BPW Connection 

September 2023

In this issue: 

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

President's Message

Working women are busy women and your BPW Board of Directors is no exception! The eight of us hit the ground running after being installed back in May, with luncheons, evening events, a new scholarship cycle and more.

We only just caught our breath and carved out a full day last month for our Board retreat. Thanks to our friends at MarineLab in Key Largo we had a ‘floating classroom’ all to ourselves!

We started our day by schooling ourselves on the evolving mission, vision and values of BPW/Florida. These were big topics at the June State Conference in Ft Lauderdale, with slight changes to the mission statement and a brand new vision statement:

We envision a world where every woman is empowered to reach her full potential.

Sounds inspiring but how do we make that happen?

Across the state, local BPW organizations are working diligently to create opportunities for personal connection, professional development, and policy advocacy, tailored specifically to the needs of our members.

Here in the Upper Keys, the Board took a deep dive into the results of this year’s member survey to learn more about those needs.

According to the survey, the top three reasons for being a member of the Upper Keys BPW are:

  1. To give back to community,
  2. To support equity for working women and
  3. To promote a business.

For the rest of the year and beyond, you’ll see programs and activities that will help you do just that:

  • Our Women’s Scholarship Program is the primary way we support women’s advancement in the local community. Applications are due this Friday September 15 for the Fall award cycle.
  • We’re renewing our focus on professional development opportunities. This month we’re featuring a panel on women entrepreneurs in the Keys and a workshop on digital design essentials is on the horizon.
  • Advocating for equity and other needs of working women are important even though it’s not an election year. An educational session in early November will help track issues you care about in the Florida legislature.
  • And there will be plenty of opportunities to promote your business or organization. Sponsor one of our luncheon or evening events to get a spotlight in person. Another Member Expo is in the cards for early 2024.

The good news is that a vast majority of our members – almost 90% -- rate the value of BPW membership as Exceptional or Very Good

On behalf of our entire Board – Mary, Victoria, Amy, Patricia, Holly, Margie, Bonnie and myself – thank you for inspiring and empowering us!

Warm regards, 


Jill Kuehnert

Upper Keys BPW President

‪(305) 767-3928‬

L-R: Margie Smith, Patricia Milian, Bonnie Barnes, Jill Kuehnert, Holly Redding, Victoria Leonard, Mary Houston, Amy Young

Upcoming Events!

June Evening
September 17 Drop-In Event: Poolside Brunch & Splash!

11 am - 2:00 pm

Safe Harbor Angler House Marina (MM 80.5 Bayside) 

Let’s celebrate National Women’s Friendship Day with a Sunday "BYO brunch" and pool party at the beautiful Safe Harbor Angler House Tiki Bar & Marina!

Come by anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and make your way to the pool area (behind the tiki bar). Ask for Margie Smith, our host for this drop-in BPW event.

Important notes about FOOD & DRINK: In exchange for access to this private club pool, please plan to purchase drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) from the tiki bar. You may bring outdoor-friendly, "brunch-y" snacks to share, as there is no food service at the club.

There's no need to RSVP, but if you do we'll send a reminder. Any weather-related changes will posted on the event page.


June Evening
September 20 Luncheon : Entrepreneurship

12:00 noon - 1pm -- Playa Largo Resort, Key Largo 

Get the scoop on starting and running a business from a panel of BPW members who are also successful entrepreneurs! Our panelists will share their motivations and challenges in working for themselves, and pass along their best advice on how to get started, lessons learned the hard way, and their personal secrets to success.

*At the time of sending the newsletter there were only a handful of seats left, so reserve your spot now!

Thanks to our event sponsor: Voyage Blue Travel 


October 4 Virtual Coffee Chat

8 am -- zoom 

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


October 14 Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk

8 am -  Crane Point in Marathon, Florida

Get ready to make a positive impact and take a stand against breast cancer! The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is back.

The Upper Keys BPW has formed a team for the walk, and we want YOU to join us! Together, we can make strides towards a world without breast cancer. By participating, you're not only showing your support but also contributing to the fight against this disease.

For more information and links to register for the walk as part of the Upper Keys BPW team -- or to donate,  please visit our website


October 18 Celebration of Working Women

6-8 pm -  Baker's Cay Resort, Key Largo 

October is National Women's Small Business Month so we're going to celebrate all the important work done by women in our community.

We'll be announcing our 2023 Woman of the Year and Business of the Year, as well as presenting the Fall 2023 Women's Scholarship Program awards. 

Save the date -- Registration will open soon! 

Thanks to our event sponsor: SouthState Bank!


And in case you missed it...

Thanks to everyone who came out for last month's Networking Evening at Skippers Dockside, and especially those who bought tickets for our 50-50 raffle. We raised over $300 for our Scholarship Fund!

Luncheon room

Click here to see more pictures!


Help choose our 2023 Woman of the Year and Business of the Year (Members only)

Each October, Upper Keys Business and Professional Women (BPW) celebrates National Business Women’s Week by naming a Woman of the Year and Business of the Year. 

We’re looking for  businesses and individual Members who have been inspiring and made particularly positive impacts on our organization and the broader community over the past 12 months. 

BPW Members in good standing will receive an email this week with nomination instructions. Learn about our 2022 Woman of the Year and Business of the Year if  you need some inspiration! 


Help start a brand new South Dade BPW chapter!

Do you have professional, business or personal connections on the other side of the stretch?

Efforts are underway to form a new BPW chapter to serve Florida City, Homestead and the rest of South Dade county. 

Contact Jill at bpwupperkeys@gmail.com to learn more and be part of the start-up! 


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 

Whitney MacEachern (BPW Woman of the Year 2020) just opened a new Cirque Salon Studios location in Homestead!

Becky Washam will be opening a second location of Sandbar Books (BPW Business of the Year 2022) in Islamorada! 

Suzi Youngberg, Director/Rescue Coordinator, MarrVelous Pet Rescues and Immediate Past President of Upper Keys BPW, has been selected for Class XXXI of Leadership Monroe County!

Way to go!


Renewing & returning members

Glad you're still with us!

  • Tanya Manchester, Gulf Atlantic Bank
  • Cassandra Clark, Jellyfish Daydreams LLC
  • Courtney Smith, The Keys to Nutrition
  • Gina Boilini, Doc’s Diner
  • Brittany Snyder, The College of the Florida Keys

    New members

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

    • Bernice Dionne, Beyond the Barre/Stretch Therapy
    • Shelley Miklas 

    • Daniela Merrell, First Horizon Bank

    • Barbara Overton, Eck Collins Richardson

    • Erin Perchalski, Overseas Media Group


    Newsletter news!

    Access past issues in our Upper Keys BPW Newsletter Archive.

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