September 2020


September 2020

Suzi Youngberg

Greetings Upper Keys Business and Professional Women!
I hope September finds you well. September marks the unofficial beginning to Fall. While here in the Florida Keys, Fall doesn't mean cooler temperatures or colorful falling leaves - on the contrary September tends to be the "dog days" of summer down here - it does signify a time of change. For a short time, the vacation tourism slows down, kids go back to school...and we really start to pay attention to the tropical updates and forecasts. Historically, September and October have seen the most hurricane activity in the Keys. This time three years ago, I was still evacuated from Irma!
This year, "back to school" might look a bit different for kids and their parents, but back they go one way or another. Even as some schools begin to welcome teachers and students back to in person classrooms (Monroe County students are going back this week) many will choose virtual school or homeschooling. I am so excited to hear what's happening with Monroe County Schools from Terri Axford and Harry Russell during our virtual luncheon on Wednesday. We are fortunate and grateful to them for taking a break to speak to us during this busy week. I hope you'll join us!
In addition to this week's luncheon, we also have the Constitution Day Celebration Thursday evening with the Upper Keys League of Women Voters. There is also a Professional Development workshop at noon on the 24th brought to us by Marine Lab where they will broadcast live from the Florida Bay! And, on the 30th, we'll host our second Coffee Hour. If you missed it last month, consider getting up early and starting the day with us. Connect Over Coffee with the "Tell Me Something Good" theme is the perfect way to end the month.
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek

September also means that it's time to shake off the summer sluggishness and focus on our year end goals. Even though it seems as if 2020 has been "on hold" since March, time is moving forward. Don't let the pandemic be an excuse for not pursuing your passion. Perhaps your process will be different, but never stop going after your dreams. Maybe you have thought about learning a new skill, taking a class, or writing a book - what's stopping you?! If your Upper Keys BPW can help you, reach out! We are your Tribe! Don't forget, today is the last day to apply for our Adult Scholarship this year.

Enjoy your "Fall," continue to take care of yourselves and stay safe and healthy!

With love,

Suzi Youngberg
UKBPW President 2020-2021

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian cancer ranks as one of the most common cancer threats, and it is the fifth most deadly cancer among women.  This cancer mainly develops in older women; about half of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years or older.  A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 78, and her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 108. If the women in her family history have had ovarian cancer, her risk increases. 

Proactive diagnosis and treatment, however, greatly improve the odds because 93 percent of women survive five years or longer if the cancer is detected and treated during the early stages.  One of the most effective ways to prevent any type of cancer is to raise awareness so that people recognize the early signs and seek treatment. Ovarian cancer is very treatable before it spreads, but unfortunately there isn't really an early detection test. Knowing the early signs and symptoms could save your life or the life of a woman you love. That's why raising awareness of ovarian cancer in September is so important.

Knowledge is power! Know the symptoms / share the symptoms. 

The most common symptoms include:
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)
When caused by ovarian cancer, these symptoms tend to be persistent and a change from normal − for example, they occur more often or are more severe. These symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions, and most of them occur just about as often in women who don’t have ovarian cancer. But if you have these symptoms more than 12 times a month, see your doctor so the problem can be found and treated if necessary.

Talk to your doctor about anything that doesn't feel "right." Awareness and early detection can save lives. For more information about ovarian cancer, more information on signs and symptoms, and info how you can help, please visits these sites: 

Join the Upper Keys BPW for Virtual Coffee Hour!
Wednesday Mornings: September 30th & October 28th
8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

"Tell Me Something Good!" 

Let's start our day by sharing something good that is happening, has happened or will happen. Can be personal or professional related as long it is positive.

As you know, we fund our Adult Scholarships through our events with Sponsors, Happy Dollars, raffles and more.  Not being able to host 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 our virtual events. We want everyone to feel welcome to join us!  BUT, we are giving you a tier of donation options that will go to the Scholarship Fund, including a Top Tier Level of only $50!  (Top Tier Level donors will be mentioned in the Newsletter and you will receive one FREE E-Blast for your generosity!)


Please apply TODAY!
If you are, or know, an eligible woman in the Upper Keys wanting to continue your education, get a degree or certification, Apply Today!

If you wish to donate to the Scholarship Program, please click here
Multiple tiers available. Donations of $50 and above receive free E-blast(s.)

Professional Development Series | Upcoming Sessions

“Discover the Secret World of Mangroves”
Part of our Professional Development Series
September 24th - NOON
“Discover the Secret World of Mangroves”
Presenter: MarineLab staff  - 
Sarah Egner, Director of Education
Everyone here knows something about the coral reef. It’s the driver of our tourism economy, the destination for millions of visitors, and a favorite spot for locals as well. But what about our back-country?  We will present from Florida Bay to discuss mangrove ecology and the interconnection of the inshore habitats with our coral reefs.  MarineLab staff will temporarily collect a variety of marine life to demonstrate the diversity found in our mangrove community.   

We held our first ever Coffee Hour in August!
Hosted by Cynthia Gneiser, themed "Tell Me Something Good!"
Thanks to everyone who got up early to join us. Look for more Coffee Hours on the last Wednesday of most months.

August events also included the 100 Years of the Vote Happy Hour. Upper Keys and Gold Coast BPW's collaborated to present this event for all of the BPW/FL State organizations. It was well attended, with interesting speakers and lots of great information. We also used break out rooms and let attendees connect in smaller groups. It was a big success and we will be doing more joint BPW events!
Watch the video now:


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 -  

Sally Stribling, Sally Stribling , B.A., P.A., Coldwell Banker Schmitt  
Katherine Rubio, Seminole Theatre  

Renewing Members -

Lauren Dunn, Dunn Electric  
Danya Herzberg, First State Bank of the Florida Keys  
Audra Hill, Tolley and Hill CPAs  
Whitney MacEachern, Cirque Salon Studios  
Amy Pierson, Centennial Bank  

Ask about the benefits of being a member!

bpw|member SPOTLIGHT
Meet Kathryn Norris

Kathryn Norris, who has an MBA in Marketing, has been a key member in the community for over a decade as an active member of the Florida Keys Democrats, a leader in the FL Keys Women’s Movement, an educator, a member of the Monroe County Library Board and the Key West City Contractors Board. She was also President & founder of a successful social media and communications consultancy, Peach Promotions. Kathryn is currently the Director of Community Affairs leading Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s outreach and communications efforts in Monroe County as the team focuses on best-practice COVID-19 policy and response, in addition to continued attention to achieving other policy and legislative goals, and grant opportunities for the county.

Kathryn lives in Key Haven with her husband, Dr. Norris and her two daughter’s Kiki and Katie and their dogs Tootsie and, new addition from the SPCA “clear the shelters” campaign, Benji!  Kathryn joined Upper Keys BPW in May of this year.

ATTA GIRL Jill Kuehnert

We can't say "Thank You" enough to BPW Member and Board Secretary Jill Kuehnert for solving and correcting our website routing issue! If you had been experiencing problems with the Upper Keys BPW website address, it is now fixed!  Way to go Jill!

ATTA GIRL Gina Boilini

Congratulations to BPW Member and Committee Chair Gina Boilini on the Primary Candidates Mixer!  Gina, and the Public Policy Committee, planned a great virtual event and almost all of the primary candidates were in attendance.  Great job Gina!

ATTA GIRL Cynthia Gneiser

BPW Member and Board Director Cynthia Gneiser hosted our first ever Coffee Hour in August! Cynthia is the perfect host for this recurring event, keeping the attendees engaged and uplifted.  
Congrats Cynthia!


General Election Date - November 3

Register to Vote
  • Eligible individuals can register to vote at any time. 
  • The deadline to register in order to participate in an upcoming election is 29 days before the election. 
    • The registration deadline for 2020 is October 5.

Vote Early

  • County Early Voting sites will be open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Early voting will begin October 24th and end October 31st.

Vote By Mail
  • The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to you is no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 10th day before the election. 
    • The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for 2020 is October 24.
  • A vote-by-mail ballot must be returned and received no later than 7:00 p.m. (local time) on election day in order to be counted. 
    • The deadline for receipt of vote-by-mail ballots for 2020 is November 3.
To ensure that ballots are received by the deadline, voters are encouraged to vote and return their voted ballots as soon as received or early enough to account for mail delivery times. The United States Postal Service recommends that domestic nonmilitary voters, mail back their voted ballots at least 1 week before the Election Day deadline to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues. 

Vote-by-mail ballots may also be returned at secure drop boxes at Supervisor of Elections’ main and branch offices and early voting sites. Please contact the county Supervisor of Elections or visit their website for the location of all vote-by-mail ballot secure drop boxes in your county.

Check Your Voter Status, Register to Vote, Request Vote-By-Mail Ballots, and More



Nomination forms will be sent to all members next week. Be thinking about who you will nominate.  Here are some questions to consider when nominating a candidate:

What BPW Member will you nominate for Woman of the Year? What is inspiring about this woman?  How have her actions impacted Upper Keys BPW or the community?  What about Business of the Year?  Is it a woman-owned business and what is the title of the business’s highest-ranking woman? How did this business demonstrate its commitment to workplace equality? In what way did this business positively impact our community in the last year?