February 2020

February 2020

Ilja Chapman, President
This year is another important year for Business and Professional Women. Our BPW/Gold Coast sisters reminded us that this June will be our 100th annual state conference. We will continue to celebrate women’s history and what BPW has done for working women.

We also celebrate our day-to-day Upper Keys BPW successes as we are very fortunate with such a vibrant, diverse – and growing – membership. Upper Keys BPW is a volunteer organization and I am so excited to have more members bring their enthusiasm and involvement to our committees to make Upper Keys BPW even more successful. 

The New Year kicked off with numerous BPW volunteers assisting at the Fish for Holly fundraiser to help raise awareness about domestic violence and raise money for the Holly Given Scholarship Fund, which our organization helps disperse. 

A huge thank you to several UKBPW board members for assisting at the Burton Memorial United Methodist Church food pantry recently. This might become a quarterly activity for us.  

This year we are excited about our newly founded Public Policy Committee chaired by Gina Boilini. The committee will play a significant role in communicating with our membership the “hot” topics relevant to our members and organization, especially as 2020 is a major election year. 

I hope you take the time to read this newsletter and learn about the presence of Upper Keys BPW during the Florida Keys Lobby Days. It must have been at least 15 years since Upper Keys BPW has attended a lobby day at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. To be repeated!

The Professional Development Series’ first workshop on time management is presented by our very own VP of Development Jackie Harder. It is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Church of the Nazarene. Members get a discount; sign up today! 

Looking forward to connecting with you all at Zero Dress Code for an informal and fun evening Wednesday, Feb. 19.  One of our important goals is to connect and share with each other our stories during our monthly events.  

Ilja Chapman
UKBPW President 2019-20
Tel: 305-998-8348

American Heart Month, a federally designated event, is an ideal time to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved.  The first American Heart Month, which took place in February 1964, was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson via Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963. Congress, by joint resolution on that date, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February American Heart Month.

Go Red for Women®
Go Red for Women® is the American Heart Association's global initiative to end heart disease and stroke in women. Launched in 2004 to close the gap in awareness, Go Red quickly expanded into a worldwide movement dedicated to removing the barriers women face to achieving good health and well being.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined.  Go Red reminds us to take care of our hearts.   

Wear red to the February Event!

Thanks to our sponsor and host of the February festivities!

Professional Development Series | Upcoming Sessions

“Discover the Secret World of Mangroves”
Part of our Professional Development Series
Saturday, May 9, 20201 PM - 5 PM
RSVP required; no walk-ins, please, 
due to the space limitations on our US Coast Guard inspected vessels.

The January Luncheon. In January, the luncheon was at the Marriott for a change of scenery. Retz Reeves was the speaker. We inducted a lot of new members and held the first ever Member Orientation which was very well attended.

Volunteering at Fish For Holly Tournament. We are so thankful to Wendy Coffman, Board Secretary, for organizing the Upper Keys BPW volunteers for the Fish For Holly Tournament.  Thank you Wendy and everyone who helped! We are so fortunate to the Holly Given Memorial Fund for sharing some of the money raised at this event to be given as part of our Adult Scholarship program.

More Volunteer Work at Burton Memorial Methodist Church. Several of our Board Members spent an afternoon and evening prepping, cooking and serving dinner at the Burton Memorial Food Pantry God's Kitchen.  It was a rewarding day for all involved and we will do it again.

February has been a busy month so far!  

Our President Ilja Chapman and Public Policy Committee Chair Gina Boilini traveled to Tallahassee on Tuesday, February 4, to represent the Upper Keys BPW during the annual Florida Keys Lobby Day. Upper Keys BPW did pay for their travel expenses and depending on the outcome of their visit we may suggest adding this annual event to our organization’s budget for next year. 

We asked our membership on Social Media to submit specific questions for Ilja and Gina about their first Lobby Day experience at the Florida Capitol. Here is a recap:

Q: What is BPW’s history with Lobbying?
A: Prior to 2019,  BPW/FL used to have a lobbyist in Tallahassee, and a PAC (Political Action Committee).  A big accomplishment for BPW/FL occurred when the Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole and First Lady Barbara Bush addressed BPW’s members at the White House Briefing during the 1990 “Lobby Day” event.  It was at this time, BPW lobbied Congress for the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which eventually passed in 1993. 

Q: What were your goals in attending the Florida Keys Day in Tallahassee?
A: One of our main goals in attending was to meet Representatives/Legislative Directors in person and educate ourselves on their agenda.  It was important to expand our knowledge on the decisions they were making and how it will affect our community and the lives of women.   Since Upper Keys BPW has not attended a lobby day event for at least 10 years, it was time to be present, and learn how to effectively advocate for our cause. 
Q: Who were the politicians you listened too?
A: We not only listened to Politicians, we listened to Executives, Directors and Representatives:
Visit Florida- COO/General Counsel Craig Thomas & Director of Legislative Affairs Katie Juckett
Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary C. Mayhew
Department of State Secretary Laurel M. Lee
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein
Attorney General Ashley Moody
Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried
Representative Randy Fine, Chairman, Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee 
Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson

Q: How many BPW members took part in the Florida Keys Lobby Day?
A: Only Gina and Ilja directly represented the Upper Keys BPW.  However we did have BPW members participating, but with other community organizations: Margie Smith, Dennis Ward, Audra Hill among others, including of course our long time member and State Representative Holly Raschein. 

Q: How approachable and interested were the officials and were they listening to the local concerns?
A: Yes, they were listening to our local Florida Keys crowd.  Every Official took questions at the end, people were taking notes, some of the Representatives/Legislatures gave us their phone number so we could call them directly.  It was an educational, learning experience for us. Throughout the day people were coming and going, meeting with Officials on subjects relating to their concern or agenda.   Our County Commissioners, County Administrator, Florida Keys Board of Realtors, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, Mariners hospital along with others were all in attendance, focusing on the issues relating to our community’s needs.  The private, more focused, meetings were all scheduled and planned prior to arrival.   

Fun fact about the state government: When Ilja and Gina walked into the House of Representatives Chamber, they immediately noticed paintings of all the past speakers of the House, perfectly aligned around the entire room.  The Speaker of the House serves a 2 year term and is elected by members House of Representatives. When the Speaker of the House has completed their term, they select an artist to paint them, and they are hung on the wall.  In order for the most recent Speaker of the House to fit, all pictures are shifted to the left, and the eldest one is removed and taken to the State Library and Archives of Florida.  

Q: Did you learn anything new about the Keys? 
A: It was insightful to hear many of the legislatures speak on how unique the Florida Keys are, and attuned to what works in another city in Florida may not be best for our community.  The more present, and loud our island chain is, the better.  
Fun fact: The population of our Island Chain is 76,212.

Q: Would you recommend for Upper Keys BPW to go again?

A: Absolutely

Margie Smith, Gina Boilini and Ilja Chapman
State Attorney Dennis Ward
State Representative Holly Raschein

Top Left: Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson. Bottom Left: Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried--first women elected into this position in 20 years. Top Right: Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. Middle Right: Department of State Secretary Laurel M. Lee. Bottom Right: Representative Randy Fine, Chairman, Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee 

Meeting Governor Ron DeSantis


New Members -

Maria Falciano, Your CBD Store Tavernier

Narelle Prew, The Fish House Restaurant & Seafood Market

Renewing Members -

Jackie Harder, Key Dynamics Coaching and Consulting Inc.

Kate Banick, Good Health Clinic

Ilja Chapman, Cruise Planners- Voyage Blue

Debra Walker, Archaeology 

Robert Lockwood, Attorney

Brenda Carr, Aviation Safety Management Systems, Inc.

Ask about the benefits of being a member today!  bpwupperkeys@gmail.com

bpw|member SPOTLIGHT
Meet Danya Herzberg

First State Bank of the Florida Keys
Assistant Branch Operations Manger

Originally from Havana, Cuba, I moved to the Florida Keys with my
parents  in 1995 where I met my husband. We are happily married
for 20 years and  I am a proud mother of two children. I enjoy spending my spare time travelling  with my family to learn about other countries and cultures. 

My career with First State Bank began in 2003 in the Upper Keys and I have held several positions before assuming my current role as Assistant Branch Operations Manager at our Key Largo Tradewinds Plaza office in 2008.  Over the years, I have earned a Principals of Banking certification from the South Florida Center for Financial Training and have attended several workshops  at Corporate Consulting and Coaching, Inc. 

Day to day I am committed to providing excellent customer service.

I am involved in the community as a member of the Ocean Reef and Key
Largo Chambers of Commerce and joined the Upper Keys Business and
Professional Women in 2018 to engage with and support other working 
women and businesses in the community. 

Atta Girl to Ilja Chapman and Gina Boilini, BPW President and Public Policy Committee Chair, for attending Florida Keys Day in Tallahassee as part of Lobby Days. You read about their trip earlier in this issue. Way to go ladies!