BPW Connection 

May 2023

In this issue: 

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

President's Message

When was the last time you were the new kid?

For me it was in 2016: after decades of living overseas my husband and I moved here to the Florida Keys.

I was still traveling a lot for my consulting job but knew I needed local connections to make it feel like home. In Singapore I had been a member of a professional women’s organization called PrimeTime. When I discovered a similar organization here, our very own local chapter of Business & Professional Women (BPW), I joined immediately even though I didn’t know a single soul.

I began attending monthly luncheons. Wearing a nice shirt and brave lipstick, I’d introduce myself and exchange cards over chicken salad, applaud the speaker and go right back home for the rest of the month. My life seemed so different from those I met: women who’d grown up here, who knew everyone because they ran bank branches and sold houses and had kids in school together.

I knew I was in the right place but I wasn’t really getting connected. I started to think that maybe I never would.

And then at the end of one luncheon then-President Ilja Chapman asked for volunteers for the Political Forum, where candidates for local office answer questions from working women in our community. My ears perked up. I’d worked professionally on public policy issues and was a news junkie.

Surely I can offer something here, I thought. So I took a deep breath and raised my hand...

…What happened next is a longer story that I’ll tell at our luncheon next Wednesday, all about the awkward and yet life-changing power of volunteering in a community organization.*

Whether you’re a new kid or someone who’s been around the block more than once with BPW, I hope you’ll join our Annual Meeting on May 17 to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments we’ve made over the past year....And maybe raise your hand to empower yourself and other women in the year ahead!

Warm regards, 


Jill Kuehnert

Upper Keys BPW President

‪(305) 767-3928‬

*Spoiler alert: I officially start the second year of my term as the Upper Keys BPW President next week, so it worked out!

Upcoming Events!

April Evening

May 17 Annual Meeting + Networking

11:30am -1pm -- Baker's Cay Resort, Key Largo

Important: Register by Friday 5/12  

Our May monthly event is also our Annual Meeting, and everyone's invited to a beautiful luncheon at Baker's Cay Resort on May 17!

Here's what else is on the menu:

> A report on all the ways our members and supporters have empowered working women over the past 12 months,

> Announcement of our newest Women's Scholarship awardees, and

> Welcoming a new Board of Directors to lead us into the future.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of time for networking too!

Thanks to Islamorada Mercantile for sponsoring this event!


Space is limited and online registration closes at

noon on Friday May 12


June 7 Virtual Coffee Chat

8 am -- zoom 

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


June 21 Networking Evening

6 - 8pm -- Upper Keys location TBD 

All are welcome to join! Online registration coming soon. 


And in case you missed it...

Our Spring Member Expo / Networking evening on April 19 was a huge success!

Thanks to our 14 Sponsor Exhibitors (full list below in Member News), everyone who contributed to the raffle and all other generous contributions that topped up our Women's Scholarship Fund! 

Room of exhibitor tables

A full house of Exhibitors and Members at the April 19 Expo! (click image to see full album)


Get involved with BPW/Florida 

This year the annual BPW/FL State Conference is close to home: Ft Lauderdale June 12-14. 

Some expenses will be covered for Upper Keys BPW members who would like to participate.

Please contact President Jill Kuehnert by Friday May 12 to take advantage of early bird registration pricing and the reserved hotel room block.   


Check out openings on our new Community Job Board

The Upper Keys BPW Job Board is a new service to help match employers and employees in our community while raising funds for our Scholarship program and other activities. 

If you're a JOB-SEEKER, you can:

• Apply to open positions directly via the website

• Upload your resume for local employers to view any time

• Sign up for e-mail alerts and be the first to hear when new jobs are posted!

If you're an Upper Keys EMPLOYER, you can:

• Scan the resumes of local job-seekers

• Post job openings at very affordable rates, with discounted rates for BPW members (log in with your BPW website credentials)

• Use the code "SAVE50" for a limited-time 50% discount on the job posting fees!

FEATURED Community Liaison
Providence Homecare - Miami, FL
Per diem
Posted: May 4, 2023
Salary: $1,200.00 - $4,000.00 Monthly
Application Deadline: Jun 3, 2023
FEATURED Counseling Services Coordinator
Florida Keys Children's Shelter - Tavernier, FL
Posted: May 4, 2023
Salary: null Annually
Application Deadline: May 31, 2023
Hospice Chaplain - Per Diem
Chapters Health Hospice - Marathon, FL
Posted: Apr 13, 2023
Salary: null Hourly
Application Deadline: Aug 31, 2023
Independent Travel Advisor
Travel Resources Group - Key Largo, FL
Posted: Mar 10, 2023
Salary: $1,000.00 - $5,000.00 Monthly
Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2023
Customer Service Representative
Houston Insurance Agency Inc - Tavernier, FL
Posted: Mar 10, 2023
Salary: null Hourly
Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2023


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. 


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, and this month we want to give one more shout-out to those who sponsored and exhibited at our April 19 Member Expo: 

  • Rojewski & Rebl Group Florida Keys Luxury Real Estate
  • Florida Keys Children's Shelter
  • Deep Blue Freediving
  • Orchid Arrangements by Yuya
  • The Keys to Nutrition
  • Cirque Salon Studios
  • Jellyfish Daydreams
  • Element Home Loans
  • The College of the Florida Keys
  • Nada Khalaf-Jones Photography
  • MountainTop Financial
  • The Title Station
  • SouthState Bank
  •  First State Bank

Thank you and Way to go!


Renewing & returning members

Glad you're still with us!

  • Vianey Diaz, Regan Roth Insurance Agency, member since 2022
  • Lee Ann Holroyd, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, member since 2013
  • Robert Lockwood, Attorney, member since 2016
  • Pam Martin, SHINE/Alzheimer’s Assoc./AARP, member since 2009
  • Shayne Messina, Sunmasters Elite Travel, Inc., member since 2021
  • Lisa Mongelia, History of Diving Museum, member since 2021
  • Claire Montang, Element Home Loans/Miss Mortgage Loans, member since 2022
  • Stephanie Schneider, Client Executive at Gartner and Scuba Diving Instructor, member since 2022
  • Ruth Schrader-Grace, Keys Core Fitness, member since 2015
  • Becky Washam, Sandbar Books, member since 2022
  • Mardella (Della) Wheaton, Wheaton’s Tire Center, member since 1980
  • Tina Wyatt, FBMC Benefits Management, member since 2017
  • Annamarie (Amy) Young, Good Health Clinic, member since 2021

    New members

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

    • Krissy Carnahan, Realty ONE Group Destination & BeLocal
    • Nada Khalaf-Jones, Nada Khalaf-Jones Photo, Film, Drone LLC
    • Grace Lopez, iManage Law Firms, LLC
    • Ena Soul Genoun, Yoga Keys Life


    Newsletter news!

    Access past issues in our Upper Keys BPW Newsletter Archive.

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