BPW Connection 

February 2023

In this issue: 

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

President's Message

So many people!

Here in the Keys the winter 'season' means there are lots of snowbirds around, but it’s more than that this year. In the past few weeks, both Islamorada and Key Largo Chambers of Commerce events have been full to capacity and business is good!

And yet, with all the people, work, sunshine, and events, sometimes I still feel a bit lonely.  

In fact loneliness is really widespread, even for people who are around other people all the time and especially for those of us making any kind of transition. 

According to a excellent podcast episode* I heard recently, loneliness can come in different forms --  intimate, relationship and collective – and dramatically increases our vulnerability to all kinds of mental and physical health concerns. 

Connection is the cure for loneliness and we got a good dose of it during our January luncheon on the topic of mental health.

Our speaker Edith Bricker gave an incredibly moving talk that included a personal account of serious mental illness in her family, straightforward advice, a range of specific resources and timely opportunities to advocate for mental health nationally, across Florida and right here in the Keys.  

She summed it up by saying: "….the women of BPW, with their connections and savvy, can help:  Please, stay informed and be vocal about the needs and successes regarding mental health."

One of our members took that call to heart immediately on social media, sharing how she related to Edith’s stories with links to a key resource:

"…I feel blessed to have been in this room and to have learned more about the resources that ARE NOW AVAILABLE TO those who may be suffering.

: NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness

: (305)-665-2540

: https://namimiami.org

If you need help please call NAMI as soon as possible and please also do not be afraid to ASK FOR HELP. I wish I would have known about these resources when I needed them. The least I can do now, is help SHARE."

Talk about empowered women empowering women!

If you want to take another small step to lower the level of loneliness in the Keys, please join our evening networking event next Wednesday in Islamorada.  Bring a Valentine/ Galentine/Palentine if you want -- and I bet you'll find some new ones too!

Warm regards, 


Jill Kuehnert

Upper Keys BPW President

‪(305) 767-3928‬

*The podcast is The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, episode “The Secret to Making Friends as an Adult” and it includes some really excellent science-backed steps to increase your circle of friends!

Upcoming Events!

6-8pm -- Angler House, Islamorada

In the spirit of the Valentine's / Galentine's / Palentine's season, we've got some special things in store for this month's Upper Keys Business & Professional Women (BPW) networking night:

...BPW members can register one guest for this event at the member price

...Registration includes your first drink and nibbles from Islaboards Southernmost Charcuterie

...Local author Tanya Hackney will share a few inspirational words on Partnership and Teamwork. 


February 18 Garden Walk Meet-up

10 am -- Tavernier 

Join your fellow BPW members for the Garden Walk on Saturday, 2/18.

This is a drop-in, 'buy your own ticket' event. We will meet at the Upper Keys Garden Club and caravan to enjoy the walk together, including the home of a BPW member whose garden was selected for this year's event!


March 1 Virtual Coffee Chat

8 am -- zoom 

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


Save the Date: March 15 Luncheon

11:30 am -- Pilot House, Key Largo  

Save the date for our next monthly luncheon.  Program details are still being worked on, but will include an "Ask Me Anything" with BPW Board members and Open Mic for members to talk about your work.  More details coming soon.  


And in case you missed it...

Thanks to everyone who came out for our first Upper Keys BPW luncheon of the year at the Pilot House Restaurant in Key Largo!

We had a great crowd of more than 40 BPW members and guests eager to connect with each other and learn more about mental health.

Our speaker Edith Bricker gave an incredibly moving talk that included her personal experiences, resources and timely opportunities to advocate for mental health nationally, here in Florida and right here in the Keys.

When mental health issues emerge, acting sooner is better than later. And there are resources available to help, including these and others on the green sheet below:

> 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

> Mobile Mental Health Crisis Response Team

> Thriving Mind South Florida

> the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Miami.

Special thanks to our sponsor Tolley & Hill, PLLC!!

Upper Keys BPW members in front of sign


Join a committee, sit in on the Board

If you would like to get more involved with Upper Keys BPW, consider joining or chairing a committee! Or come to a Board meeting to learn more about what we do.

It's a wonderful way to meet other members, contribute to the community and make the most of your membership. 

Click here to learn more about different committees, including responsibilities and time commitment needed. 

The next Board meeting will be on February 23 from 8:30 to 10am. All members are welcome to attend.  Contact Jill at bpwupperkeys@gmail.com for more information.


Learn and Lead with BPW/FL members

BPW/FL is offering virtual local organization leadership training sessions for anyone currently in a leadership role, considering a leadership role in the future or just interested in learning more about BPW. 

To watch recordings of past sessions on 1/10 and 2/8, or to register for the remaining session on 3/14 at 6:00-7:30 pm, please visit https://www.bpwfl.org/ and log in as a Member. 

And while you're there, check out plans for theBPW/FL State Conference in Ft Lauderdale in June!


Email blast ads to locals.

Got 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

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


Get in on the ground floor of our new Job Board!

We're getting closer to a full launch of the Upper Keys BPW Job Board -- a new service to help match employers and employees in our community while raising funds for our Scholarship program and other activities. 

Click here to take a peek. Or jump right in with in a listing:  Login for BPW Member savings and use code SAVE50 for a 50% discount on all published rates except the "featured listing" upgrade fee.  


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

Member News 

We love celebrating our members' accomplishments!

  • Wendy Ives's business The Tropical Team/Tropical Realty has joined forces with REMAX All Keys Real Estate 
  • Vanessa Chamizo was recognized as a Top 2% Producer in 2022 for LoKation Real Estate. 
  • Lisa Feliciano was named an Unsung Hero by the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys for her work with the Take Stock in Children program of the Monroe County Education Foundation.

Way to go!


Renewing & returning members

Glad you're still with us!

  • Kate Banick, Good Health Clinic, member since 2015
  • Meghan Brunelli, islamorada Branch Public Library, member since 2021
  • Ilja Chapman, Voyage Blue Travel, member since 2016
  • Carolyn De Paula, DeClues Art & Custom Framing, member since 2019
  • Mary Beth Harris, Centennial Bank, member since 2019
  • Emma Haydocy, Surfrider Foundation, member since 2020
  • Kinsey Jackson, The Title Station, member since 2022
  • Deborah Serafini, Deborah Serafini PA, member since 2022

      New members

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

      • Yudith Gadea, Manatee Wave
      • Vivian Morrison, Vivian Morrison Consulting
      • Erin Muir, Mote Marine Laboratory


        Newsletter news!

        Access past issues in our Upper Keys BPW Newsletter Archive.

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