June 2022


June 2022

Jill Kuehnert

Greetings Upper Keys Business & Professional Women!
In case we haven't met yet, I'm Jill Kuehnert and I'm thrilled to be serving as the 2022-2023 President of the Upper Keys BPW.  
A lot has already happened in this first month! 
At our annual membership meeting in May, we officially launched the Upper Keys BPW Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys.  Generous donations have added to the opening balance, and there's still a little time to have your gift matched -- see below for more details.
The day after our annual membership meeting, several of us took a road trip up to Tampa for the BPW/FL State Conference. BPW members from across the state came together for inspiring talks, a command performance of our own Patricia Milian's branding workshop, and (of course) a business meeting.  We elected new state officers and approved an amendment to our state Policy Platform on voting rights.  We also handed over the money you so generously donated at our last luncheon for the state Education Foundation.
And just a few weeks after that, our new Upper Keys BPW board met for a day-long planning retreat. Unfortunately it was planned for that Saturday of our first big tropical weather of this hurricane season, but we didn't let that keep us from our duties… we dusted off our zoom skills for one of the sessions and made a last minute location change to the library for another!
The Board spent a lot of time reviewing the input gathered during our recent membership survey to which over 30 of you responded.  We were pleased to see overwhelming support for the value of your membership.  Another important finding: the top 2 responses to the question "Why are you a member" were : Support equity for working women and Give back to the community.  With that feedback in mind, and a bunch of fantastic "magic wand" ideas for new programs, we've got our work cut out for us. 
And we could use some help!  Soon you'll be hearing more about opportunities to get more involved through committees and other volunteer roles.  My hope is that our Upper Keys BPW can be a place for everyone with energy to give in support of working women in our community. 

Finally, I want to again express gratitude for the dedicated leadership of Suzi Youngberg, our Immediate Past President. She is a model 'empowered woman empowering women' and it's a privilege to follow in her footsteps.

Warm regards, 

Jill Kuehnert
Upper Keys BPW President
‪(305) 767-3928‬

Endowment Fund Update

We recently took a huge step on behalf of our women’s scholarship program with the launch of the Upper Keys BPW Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys. 

Our opening deposit was immediately matched by the Peter MacDougall Match for Agency Endowments, a special fund available through the Foundation. Combined with donations already received from our members and supporters, our endowment currently stands at almost $26,000!

We can qualify to receive another $7,000 in matching dollars – but we don’t have much time. These funds are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and well over half of the match dollars have already been claimed.

Will you help us reach our goal of securing the full $20,000 match to benefit the working women of the Upper Keys?

Just another $7,000 in donations from BPW members and supporters will bring our total endowment value to $40,000 – enough to fund at least one scholarship annually, in perpetuity.

The suggested donation is $100 - but any amount will help! 

Join us for a very special
Networking Night!

June 15th 6-8 PM at Gardenia's Bistro in Tavernier 

Tucked away inside Island Home Garden Center in Tavernier, Gardenia's Bistro has a gorgeous natural setting. If you haven't been there yet, you're in for a treat!

Enjoy delicious organic bites with the perfect wines and champagne as you catch up with old friends and make new contacts.  



includes appetizers and 1 beverage ticket


Thank you to our host and sponsor for this event: Gardenia's Bistro!


How to Make Your Business Bankable

Thursday, June 23
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

at the Key Largo Public Library
101485 Overseas Highway

Why do some businesses easily obtain loans while others don't? The answer starts with you, the business owner.

Learn how to make your business loanworthy and get key insights from seasoned business-banking veterans at this FREE workshop and panel discussion. 

Understanding how to build credit and how to use it responsibly helps small-business owners make good decisions that can lead to the financial success of their businesses.

From the importance of the business owner's personal credit to understanding how lenders evaluate your business, this value-packed session will put you on the right path to having a "bankable business." 

Mark your calendars and reserve your spot now! 
Online registration through SBDC is free of charge but required in advance.

This event is presented in partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at FIU and the Key Largo and Ocean Reef Chambers of Commerce.

"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.

July 6th

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

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


July 20 Monthly Luncheon
Speaker: Ginette Hughes, Upper Keys League of Women Voters
Location TBA


New Members -  

Kellie Farrell, Keys Ebikes
Megan Smulowitz: Gardenia's Bistro

Renewing Members -

Monica Hane, SouthState Bank

Lee Ann Holroyd, Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Victoria Leonard, Florida Keys Electric Cooperative

Holly Merrill Raschein, Monroe County Commissioner

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

Atta Girls Upper Keys BPW!

We received a number of awards at the BPW/FL State Conference, including Best Leadership Program and Local Organization of the Year. Many thanks to Immediate Past President Suzi Youngberg and everyone else who led us to these achievements! 

And Atta Girls to our members serving BPW/FL in state leadership:

Gina Boilini, BPW/FL Education Foundation Board Secretary
Suzi Youngberg, Technology Committee Chair
Margie Smith, Membership Committee Chair
Patricia Millan, Marketing Committee Chair

Atta Girl to Monica, Tara and Natalie!

Tara Mathis, Monica Horsley and Natalie Davidson are the inspiring recipients of our Spring 2022 scholarship awards in partnership with the Holly Given Fund.



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