October 2020



October 2020

Suzi Youngberg

Greetings Upper Keys Business and Professional Women!
I don't know about you, but October is a busy month! Women in Business week, Political Forums, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fantasy Fest, Halloween.... if I thought that in our new world of mostly virtual events October would be slow, I sure was wrong! The last two months have been full of virtual political forums and town-hall events, the last of which will be our own Upper Keys BPW Forum this week. Don't miss this last chance to hear the candidates answer the tough questions and tell us why they should earn our votes. We are also moving forward with Women in Business Week by awarding the Woman of the Year and Business of the Year winners. Breast cancer fundraisers are continuing, just looking a little different this year. Fantasy Fest may be canceled in Key West, but festivities continue all over the Keys, and Halloween will proceed, also just looking a bit different.
Life goes on if we do it safely. I beg of you to wear your masks, maintain social distance, avoid large gatherings, and wash your hands regularly. We have a current increase in virus numbers in the Keys, but if we are all vigilant and look out for each other we can get through this. We have been considering an "in person" luncheon in November, with a virtual component for those not ready to gather. Look for another survey in your email in the next week to help us make the best decision depending on what our members want.
Have you voted yet? I encourage you to take advantage of early voting if you can. Never forgot those brave women who fought 100 years ago for our right to vote, and honor them by exercising that right. For some fun, take a picture of yourself as you cast your vote - whether you're dropping your ballot off in the mail or at a ballot box or voting in person - and share with Upper Keys BPW Facebook page. We want to flood social media with women voting!
Make your reservations now for the Political Forum this Wednesday and the next Coffee Hour on the 28th. Be careful out there, stay safe and healthy and get your mammograms!
With love,

Suzi Youngberg
UKBPW President 2020-2021

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. 

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms:
Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of breast health. Although having regular screening tests for breast cancer is important, mammograms do not find every breast cancer. This means it's also important for you to be aware of changes in your breasts and to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or round. They can even be painful. For this reason, it's important to have any new breast mass, lump, or breast change checked by an experienced health care professional.

Early Prevention & Detection Save Lives
Remember that knowing what to look for does not take the place of having regular mammograms and other screening tests. Screening tests can help find breast cancer early, before any symptoms appear. Finding breast cancer early gives you a better chance of successful treatment. 

American Cancer Society screening recommendations for women at average breast cancer risk:
Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live at least 10 more years.

Don't miss this last opportunity to hear from the political candidates before election day. 
In addition to awarding the Woman of the Year & Business of the Year winners, the Fall 2020 Adult Scholarship recipients will also be announced during a short intermission.
There is no cost to register, but optional donation tiers are available. Proceeds will be split between the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research and the BPW/FL Breast Cancer fund for breast cancer patients in need of a little financial help.

Join the Upper Keys BPW for Virtual Coffee Hour!
Wednesday Morning, 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. It's a great way to connect with each other!

Professional Development Series | Upcoming Sessions

Women's Finance Panel - November 12 at NOON
More details coming soon. Mark your calendars!

Look for more workshops coming in January, March and May 2021!

January's topic will be Mom's in Business
We are looking for 3-5 women who would like to serve on a panel for the January Session, and contribute some tips on how they maneuver being in business and being a mom.
Interested "Moms" please contact Suzi at bpwupperkeys@gmail.com before November 30th.

September events included another virtual luncheon, the second virtual Morning Coffee Hour "Tell Me Something Good" and a Professional Development session from Marine Lab.

Our speakers in September were Terri Axford, Monroe County School Superintendent and Harry Russell, Monroe County School Executive Director of Personnel and Leadership.  
Watch here:

Marine Lab presented "Discover the Secret World of Mangroves." It was very interesting and informative and even included some critters from the Florida Bay! Watch here:


New Members -  

Brittany Parker, Good Health Clinic

Renewing Members -

Kate Banick, Good Health Clinic
Jordan Budnik, The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center 
Dorothy Harden, Dorothy J. Harden Attorney at Law
Laura Lietaert, Key Largo School
Suzi Youngberg, American Cancer Society

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

bpw|member SPOTLIGHT
Meet this year's Nominees for Woman of the Year

Cathy Brewer - 

Cathy Brewer is a woman with many hidden talents, and it is time the community and membership learn more about her. She deserves to be in the spotlight as she is so humble about herself. Cathy is very active in the community at different levels and if you are in search of resources in the community, most likely Cathy will be able to guide you into the right direction. 

Cathy is a leader without having that title. She is a strong communicator and makes people feel comfortable when talking to her. She listens to you and then connects you with others where possible. She always follows thru and seems to have strong organizational skills. Her positive attitude combined with the smile inspires.

Cathy has been active in the Upper Keys BPW marketing committee for her second year now and she is committed to her duty. For any event Cathy will reach out to leadership how she can be of assistance. She is generous with her time and is always willing to donate dollars when needed. She is the perfect Upper Keys BPW Member and without her we would have less smiles in the room. She simply deserves to be in the spotlight and carry that title of Woman of the Year 2020!

Ilja Chapman - 

Under Ilja's leadership, the membership of the local organization grew to an amazing degree - making us - by far - the largest BPW Local Organization in the state. Her actions resulted in huge membership growth and raised awareness of BPW in the community. She also took a leadership position with the state organization last year and has  added to that this year.

Her leadership style is calm, rational, inclusive, ability to listen, unafraid to challenge conventional thinking, willing to change her mind. She doesn't see obstacles, just opportunities to excel.

She also has a wacky sense of humor. It was a pleasure to serve under her on the Board of Directors.

Wendy Coffman

Wendy is so community minded. She volunteers for so many events and is always willing to help with any charity or community event. She takes on so much, but never shows if she is overwhelmed. She handles every task with that beautiful sweet smile and kindness.

Wendy is a natural leader and has a way of asking people to do things that make them want to help. She leads by example. She has such a positive and loving attitude towards everyone and everything. She is generous of her talents and always willing to help.

Wendy has been such an asset to UKBPW in several capacities on the Board. She is always willing to take on any task and help any way she can. We are lucky to have her on the board, as a BPW Member and as a Keys resident.

Ginette Hughes

Ginette is committed to so many important aspects of our life in the Upper Keys: running a science education non-profit, a member of several community organizations.

Her leadership style is thoughtful, passionate, hard-working. Full of integrity. She has risen from within her organisation to now be the head of it, always learning new skills and helping the people around her to new circumstances— in particular this year with the COVID shutdown.

Her organization has long employed people and brought students from around the country to learn about our marine environments. With the shutdown, she has given the local community new access to Marine Lab programs.

Jill Kuehnert

Jill has a go-to-it attitude that makes everything she does seem effortless. She isn't afraid to commit her time and energy to the task-at-hand and offers help intuitively. She seems to know what needs to be done, and doesn't seek recognition nor acknowledgement for all her efforts.

Jill embodies what it is to be strong women through her powerful voice and bold actions. She humbly shares her many talents and strategies to all members and committees of the BPW. She is not afraid to breach the difficult topics that have been a common thread of 2020. 

What inspires me most about Jill is her humble, yet positive attitude. I'm fairly certain she is human, and gets mad or frustrated, but I've never seen it...even when things go wrong. I see this in her work ethic with Lucky Fish Scuba, and at BPW. She is a great motivator for me and inspires me to be a better woman.

Jill is a strong, organized, a leader, who takes initiative, and amazes me!  She is not shy on sharing her feelings and what she learns by all the reading she loves to do. She is true and full of strength that has inspired me in many ways.

Her words are encouraging, her speech is eloquent, her solutions imaginative and her approach is real. Anyone is lucky to have Jill on their team because when she is you know you will see results. She backs up her words with research, facts, and action. She steps in and steps up, repeatedly!

Whitney MacEachern-

Whitney is brave, kind, classy, innovative, determined, and best of all- my friend. In the time that I have known Whitney, she has impressed me with her character, education, and business savvy. Whitney has a background in corporate banking and made the difficult decision to take time to raise her young children. When she decided it was time for her to reenter the workforce, she did so in a way that still allowed her to have time to devote to her family, friends, and community.

Whitney leads by example. She exudes confidence and accomplishes what she puts her mind too. She encourages others to do the same. She is truly a wonderful mother, businesswoman, volunteer, and friend. I am constantly inspired by her poise, athleticism, and gumption.

She has created a business plan that not only allows her to have the flexibility to devote time to her family, friends, and community but allows other entrepreneurs to do the same. It focuses on the health and beauty industry that is very woman-centric. She also organized a women’s tennis group which encourages women to network while getting the benefit of physical exercise. Her entrepreneurship has motivated multiple new businesses in our community and led some of them to our organization.

Theresa Sutter

Theresa Sutter has a successful business in the area of providing businesses (and our Organization BPW) with keeping their financial books in order, and guiding clients in setting up their financial books properly. She is a fantastic Treasurer for BPW of the Upper Keys, always forward thinking, bringing up suggestions to guide the Organizations financial health, and her reports are always clear, concise, on time, and easy to understand. She has many clients, but has made time to volunteer and share her expertise with us.

Her leadership style is such that she is diplomatic in providing ideas and suggestions to safeguard the organization, and she is always "thinking ahead" about the best way to do things for the finances of BPW. She is very active on the Board, attends all meetings, listens and is a great support for BPW. Teresa is very dependable, always positive, and always available. She goes out of her way to "go beyond" in her duties, she is part of the face of the Board of BPW of the Upper Keys, and she always is welcoming at meetings. She is one of the main reasons when I came to my first BPW Luncheon in 2012 that I felt welcome, as I knew very few people greeting intended members and guests. She greets everyone with kindness and makes people feel comfortable consistently.

She has provided stability and applied "best practices" in a very pro-active manner for our Organization. We are lucky to have such an experienced financial "keeper of our books". Though she has announced that in a year or so, she may be outgoing as Treasurer, luckily for us, she is willing to mentor an incoming Treasurer at this time, which shows her dedication to the success of BPW, and has someone now under her wings to transfer some of her knowledge and practices to prepare for her departure as our BPW Treasurer. That is true professionalism.

Sue Woltanski

Sue has been a critical player in the lives of the children of the Keys. Her medical background has served her well in light of the pandemic.

We are lucky to have Sue as an advocate for the children, parents and educators of Monroe County.

As to her leadership style, I can say as an observer of her in various meetings/discussions she brings a level head, thoughtful consideration of the facts and tasks at hand and contributes to the discussion and problem solving.


Theresa Sutter Virtual Assistant (Theresa Sutter)-

Theresa spends an incredible amount of time on the organizations books and creating reports and working on the budget. She also manages to stay involved in other areas; since the pandemic, she has done a lot of work helping to make our virtual gatherings relatively problem-free.

She is owner, founder and president.

Theresa is a strong supporter of women in the workplace and is willing to provide wise counsel as her busy schedule allows.

She is willing to work with struggling companies/organizations in ways that won't break the bank.

Theresa is an outspoken woman and is unafraid to express her opinion even if it is contrary to the majority. We need more women like her to speak up to help improve the lot of working women.

Skybornvisual (Nada Khalaf-Jones)- 

Not only was Nada our photographer for our 100 year anniversary, she has blown the word of drone photography and photography in itself away. Her work has been featured on the cover of local magazines, real estate adds and so much more! She has taken her love and passion of photography and has taken off with it!

As a women, she has created this business by herself and has been able to show the beauty of the keys through her photos and videos. She is the mother of 3 beautiful girls. One has down syndrome and I have watched her raise all 3 of them to be strong and open to whatever they want to be or do.

The Good Health Clinic

The Good Health Clinic provides nearly comprehensive health care to over 700-1000 keys Residents a year who have no place else to turn to. This year they also supported the Florida Keys working class who have lost employment and healthcare through their time of need.

They support Women through employment and in the community. Their staff consists of 6 women and 1 man. Their Board of Directors is 60% women, and the highest-ranking woman is Executive Director, Kate Banick. The Good Health Clinic provided health care to all regardless of gender, or race. Every employee has equal fair wages matching their job responsibilities and benefits.

The work and dedication of the staff for the patients is remarkable. Many patients attend the clinic without having prior care and have needed help. 42% of our patients surveyed stated that they needed a primary care facility, and 66% of those patients stated that their overall health improved after attending the clinic.

One of the largest recognizable impact over the last year would be the clinic’s ability to conduct COVID-19 testing for patients and some community patients that are not associated with the clinic. Good Health Clinic continues to accept applications, especially if the individual has lost their job due to COVID. The clinic has also integrated mental health counseling as of this year to give free counseling to our patients. They have dedicated staff that overcame personal and professional stresses to put the healthcare needs of this community first.

Florida Small Business Development Center at FIU (Margie Smith)-

This organization has been critical in keeping all small businesses of the Keys informed of the various opportunities available to SB's during this pandemic. They have offered assistance in wading through the complex PPP loan applications, EIDL applications and SBA loans to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.

I'm confident that without the assistance of Margie Smith and the SBDC at FIU many of our Small Businesses's in the Keys would not have received much needed loans to keep their staff employed and the "lights on" at their business.

Doc's Diner (Gina Boilini)

Doc's Diner is an example of how a restaurant should operate. They immediately adopted all safety protocols when the pandemic hit. They have continued to keep 100% of their employees on payroll, even thought they were limited to less than full capacity for months.

Doc's Diner is a woman owned business, owned by Gina Boilini, and employees many other women. Not only is Gina the owner, she also manages the restaurant and is there to personally ensure workplace equality.

They were a shining beacon of how to operate during the pandemic. They donate food to many charitable functions and are always willing to help the community.

Cirque Salon Studios of Key Largo (Whitney MacEachern)-

This incredible business opened in 2018 with a core business model to support small businesses in the health, beauty and wellness industry in our community. 83% of current studio owners are women-owned and operated, 1/3 are first-time business owners, and 50% are minority-owned. This business is woman-owned by owner, manager and CEO, Whitney MacEachern.

The business has donated space for community events, fundraisers for the Good Health Clinic, cancer awareness and even BPW meetings. During the Covid crisis, the salon and spa industry faced mandatory closure for over 50 days. Cirque provided support (including financial) to studio owners so they not only made it through the crisis but have come out stronger.

Cirque Salon has clearly demonstrated a commitment to workplace equality by being inclusive and helpful to all. This company has positively impacted our community by supporting multiple small business owners, empowering women, giving back to non-profits including our wonderful organization. The business model of Cirque Salon Studios is by nature designed to create a positive business environment for entrepreneurs. But its success is direct related to the execution of it. At Cirque Salon Studios it is done perfectly and this concept is such a great asset to our community. They just celebrated their 2nd anniversary and have grown since opening.

Indeed, this is a women owned business and most of the affiliates are female entrepreneurs but they don’t discriminate against man. Their business model is designed in such way that they can offer different sizes of Studios at different prices. This gives those Start-up businesses the ability to afford their rent and maybe move to a larger studio when their income is growing. This has happened many times. Brilliant!


ATTA GIRL Ilja Chapman

UKBPW Member, Immediate Past President and Committee Chair Ilja Chapman will be running for the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Board.  Join us in congratulating her, letting her know how proud we are and in wishing her good luck!  Way to go Ilja!

ATTA GIRL Whitney MacEachern

UKBPW Member Whitney MacEachern is celebrating the second anniversary of Cirque Salon Studios of Key Largo.  
Happy Anniversary! In October 2020 Cirque Salon Studios will celebrate its second anniversary of operations. Unfortunately, this year they couldn’t host one of their fabulous celebrations in person so join us in sending them a virtual toast!  Congratulations Whitney!

Cirque Salon Studios of Key Largo is a collection of individual, private suites where health, beauty and wellness professionals operate their own businesses and cater independently to their clients. It is located in the Tradewinds Shopping Center by the Publix in Key Largo, mm101 on the second floor.

The location has also provided meeting space for organizations including the Upper Keys BPW, back when we could meet in person (remember those days?)!

Stay tuned for information regarding their popular holiday pop up shop held each December. “We still plan to Shop, Jingle and Mingle this December but it will look a little different for sure.” Said Whitney MacEachern, owner of Cirque Salon Studios of Key Largo.


To see the list of current business owners, click on the "Services" tab on the Cirque Salon Studios of Key Largo Facebook page or visit
https://cirquesalonstudios.com/key-largo-owners/. For leasing information, call / text Whitney MacEachern at 305-800-CIRQ / 305-800-2477 or email whitney@cirquesalonstudios.com.