BPW Connection 

Oct 2022 Newsletter

In this issue: 

President's Message  -- Events -- Opportunities --Member news!

President's Message

Hi there!

Did you see our news in the local papers last week? Our press release was printed in both the Upper Keys Weekly and the Free Press. It was a challenge to write.  Here's why: 

We want people across the community to know about our event this Wednesday evening because the Political Forum is really for everybody. It’s one of a handful of opportunities to meet candidates for local office in person, and (I think) the very last one before election day on November 8.

It’s also National Business Women’s Week and we’ll be celebrating our 2022 Woman of the Year and Business of the Year at the same event on Wednesday. Six amazing women and three terrific businesses were nominated this year.

I struggled to fully express how important both of those things are. This is the quote I came up with:

“The BPW is committed to supporting and inspiring women personally, professionally, and politically.... The Oct. 19 event reflects that in two ways; by providing a non-partisan platform to ask candidates about issues that matter to working women and by celebrating BPW Members who have achieved extraordinary things as individuals and through their businesses in 2022.”

But between us, it’s like a turducken.

You know, the turkey that’s stuffed with a duck, which is in turn stuffed with a chicken*.  Stick with me here:

Our event Wednesday evening is a Political Forum. That's the turkey: finding out how candidates stand on issues of economic equality, health care, environment that matter to working women.

If politics isn’t really your thing, you can come for the duck: celebrating real working women and the real businesses run by women. 

At the heart of it all, we’re connecting with each other personally. Think of it as the ‘chicken’ that we serve at all of our BPW events and activities.

And that’s how the Upper Keys BPW supports and inspires women personally, professionally, and politically. Turducken-style!

I'm being a bit silly, but we really do take all these aspects of our mission seriously. So whatever you're coming for, I can't wait to see you on Wednesday in Islamorada

Warm regards,


Jill Kuehnert

Upper Keys BPW President

‪(305) 767-3928‬

*No turduckens were harmed in the writing of this message. In fact I don't think I've ever had one!

Upcoming Events!

6:30 pm -- zoom 

Our state organization, BPW/Florida, is organizing a terrific online event Monday evening in recognition of National Business Women's Week.

It's a panel discussion on successfully negotiating career-focused transitions, with four BPW/FL members who have experienced different transitions sharing their experiences and wisdom... including our own Upper Keys BPW board member Patricia Milian!!

Join to learn more how she and other working women move along the continuum of their career—with new skills and experiences that can enhance their careers and employability.

No cost -- but do register in advance via the link above! 


Doors open at 5pm -- Program 6 - 8:30 pm

Whale Harbor Events, Islamorada 

Since 1985, the Upper Keys BPW have organized this highly anticipated community event during every election cycle. Candidates will have the opportunity to introduce themselves, answer candidate-specific questions, and speak to our membership about earning our vote ahead of election day on November 8th.

We'll also be announcing our 2022 Woman of the Year and 2022 Business of the Year, and celebrating our Fall Scholarship awardees.

Price: online BPW Members : $30 / Guests : $35

Everyone at the door: $40 cash/check only


8 am -- zoom 

Start your day by sharing something good with fellow BPW members and others in our community. 


11am -- Upper Keys Location TBD 

It's that time again... time to get to know each other better with a facilitated networking event.

We're changing it up this time around: No elevator speech required. And no need to limit the conversation to business (but please do bring your business cards if you wish!). Instead, we're opening up the discussion to whatever YOU want to learn or share as you connect one-on-one with fellow BPW members and guests.

Whether you're looking to expand your personal friendships or your professional connections - or both - this event is for you! We'll start with a fun group exercise and then break out for "speed dating"-style, one-on-one chats with some tips for making it extra fun.

Online registration for this event available soon on our website.


And in case you missed it...

People are still talking about our September luncheon this week at The Pilot House Restaurant in Key Largo!

Yes, we had a great crowd of members and guests (including quite a few candidates running for local offices in the upcoming election)....

But our featured speaker, Kate Banick, was truly memorable. She walked us through the importance of affordable health care in our community and how The Good Health Clinic, the organization she leads, makes sure uninsured folks have access.

Then Kate really schooled us on inequities in women's health care -- from drugs that aren't tested on women, to longer ER wait times for women, to women's medical conditions that get a fraction of research spending -- and what we can do about it. Several standing ovations of applause followed!

Thanks to:

Our speaker: Kate Banick of the Good Health Clinic

>  Our sponsor: Florida Ankle & Foot Institute (and Dr John Torregrosa for the amazing story about his working mom!)

>  All of our guests, including local political candidates!


    Contribute to our Scholarship Endowment Fund.

    Donations to the Upper Keys BPW Scholarship Endowment Fund, which provides essential funding to help women achieve equity in the workplace, are still eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match from the Peter MacDougall Match for Agency Endowments Fund (while it lasts).

    Click here for more information. 


    Email blasts.

    Got a job opening you're trying to fill? A new location to promote? An event you want to get the word out? Reach our active mailing list of over 400 members and others in the Florida Keys. 

    Our E-Blast prices are as follows:

    $20.00 - Members

    $35.00 - Non-Members

    $75 - Political Candidate ads

    Complete this online form or send us an email to get the process started. 


    To learn more about these opportunities, send an email to BPWUpperKeys@gmail.com or contact one of our Board Members directly.

    Member News 

    Atta girls!

    We love celebrating our members in all of our accomplishments.  Here are some that caught our eye this month: 

    2022 BPW Woman of the Year nominees

    • Kate Banick, Good Health Clinic
    • Courtney Dorchak, The Keys to Nutrition
    • Patricia Milian,  ComplyRight
    • Margie Smith, Florida Small Business Development Center at FIU
    • Melinda Van Fleet, Coach | Mentor | Business Consultant
    • Sue Woltanski, Monroe County School Board

    2022 BPW Business of the Year nominees: 

    • Gardenia’s Bistro, Megan Smulowitz, Owner
    • Key Dynamics Coaching and Consulting, Jackie Harder, Founder and President
    • Sandbar Books,  Becky Washam, Owner

    Lauren Dunn was selected as a member of the prestigious Leadership Monroe County program's Class XXX.  Atta girl, Lauren!

    Ginette Hughes moderated the Oct. 6 Candidate Forum and Amendment Review hosted by the Key Largo Federation of Homeowner Associations and Upper Keys League of Women Voters. Atta girl, Ginette!

    All our members who were nominated and those who are finalists for Best of the Upper Keys awards competition from the Keys Weekly newspapers.  Atta girls!!

    Renewing & returning members

    Glad you're still with us!

    • Tanya Manchester, Gulf Atlantic Bank, member since 2021

    • Lourdes Montagne, Insurance Office of America, member since 2019

    • Holly Redding, Regan Roth Insurance Agency, member since 2021

    New members

    Welcome, we can't wait to get to know you!

    • Henry Menendez, HNO Productions

    • Alissa Reckard, LPL Financial Advisor

    • Stephanie Savas, Transworld Business Advisors

    • Casey Watkins, Starbucks


    Newsletter news!

    Access past issues in our Upper Keys BPW Newsletter Archive.

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