BPW Connection 

July 2023

In this issue: 

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

President's Message

Warm summer greeting to all members and supporters of the Upper Keys Business & Professional Women. This month I’m sharing share a brief report* on the recent BPW/Florida state conference.

The 102nd Annual BPW/FL State Conference "Energizing the Future Today!" took place in Fort Lauderdale in early June and nine members of Upper Keys BPW attended. Two of our members exhibited as vendors – Ena Soul/Yoga Keys Life and Erin Hamilton/Hope Wines.

Our Upper Keys Local Organization (LO) won two awards:

  • Highest member retention for a local organization with 40+ members
  • Highest membership growth for a local organization with 40+ members

Unfortunately, many other BPW organizations across Florida are struggling to grow. Total state membership has been declining over the past several years. A special workshop session focused on that challenge, fleshing out elements of a new strategic plan to reverse that decline.

Several of us from the Upper Keys volunteered for State leadership positions to help execute that plan

  • I will serve on the State Executive Committee as the representative for all LO presidents
  • Patricia Milian will continue as Chair the state Marketing Committee
  • Suzi Youngberg and Margie Smith will serve on committees.

A few other conference highlights:

The state Education Foundation continues to do important work, and Several residents of BPW scholarship houses at FSU and FAU attended the conference. I proudly presented the $275 we raised for the Foundation at our Upper Keys May luncheon.

Members voted in favor of a change to the BPW/FL mission statement: “To achieve equity for working women through education, advocacy and connections.”

Members voted to streamline the state Policy Platform to just 3 planks: Economic Equity, Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency; Health Care; and Voting Rights and Access.

Go online to check out the official conference recap and take a peek at our photos.

Running an all-volunteer organization has always required inspiration, energy and willing members.

If you’d like to get more involved at the state level please let me know.  And there's more information about getting involved here in the Upper Keys in the Opportunities section below. 

Warm regards, 


Jill Kuehnert

Upper Keys BPW President

‪(305) 767-3928‬

*Many thanks to Board member Patricia Milian for compiling these notes and sharing them at the June event. 

Upcoming Events!

June Evening

July 19 Luncheon

11:30 - 1pm -- Whale Harbor Events, Islamorada

Don’t miss this month’s BPW luncheon! Our very own board member, Patricia Milian, will present a thought-provoking session on how to recognize and overcome our unconscious biases – including the brain science behind why it happens (to ALL of us!), how it impacts our daily lives and the steps we can take to ensure authentic connection in our increasingly diverse world.

Join us on Wednesday, 7/19, at the beautiful Whale Harbor Events venue in Islamorada.

$26 per person / BPW members

$32 / Non-members

Click here for more details and to register before the deadline 9am Monday July 17.


August 2 Virtual Coffee Chat

8 am -- zoom 

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


August 16 Monthly Networking Evening

6 - 8pm -- Upper Keys location TBD 

All are welcome to join! Online registration coming soon. 


And in case you missed it...

Our Networking Evening on June 21 was back under the tiki hut at Safe Harbor Angler House in Islamorada. 

Program VP Patricia Milian welcomed the crowd of more than 50 members and guests.  She also shared a bit about the State Conference and upcoming activities in the Upper Keys.

We were especially happy to have several members from the Marathon BPW chapter join us!


Luncheon room

Patricia Milian welcomes all to our June event at Safe Harbor Angler House.


Join a committee

If you'd like to get more involved with Upper Keys BPW, consider joining or chairing a committee! 

Our new Board will be meeting soon to plan out the upcoming year, using results from the recent Member Survey. We'll be looking for volunteers to serve on local committees, especially Membership, Scholarship, Marketing, Hospitality.

The more members who volunteer to help out, the more great events and benefits we can bring you, and the more we can do to help all of the working women in our community. Plus 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.

Contact Jill at bpwupperkeys@gmail.com for more information.


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

Purchase your ad in our online store 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 

Just one more time we've to to pat ourselves on the back for winning two state BPW awards: 

    • Highest member retention for a local organization with 40+ members
    • Highest membership growth for a local organization with 40+ members

    Two of our members are competing in the Big Kahuna challenge, gathering support for the Good Health Clinic's  Annual Luau for Health : Casey Watkins (Key Largo Starbucks Manager) and Michael Rojewski (Florida Keys Realtor for Century 21 Circle).

    Claire Montang has joined the Upper Keys Rotary Board for 2023- 2024.

    Way to go!


    Renewing & returning members

    Glad you're still with us!

    • Cathy Brewer, member since 2016
    • Mary Houston, Houston Insurance Agency, member since 2020
    • Victoria Leonard, FKEC, member since 2019
    • Theresa Sutter, Theresa Sutter Virtual Assistant, member since 2013
    • Christina Teasley, Key Largo Library, member since 2021
    • Mary Woods, Mary Woods MD, member since 2022

      New members

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

      • Deanna Duell, FORVIS
      • Kari Ann Fonte, Fonte Friz-Garcia Immigration Firm
      • Megan Scallan, Mossfire Consulting - Student Member


      Newsletter news!

      Access past issues in our Upper Keys BPW Newsletter Archive.

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