June 2020

June 2020

Suzi Youngberg

Greetings Upper Keys Business and Professional Women!

I hope this month's Newsletter finds you well and healthy - physically, mentally and emotionally. These are definitely strange times we are living. When I look back to mid-March and think of the tough decisions to cancel luncheons and postpone development programs, I never dreamed we would still be in the same situation three months later. But, here we are, planning another virtual meeting for June.

A lot has happened with Upper Keys BPW since that week in mid-March when the world changed. I hope you were able to attend some of our virtual events this spring, including the Annual Membership Meeting in May where we awarded five Adult Scholarships together with the Holly Given Fund! At that meeting we also installed the new Board of Directors for 2020-21! I am so thrilled to accept the position of President and to have such a strong Board. We have a lot of exciting ideas for the coming year. There is also a sense of pride that we were able to conduct the business of our Local Organization, albeit in a very different format than "normal." We are one of the only LO's in the state to do that!

Speaking of the State, BPW-FL held their Annual State Conference virtually this past Saturday. Thanks again to the Board Members and Committee Chairs who were able to join the meeting. Congratulations to past President Gina Boilini and immediate past President Ilja Chapman for taking on more roles with the State organization! I am so proud of our representation! Did you know that not only are we the largest LO in the state, Upper Keys makes up almost 1/4 of the total state membership?

In the midst of the pandemic and so much social, economic and political unrest, I know these are trying times for us all. So many are sick or scared of getting sick; many have friends or family who are sick or have been lost to the virus. So many are hurting financially. If you are in need, please reach out to your BPW sisters. We are your tribe. And, don't forget about the membership renewal relief if you need assistance with your membership renewal fees.

The racial issues that we continue to face in our country are deeply troubling. It's hard to believe that we have come so far in so many areas, and yet the simple fact that all people are created equal somehow remains an elusive ideal. We must begin to learn and to heal and to grow our cultural acceptance; we must embrace our differences and love each other more. BPW has always stood for equality and justice for all. As we say when we read our closing Collect at each luncheon, "In the big things of life we are at one."

My theme, or vision, to the new Board at our recent retreat focused on "relevancy." How are we relevant as an organization in our community? What can we do to become more relevant to you - personally, professionally and politically? If you are interested in helping answer that question and helping to increase our relevancy, consider getting involved on, or even chairing, a committee.

I hope to "see" many of you on Wednesday at the virtual luncheon. We are pleased to have Kristen Livengood, Public Information Officer for Monroe County, speaking to us. Send me any questions you have for Kristen. You may have noticed the different registration tiers for this month's event. We so appreciate those of you who are able to contribute and help us replenish the Adult Scholarship Fund! I'm happy we are able to come together virtually, but I sincerely hope to see you all in person very soon. Until then, stay safe, strong and healthy.

With love,

Suzi Youngberg
UKBPW President 2020-2021

As you know, we fund our Adult Scholarships through our events with Sponsors, Happy Dollars, raffles and more.  Starting our new fiscal year off without physical events could impact the amount we are able to award in scholarships to deserving women in our community.
There is no cost to attend this months virtual event. We want everyone to feel welcome to join us!  BUT, if you are able and feel so inclined, we are giving you a tier of donation options that will go to the Scholarship Fund, including a Sponsor Level of only $50!

Betsy Baste, Great Heart Helping Hands
Jackie Harder, Keys Dynamics Coaching & Consulting
Lynda Weinstein, Florida Keys Children's Shelter
Dorothy Harden,  Harden Creative Enterprises
Rhonda Rebman Lopez, Electrical Supply
Theresa Sutter, Theresa Sutter Virtual Assistant  


Professional Development Series | Upcoming Sessions

“Discover the Secret World of Mangroves”
Part of our Professional Development Series
RSVP required; no walk-ins, please, 
due to the space limitations on our US Coast Guard inspected vessels.
More details coming soon.

The Board of Directors 2019-2020 reading The Collect by Mary Stewart.  We read The Collect together as a group at the end of every luncheon. Since we haven't been able to meet in person, the outgoing Board put this together for the virtual May Membership Meeting. 


The Annual Membership Meeting was held virtually on May 20th.  The new 2020-21 Board of Directors was approved and installed.  We also awarded our Adult Scholarships (recipients featured in the Spotlight section.) Congratulations to the Scholarship winners and to the new Board! Outgoing President Ilja Chapman ran a flawless virtual meeting. Thank you Ilja for your detailed preparation.

Group picture serious. 

Group picture silly!   →

Danya Herzberg from the Nominating Committee installing some members of the new Board including President Suzi Youngberg, Treasurer Theresa Sutter, Secretary Jill Kuehnert, and Vice President of Membership Wendy Coffman.

The new Board of Directors were able to hold their traditional retreat in person!  Thanks to Theresa Sutter for opening her beautiful backyard so there was plenty of room for social distancing.

Jill Kuehnert, Suzi Youngberg, Wendy Coffman, Cynthia Gneiser,
Theresa Sutter, Sandi Bisceglia, Victoria Leornard (Missing: Jordan Budnik)

Masks on!

We Can Do It!

Upper Keys BPW is looking for members interested in serving on the Membership Committee to work on improving member relations as well as recruitment and retention of membership. Current Membership Committee Chair 2020-2021 is Ilja Chapman, and Vice President of Membership is Wendy Coffman.
Anyone interested in helping with this or any of the other committees (Marketing, Mentoring, Scholarship, Public Policy) please call Suzi Youngberg at 305-393-6830.


New Members -

Kathryn Norris, Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell  
Jamie Hulet, Ragged Edge Resort & Marina  
Mary Roth, Houston Insurance Agency DBA Your "Keys" To Protection  

Renewing Members -

Jennifer Cappadona, Electric Cooling and Illumination
Pam Feeser, Living Springs Counseling  
Cynthia Gneiser, Five Star Claims Adjusting  
Victoria Leonard, FKEC  
Beverly J Newman, Coach  
Lesly Quin (Quintanilla Lopez), CIL of the Keys  
Kimberly Rock, Upper Keys Marine Construction   
Vicki Walker, Retired  

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


         Atta Girl Gina Boilini!
BPW Member, Past President, Public Policy & Scholarship Committee Chair Gina Boilini took on two positions with BPW-FL at the virtual State Conference on Saturday. Gina serves on the State Public Policy Committee, and she was also elected Secretary of the Education Foundation!  Great job Gina!

Atta Girl Ilja Chapman!
BPW Member, Immediate Past President and Membership Committee Chair Ilja Chapman was recently elected as the BPW-FL Delegate To The Council of Presidents, announced at the virtual State Conference on Saturday. 
Congrats Ilja!

  Atta Girl Sue Woltanski!
BPW Member Sue Woltanski is  officially a Florida School Boards Association Certified Board Member. The FSBA provides wonderful training and continuing education opportunities for Florida’s elected school board members. Thank you for your commitment to our schools and Congratulations Sue!

Atta Girl Betsy Baste
BPW Member Betsy Baste was seen holding signs at the peaceful protest in Key Largo. The protest is being called the largest ever in Key Largo. The sign Betsy is holding lists 203 names, names she researched of black lives lost to police violence. We admire your conviction and courage. 
Way to go Betsy!