December 2021


December 2021

Suzi Youngberg

Greetings Upper Keys Business and Professional Women!
Happy Holidays! What a magical time of year.  I have always been a believer in the magic of the holidays...I love how everyone is just a tiny bit nicer, more considerate, generous.  I love how the smiles come easier, the small kindnesses more frequently.  It's a shame that good vibe isn't year round, but I'll take it! Just a short month of holiday spirit can brighten our hearts and lighten our loads.
I hope you are joining us for the Holiday Party tonight, 12/15!  We are so incredibly thankful to the amazing Theresa Sutter for coming to our rescue and hosting us again this year.  When the original venue fell through, she immediately offered her home. When I say Theresa is crazy generous, you know what I mean! We love you Theresa!  The festivities are from 6-8 PM tonight. The address will be sent in a post-registration email, so please go to the website and register now.  Don't forget to bring a wrapped tacky ornament for the traditional white elephant gift exchange. 
As we near the end of 2021, I just want to tell you all how much I appreciate you. Our organization is only as good as it's membership, and I am so incredibly proud of our Upper Keys membership. We remain the largest Local Organization (LO) within BPW/FL; our membership continues to grow month after month; our membership is supportive of our organization; our membership is diverse and representative of our community. And, so many of our Upper Keys members are involved in BPW/FL leadership this year! The latest is new member Cindi Irwin who just accepted the position of Business Manager for BPW/FL.  
Be looking for Professional Development Workshops coming in 2022. We will be partnering with the College of the FL Keys-Upper Keys Center and utilizing their amazing new classrooms for some of our workshops. Shout out to Board Member Patricia Milian who not only secured the venue but is also working on the speaker(s) and programs. If there are topics or specific training workshops you would like to see, please send your suggestions to  
Wishing you all ultimate happiness and prosperity in the New Year! 
With love and gratitude,

Suzi Youngberg
UKBPW President 2021-22

Come Celebrate the Season
at the

BPW Annual Holiday Party!

Wednesday, December 15
6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Let's gather one last time this year
for a special evening filled with laughter and good cheer!

This is a casual, BYOB, potluck event open to
all BPW members along with their partners and guests.

In keeping with BPW tradition, please bring
dish to share and a wrapped tacky ornament 
for the white elephant gift exchange.

We will also collect cash donations for our
featured charity of the month, the
Florida Keys Children's Shelter.

Festive attire (however you choose to define it) is encouraged! 

Note: This year's party is generously being hosted by Theresa Sutter at her home! 
You will receive the address via email when you RSVP.

We can't wait to see you there!

"Tell Me Something Good!" 

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

January 5th

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Coffee Talk with the Upper Keys BPW, first Wednesday of every month.



January Luncheon - January 19, 2022 - 11:00 AM-1:00 PM - Bakers Cay Resort -       Speaker: Melinda Van Fleet - Charity: Community Foundation of the FL Keys

Professional Development Series | Upcoming Sessions

Stay tuned for more Professional Development workshops coming soon. 

The November Luncheon was a great success! In case you missed it, Sherry Schwab from the Domestic Abuse Shelter was our speaker, Florida Keys Electric Coop was out sponsor, and the charity was the Domestic Abuse Shelter.  We installed 5 new members!

New Member Installation
Left to right: Mary Houston (VP/Membership), Cynthia. “C” Koconis, Holly Redding, 
Denise Nedimyer, Amy Young, Leah Maurer, Suzi Youngberg (President) 

Brittany Parker (VP/Hospitality and                                   Sherry Schwab, Domestic Abuse Shelter
Victoria Leonard (Treasurer) 


New Members -  

Meghan Brunelli, Islamorada Public Library
Cindi Irwin, Voyage Blue Travel, LLC

Renewing Members -

Wendy Cole, Key Destination Weddings & Events

Ask about the benefits of being a member!

Member Spotlight | Where in the World is 
Jackie Harder?
Note from editor - Jackie moved from the Keys recently, but has kept her BPW membership and is still a regular attendee at Connect Over Coffee.

"My 10-year-old neighbor knocked on the front door. It was clear from the paperwork under her arm that she was in fund-raising mode. She was offering Krispy Kreme donuts (glazed or chocolate) for a mere $10.

“Wow!” I said. “I LOVE Krispy Kreme donuts. I’ll take a dozen chocolate. What will you be using the money for?”
Without missing a beat, she replied enthusiastically, “To pay for the donuts!”

I almost wet my pants. 

So there I was in Blackshear, Ga., 500 miles away from my former home – and sales job – in Key Largo, giving sales training to a 10-year-old kid about how to approach her prospects.

Life takes some strange twists and turns.

She delivered my donuts Dec. 9 and told me she won three out of four prizes for her sales. (Which, by the way, will help send 4-H’ers to summer camp in 2022.) 

It’s been only 30 days since leaving Key Largo. My four boys – Brando, Simba, Toby and Buddy – and I are adjusting to the weather. Kind of. Mostly. Turns out layering my tropical wardrobe only makes me look like a bag lady. So I bought my first honest-to-God winter clothing in many years. 

Buddy managed to get out twice, once in the garage when the door was closed and once when it was open. The second time, he got a taste of the real weather and decided it was not for him. He hasn’t tried to get out since.

The local Georgia extension agent tells me that my tropical plants probably will not make it through the winter. After spending 24 hours being bummed out, I said, “Not without a fight!” 

So when it looks like overnight temps will be in 40s, I drag in all my plants and drag them out again when it warms up. If they die, it won’t be because I didn’t try.  

Neighbors drop by or stop on the street to introduce themselves. Those who learn what I do are enthusiastic about my business. Several have given me contact information for organizations that work with women in transition. 

Once the holidays are over I’ll get involved in the community, starting with the chamber. 

My career coaching/resume writing has taken off. I’m at the point where I can’t accept everyone who wants to hire me, but I learn from every client how to better manage my business.

I’m also spending a few hours each day working on creating an online course that will allow me to reach more people simultaneously…and save my one-on-one work for those who are ready to invest in themselves. 

So that’s the report from Blackshear. I love it here. I am happier and healthier than I have been in a very long time. 

Now I need to check the weather report. Big virtual hugs to all and have a great holiday season."

Another note from editor: I selfishly chose some of my favorite recent pictures of Jackie. We are going to miss her terribly!


2019 Woman of the Year

Atta Girl to UKBPW member Maria Acosta

Maria Acosta was awarded Director IV 
from her Wellness Company! 
Great job Maria!

Atta Girl to UKBPW Board Member 
Mary Houston

Congrats to Mary Houston, VP of Membership, on finally being able to have her Honeymoon! Mary was married during 2020 and had to postpone the Honeymoon until this month due to the pandemic. 

We are happy for you Mary!