March 2020

March 2020

Ilja Chapman, President
How did we get here? The entire world is hurting today, and it might be a while. 
Earlier this month, I was asked to speak at a one-day women's conference, “Goals with Soul,” organized by the Florida Keys Board of Realtors. It was a room filled with powerful women gathered to get inspired, educated and empowered. It was an honor to be one of their speakers and meet those incredible, powerful women.  
I shared three beliefs that I live by – trying to keep me sane in my day-to-day life. Given the current national and worldwide crises, I thought this might help you, too, as those beliefs are now even more important than ever. 
  1. We all need a tribe. Unfortunately, we cannot meet this month in person with the Upper Keys BPW sisters but know that you are part of a tribe and we are here to support each other. Don’t feel shy; if you need help, reach out. 
  2. Disconnect, change scenery.  Especially in times like this, we need to disconnect from the constant stream of information coming at us. Put down the phone, turn off the TV and only inform yourself once a day. Go outside, enjoy the weather, the water, nature. Change scenery. 
  3. My third belief is very simply SMILE! Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel and it helps generate more positive emotions within you. Even if you are home alone, putting on a smile will create feel-good neurotransmitters – dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. This not only relaxes your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure. 
Please stay healthy and keep up your spirits. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your fellow Upper Keys BPW sisters. If you know of somebody in the community who needs help, let’s be their tribe. 
Empowered women…help one another.
Warm regards,
Ilja Chapman
UKBPW President 2019-20

With regrets, we announce that all March events have been cancelled or postponed.
In light of the national crisis dealing with COVID-19, we are concerned for the health of our membership and recommend following the CDC guidelines for community gatherings and social distancing.
We will miss the fellowship with you all this month. Please stay well. If you find yourself in need, or know of someone in the community in need of assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to your Upper Keys BPW Board of Directors and membership for help.

Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida will receive the proceeds from the 50/50 Raffle.

Thanks to our sponsor:

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.
More details coming soon.

The February Sip 'n' Ship at Zero Dress Code, sponsored by Islamorada Beer Company.

Professional Development Series: Time Management for Busy Professional Women by Jackie Harder was a great success and well attended.                                                                                    

Thank you Whitney MacEachern for letting the Upper Keys BPW Board and Committees use your Conference Room space at Cirque Salon Studios for our meetings!

It was a great month!

Elections for the 2020-21 Board of Directors will occur at the May Annual Membership Meeting.  The Nominating Committee will begin meeting soon to prepare the Slate. 

Please consider getting involved!  Email to learn more.


Renewing Members -

Sharon Smith, CenterState Bank

Ask about the benefits of being a member!

bpw|member SPOTLIGHT
Meet Bev Newman

Let me begin by simply sharing how easy it is to introduce someone to UKBPW…When I was transitioning from Houston to Key Largo, Della Wheaton and her family invited me to be in the St. Patrick’s Day parade with them. Before the evening ended, Della graciously asked me to join this purposefully vibrant, professionally diverse, and fun-loving membership!

Here is my story -

Bev oversees a family owned business across from the bustling Key Largo Community Park. Key Largo Mini Storage was established in 1982 to provide affordable secure storage for personal and professional usage. She believes in neighbors doing business with neighbors and patronizes locally owned & operated enterprises daily. ( / 305-451-4111)

Bev grew up in Miami/Keys, is the proud mom of a son & daughter and has 4 precious grandchildren in Texas. She takes delight in traveling & has had adventures in 24 countries. She has served on multiple boards and worn many hats in her lifetime as a Corporate Executive, Entrepreneur, Special Education Teacher, Psychologist, Christian Counselor, Anger Resolution Therapist, & Play Therapy Supervisor. Due to so many people asking her for non-clinical support to achieve their hearts desires, Bev became an Advanced Certified Life Coach, launching Inspire One LLC. When life isn’t fun, fair, or fulfilling it is inspiring to have someone with expertise to walk a long side you. Her heartfelt mission is Embracing Potential, Creating Possibilities, and Inspiring Passion. ( 305-489-1277)

Bev initially plugged into our community teaching psychology to the Senior Class at Island Christian School and had the honor of giving the final graduation commencement speech before the school closed in 2019. In addition, she volunteers with a variety of organizations and Chambers, advocates for important community issues, and enjoys entertaining in her home (she affectionately named Graceland) to connect people and deepen friendships.

Atta Girl Wendy Coffman, BPW Board Secretary.  

Wendy's photograph was chosen for the cover of Florida Currents magazine! 
It's an awesome photo!  

Congratulations Wendy!

Atta Girl BPW Member PamFeeser! 
Rev. Dr. Pam Feeser, CEO of Living Springs Counseling, presented a certificate of appreciation to the Tavernier CVS pharmacy team for helping clients of the counseling service save money on prescriptions. 

Way to go Pam!


Did you know there is an important vote on education funding this month in Monroe County?

A 'Yes' vote renews the district's ability to move money from capital funds to operations to allow us to pay our teachers and employees a better wage. This doesn’t affect our tax bills one way or the other,  but it simply is the renewal of the program begun in 2004 to help pay for operating costs in schools. It's been re-approved every four years since then and it's on the ballot again this year, as part of the Presidential Preference Primary Election.  
All registered voters can participate - Election Day is March 17. 
Please vote!

 A message from Gina Boilini, Chair of the Upper Keys BPW Public Policy Committee



Why do we celebrate Women's History Month?
The purpose of Women's History Month is to increase consciousness and knowledge of women's history: to take one month of the year to remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women, in hopes that the day will soon come when it's impossible to teach or learn history without remembering these contributions.

Why do we celebrate Women's History Month in March?
In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.

What is the theme of Women's History Month 2020?
Since 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, this year’s national Women’s History Month theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote.”  It's a month long celebration of the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women and women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.

What color represents Women's History?
Purple signifies justice and dignity. Internationally, it has a history of symbolizing women and the efforts to achieve gender equality.  Purple has been associated as the color of choice for International Women's Day, and wearing purple can show support for women and equality.

Wear PURPLE on March 18th, in honor of Women in History, on the date of our cancelled Luncheon
Take a selfie and send it to us so we can show solidarity even as we practice social distancing!