December 2020



December 2020

Suzi Youngberg

Greetings Upper Keys Business and Professional Women!
Happy Holidays to you all! We made it to December! What a long, strange year it's been!
As I sit here looking at my six (yes 6!) storage bins full of all my holiday decorations, I find myself reflecting on how different this year's holiday season is from last year. This time last year, I had my Dad visiting - we were going out to restaurants, holiday parties, visiting with friends, and celebrating hard! I was so thrilled that he was able to attend the Upper Keys BPW Holiday Party and meet so many of you. He left me the Wonder Woman ornament that he stole from someone (Soraya Lloren, I think?!!) during the Tacky Ornament Exchange!
How different life is this year. I will not be seeing Dad this holiday season. It was an extremely hard decision to make, but we decided we could sacrifice one holiday to (hopefully) have many more together. I realize that many of you are probably wrestling with these same very personal decisions. Whichever choice you make, please be careful and stay as safe as possible. The promise of better days coming in 2021 is what keeps me going. We will get through this dark winter and can look forward to a much brighter spring and summer.
December signifies change coming. It's the end of the old year and time to look forward to the new. It's a time for resolutions, planning and setting of goals for the coming year. Have you made any New Year's resolutions? For me, it's about health...physical and mental. The pandemic hasn't been good for my waistline, that's for sure! It's time to stop using it as an excuse to eat and drink too much and start concentrating on my health and well-being. Maybe we could start up an exercise group? Social distanced walking once a week - look for more information coming on that. Let's get healthier together!
I sure hope to see many of you tonight at the Holiday Party! It is going to be fun and not just another Zoom meeting. We'll have a sing-a-long, a special storyteller, games, prizes and more! You know how I mentioned that Wonder Woman ornament from last year? If you have ornaments you "stole" from past holiday parties, be prepared to show & tell! Since we can't hold our traditional Tacky Ornament Exchange, we can still laugh at the memories!
Thanks to each and every one of you for being part of my Tribe! Being part of Upper Keys BPW, and having the privilege of being your President, has truly been the best part of 2020 for me. I am looking forward to connecting with you virtually, and dreaming about getting together in person as soon as we can safely do so. Until then, be well my friends. Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a joyous new year.
With love and gratitude,
Suzi Youngberg
UKBPW President 2020-2021

Join the Upper Keys Business & Professional Women for our Annual Holiday Party!
To keep everyone safe this holiday season, we will be hosting the party on Zoom. But, this won't be just another Zoom meeting! Join us for an evening of fun, games and sharing! We will play Holiday Bingo, we will break out into smaller rooms for sharing stories, "Around the House" Scavenger Hunts and more.
Dress in your best festive holiday attire! Hats and headpieces highly recommended as are fun holiday backgrounds. Be prepared for group photos and photo booth fun!
A "sharing stories" activity will involve a cherished jolly holiday memory. It could be a special piece of jewelry or clothing, a holiday decoration, traditional recipe, etc. - Be prepared to share the special story with your breakout group. Best story from each breakout room will be shared with the whole group!
We even have a couple of special guest joining us for some fun holiday songs and storytelling!
Be prepared to show and tell ornaments you have gotten at past Holiday Party Tacky Ornament Exchanges!

There is no cost to attend this month's virtual event. We want everyone to feel welcome to join us! ...BUT, we are giving you a tier of donation options, 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!)  Donations from this month's event will go to the Upper Keys BPW Adult Scholarship Program.

Professional Development Series | Upcoming Sessions

Look for workshops coming in 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 raising children. Working mothers of children under 18 and living at home are eligible..
Interested "Moms" please contact Suzi at

November Friendsgiving Luncheon - Watch the Replay!

Thanks to the generosity of our members and guests, we were able to donate $220  to Presents in Paradise!  Thank you so much to everyone who chose to donate with their November registration.

Jingle & Mingle Award Presentation
We were finally able to present the physical awards to our Woman of the Year & Business of the Year 2020 Winners!

Pictured at Cirque Salon Studies. Left to right: Suzi Youngberg, President Upper Keys BPW,
Jill Kuehnert - Woman of the Year 2020!
Whitney MacEachern (Cirque Salon Studios) - Business of the Year 2020!


New Members -  

Renewing Members -

Nada Khalaf-Jones, Lovelyworld Adventure / Florida Keys Down Syndrome

Pamela Niekamp, Eye Catcher Charters, LLC 

Ask about the benefits of being a member!

Check out the BPW/FL State Member Spotlights 

Each week, a member of BPW/FL is featured on the State's website. Did you know that every member of Upper Keys BPW is also a member of BPW/FL?  Think about submitting a bio to be featured in the BPW/FL Spotlight! 

 Here are links to four of our Upper Keys members who have been featured so far:


Atta Girl UKBPW Member and Marketing Committee Member Mary (Roth) Houston!  

Mary Roth was married to Rex Houston in a lovely ceremony at the end of November. Of course Mary was a beautiful bride! 

Congratulations Mary, we are so happy for you!

Atta Girl UKBPW Member Holly Raschein!

Former State Rep. Holly Raschein started a new job in the private sector, as AshBritt Environmental named her the new director of government relations. In her new position, she will lead the top rapid-response disaster company in its policy objectives at the local, state and federal levels. Elected to the Florida House in 2012, Holly termed out after serving eight years representing the Keys and parts of south Miami-Dade in Tallahassee. 

Way to go Holly!

Atta Boy UKBPW Member Sam Steele!
Sam Steele received his commission from Governor Ron DeSantis, declaring him the Monroe County Tax Collector! 

Congratulations Sam!

Atta Girl UKBPW Member Lesly Lopez!

Lesly Lopez has been named new Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living of the Keys! She has accepted the position effective January 2, 2021, and has been granted federal approval. Lesly has been with this agency close to 14 years, and has advanced from Program Manager to Deputy Director, and now Executive Director.  

Great job Lesly!

Atta Girl UKBPW Member Sue Woltanski!

Sue Woltanski's daughter Ali has been accepted into Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. We know that Sue is one proud mother!

Congrats Sue and way to go Ali!