moved to the Keys in the late 70's, and joined BPW in 1981 (Thanks Della!) She has served in almost all BPW club officers roles, including 2 years as President, District Director & Assistant Director when we had District meetings. In her first year as President, the club grew from around 65 members to 123, and in the 2nd year to 165 members. The Upper Keys Century BPW Club and the Marathon Club usually are the 2 biggest BPW chapters in the state. Our chapter has the word Century in it's title as we were the 100th BPW chapter formed in the state. Former Keys Mayor Wilhelmina Harvey was BPW state President then, and helped form our Club during her term.

Pam has 6 cats and no kids; grows tomatoes, lettuce and other goodies in her garden; tries not to kill her orchids; has a fish pond and frog pond; and feeds the squirrels and birds in her yard.
Something you should know about Pam: Her love of Halloween & Christmas with over 70 Halloween blowups and 68 holiday ones that she and David put on display each year.

Laura Maupin - Director
Laura moved to the Keys from Southern California in 1995 and found a home working at Old Tavernier Restaurant. 
Over the years, the nightlife took its toll and in 2012 she asked God to help her live a better life! That’s when she learned about personal development and found BPW! Since then her life has changed drastically and she’s proud to have served on your BPW board for the past 4 years! These friendships have deepened her love of community and connection. 
Something you should know about Laura: She and Steve, her other half, are excited about RV travel throughout the country in 2019, exploring retiree life and our great nation!

Shawna Simcic - Director
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Shawna, husband Jon, 4 YO daughter Olivia and a handful of pets have called Tavernier home for the last 2 years. By day Shawna works on Business Development for Coca-Cola and weekends can be found on the water, a yoga mat or behind the mixer in her kitchen. A self-proclaimed "cupcake architect' she loves making 'food art' for “anyone who will eat it”.
Prior to moving to the keys Shawna worked for the commodity and banking industries and dedicated her spare time to non-profits making a difference in the quality of life and economic opportunity in Pennsylvania.
Finding a home at BPW was a no-brainer for Shawna given her passion towards empowering women, raising up local communities and forging a path for her daughter and the children we're influencing in our community 'tribes' today. She believes that supporting an organization that leads with "happiness" as a thought driver in regular meetings is an easy catalyst for ‘getting things done’.
Something you should know about Shawna: As an avid reader she's currently enjoying the uplifting work of Brene Brown, but calls "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett her all-time favorite book.