November 2020



November 2020

Suzi Youngberg

Greetings Upper Keys Business and Professional Women!
"November is the month to remind us to be thankful for the many positive things happening in our life."
I am finding that a little more difficult this year. How about you? Logically, we know there are things to be thankful for. We know that if we had dinner last night or a bed to sleep in, we’re luckier than a lot of people and we should be thankful for that. But, as they say, knowing and acting are two different things entirely! I've heard it said that what messes so many of us up is the image in our head of how life is supposed to be. I don't think anybody thought 2020 was supposed to turn out this way! But, we must continue to look for the good in our "new normal", and continue to look for everything we have to be thankful for.
This coming year, I don’t want to just know that I have things to be thankful for; I want to practice thankfulness all year long. Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you.” Gratitude's amazing powers have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. There are studies that say we can actually rewire our brains for happiness by focusing on three positives, three things to be thankful for, every single day. Won't you join me?
Let's start this Wednesday at the Friendsgiving November virtual luncheon! In the spirit of Friends, Fellowship and Gratitude, every attendee will have a chance to say hello and name something they are grateful for. I am so looking forward to "seeing" and hearing from everyone! We will also hear from our 2020 Woman of the Year Jill Kuehnert and Business of the Year owner Whitney MacEachern of Cirque Salon Studios about their experiences as women in business. Hopefully we will also be inducting a couple of new members!
Speaking of new members, I am thrilled that we continue to add members even though we aren't meeting physically. During difficult times like these, we need a tribe more than ever. It's rewarding to know that women in our community are still looking to our organization for that network of sisterhood. We are here to support each other!
There will be another Coffee Hour on Wednesday, December 2nd. If you haven't made it to one, you need to set your alarm and join us on the 2nd! The theme is "Tell Me Something Good" and we all talk about something positive happening in our lives, either personal or professional. It's a great, positive way to start the day! And, look for news coming soon about the annual Holiday Party. We are hoping we will be able to get together physically - properly socially distanced and outside. Mark your calendars for the evening of December 16th and stay tuned for more information.
Cheers to November. To Thanksgiving. To being thankful. And cheers to keeping that thankfulness alive in our hearts all year long.
With love and gratitude,
Suzi Youngberg
UKBPW President 2020-2021

November is National Caregivers Awareness Month

Since at least 2000, presidents have designated November as National Family Caregivers Month to honor the more than 40 million caregivers across the country who support aging parents, ill spouses or other loved ones with disabilities who remain at home. President Trump signed the Proclamation in 2020.

Adults of all ages are among the ranks of family caregivers. More than a third of caregivers are ages 50 to 64, about a quarter are 35 to 49, and another quarter are 18- to 34-year-olds. Perhaps most surprising as America's population ages: 7 percent of family caregivers are age 75 or older, a share that has gone up steadily in the past two decades. 

Mental Health America (MHA) recognizes November as a time to celebrate the contributions of caregivers, provide them with tools that they need, and continue to advocate for individuals with mental illness. American Cancer Society (ACS) also celebrates National Caregiver Awareness Month in November and honors those who care for cancer patients. 

Caregivers may be partners, family members, or close friends. Most often, they’re not trained for the caregiver job.  Many times, they’re the lifeline of the person with cancer, mental illness or other illness.  A good caregiver is a vital health care resource. In many cases, the caregiver is the one person who knows everything that’s going on with the patient. 

During National Family Caregivers Month, we address the new realities family caregivers face with their loved ones during these uncertain times.  Family caregivers manage health emergencies, juggle priorities, and suffer isolation - and all that was before COVID. The pandemic brings even more challenges as family caregivers handle Caregiving in Crisis.

Join us in celebrating Caregivers and their selfless efforts - today and every day!

Enjoy Friendsgiving with the Upper Keys BPW!  
This month's virtual luncheon is about Friends, Fellowship and Gratitude.
We will hear from our Woman of the Year Jill Kuehnert and Business of the Year owner Whitney MacEachern of Cirque Salon about being women in business.
Then in the spirit of Friendsgiving, we will give every attendee a chance to introduce themselves and say what they are thankful for.

Join the Upper Keys BPW for Virtual Coffee Hour!
Wednesday Morning, December 2nd
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

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

January's topic will be Mom's in Business
We are still looking for 2-3 more 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 before November 30th.

Political Forum
On October 21st, we hosted our traditional Political Forum. We were pleased to have all candidates attend. The Fall 2020 Scholarship recipients were presented, and the winners of Woman of the Year and Business of the Year were announced.  You can click here to watch it if you missed it.           

Meet the 2020 
Woman of the Year and Business of the Year Winners!

Connect Over Coffee
Another Coffee Hour was also held on October 28th. Once again, it was a positive, uplifting way to start the day! Thanks to Cynthia Gneiser for hosting again this month.  Join us next month for 
"Tell Me Something Good - Coffee Talk with Upper Keys BPW."

In an effort to encourage voting, celebrate 100 years of women and the vote, and flood social media with voting pictures of women voting, BPW Local Organizations across Florida asked their members to share with the hashtag #BPWVotes.  Here are just a few that we found!


New Members -  

Patricia (Trish) Fedorchak, Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate 

Jenn Weiden, Keys Weekly Media Group 

Lynda Weinstein, Florida Keys Children's Shelter 

Patricia Milian, ComplyRight, Inc. 

Renewing Members -

Mary Beth Harris, CENTENNIAL BANK 

Jill Kuehnert, Seed Stories, LLC // Lucky Fish Scuba LLC 

Margie Smith, Florida Small Business Development Center at FIU 

Ask about the benefits of being a member!

Meet the Fall 2020 Scholarship Recipients

Jessica Dockerty

My name is Jessica Dockerty. I have lived in Key Largo for 15 years. During most of that time I worked as a marine science educator. Recently, I gained a position at United Way of Collier and the Keys as a Reef Revitalization Project Liaison. I have a degree in Marine Biology and am currently working on another degree in Business Management. I like to spend my free time seeking out adventures with my children and coaching youth sports. I am forever grateful to call the Florida Keys my home.

Erin Hamilton

My name is Erin Hamilton. I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and went to The Ohio State University for both my undergrad and Masters. I have a Bachelor of science in Human Ecology (with a specialization in Early Childhood Development) and a Master’s of Education in Early Childhood Education.  I teach weight training, physical education and coach boys and girls varsity weightlifting at Coral Shores High School.  I live in Islamorada with my significant other, Gabe, and my two wonderful daughters, Lindley (6) and Sadie (2).  I am so excited to earn this scholarship and further my education by getting my USA Weightlifting Level 1 and 2 coaches certifications. It will enable me to be a better coach and share my passion for many athletes to come. 

Atta Girl UKBPW Member Jackie Harder!  

Jackie is celebrating a new coaching client as well as consulting with her first-ever international executive team. We think we need to make a big deal of that! Way to go Jackie!

Atta Boy UKBPW Member Dennis Ward!

Dennis won his campaign and was re-elected to the office of Monroe County State Attorney on November 3rd. We are proud of you and appreciate your service to our community.  Congratulations Dennis!

Atta Girl UKBPW Member Debra Walker!

Debra recently completed editing a pre-Mamom pottery volume, with 32 authors, 18 chapters, and two appendices. You are amazing Debra! Great job!


International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
25 November

A Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Women's rights activists have observed 25 November as a day against gender-based violence since 1981. This date was selected to honor the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

On December 20, 1993, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women through resolution 48/104, paving the path towards eradicating violence against women and girls worldwide.

Finally, on February 7, 2000, the General Assembly adopted resolution 54/134, officially designating November 25 as the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and in doing so, invited governments, international organizations as well as NGOs to join together and organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the issue every year on that date.

Efforts to prevent and end violence against women at the global, regional and national levels show that there is widespread impunity on sexual violence and rape.

Starting last year on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and continuing for the next year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls, will focus on the issue of rape as a specific form of harm committed against women and girls in times of peace or war.

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable - for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, and peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - to leave no one behind - cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.