BPW Connection 

July 2022 Newsletter

In this issue: 

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

President's Message

I always chuckle when folks ask me when our 'busy season' is here in the Florida Keys.

Because it depends, depending on what business we're in. If our work revolves around snowbirds, we're probably up in the mountains right now. If we work with kids, July might not be too busy. Me and everyone else working in tourism have our busy seasons around school vacations; fall, year-end, spring break … and now!

As BPW, we’re also gearing up for a busy and exciting season with events to meet candidates running for local office, organized by our Public Policy Committee.

We host these programs every two years, during every election cycle since the 1980s.

Whether you're new to the community or have been here your whole life -- or anything in between -- this is your chance to learn more, ask questions and make educated voting decisions based on the issues that matter to you as a working woman. (The Upper Keys BPW does not endorse or oppose any candidate or organization in connection with this or any other political campaign or election season.) 

It’s a privilege for BPW to host these events again in 2022, beginning with our July 20 luncheon featuring Upper Keys League of Women Voters president Ginette Hughes. See below for Save the Date information and mark your calendars now to join us.

On a personal note, I want to acknowledge that the recent Supreme Court decision regarding reproductive rights for women stirred strong and diverse reactions among us. 

During last month’s Upper Keys BPW board meeting and Coffee Chat, we took time to share our thoughts and feelings with each other.

In both discussions, there were a diversity of views about the decision. Women spoke about their own reactions and those of their daughters or other young women in their lives. We talked about our own health experiences. We wondered what this means in our community, in our state and other states.

But most importantly, we listened to each other, felt heard, and perhaps came away with a little more understanding of others.

Beyond the Keys, our state organization BPW/Florida has a Public Policy Platform to guide its work toward respect, justice, and equality for working women. Health care is among 6 items specifically targeted for policy and legislation, with special emphasis on heart disease, stroke, lung and breast cancer, as well as reproductive choice and full access to all reproductive health education and services. Click here to stay informed about state Public Policy news.

In the meantime -- no matter how busy we are --- let’s continue to connect and encourage each other to listen more, learn more (including at our upcoming election season events!) and always, always to vote!

Warm regards,


Jill Kuehnert

Upper Keys BPW President

‪(305) 767-3928‬

Upcoming Events!

July 20 luncheon

11:30am -- Pilot House Restaurant in Key Largo


August 3 Virtual Coffee Chat

8 am -- zoom 


August 17 Meet the Candidates Mixer & Networking Night

6pm  -- Upper Keys Location TBA


September 21 luncheon

11:30am --- Upper Keys Location TBA


October 19 Political Forum

6pm -- Upper Keys Location TBA 


And in case you missed it...

It may be summer in the Florida Keys, but there's no slacking off in our community of working women when it comes to supporting each other personally and professionally!

Exhibit A: More than *50* Upper Keys BPW members and guests came out for a wonderful evening of networking on June 15 in Tavernier.

Massive thanks go out to Gardenia's Bistro for being such an amazing host and sponsor! Our new member Megan and her crew spoiled us with delicious healthy snacks, great wine and a garden setting that was absolutely magical.

Check out the photos here:  June Networking Night.  

Endowment Update

The Upper Keys BPW Scholarship Endowment Fund was established at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys (CFFK) a few months ago to provide essential funding for the Upper Keys BPW Adult Women's Scholarship Program, a key component of our mission to help women achieve equity in the workplace.

For a limited time, all donations made to the endowment fund will receive a dollar-for-dollar match from the Peter MacDougall Match for Agency Endowments Fund (while it lasts).

Combined with donations already received from our members and supporters, our endowment currently stands at almost $27,000!

Just another $6,500 in donations from BPW members and supporters will bring our total endowment value to $40,000 – enough to fund at least one scholarship annually, in perpetuity.

The suggested donation is $100 - but any amount will help!

Click here to visit the Endowment page on our website for more information

Or click here to go directly to CFFK  to make your tax-deductible donation now, while matching funds are still available.




    As an all-volunteer organization with a ‘working board’ and a busy schedule of events and programs throughout the year, we rely on committees to organize and carry out our activities.

    If you would like to get more involved with Upper Keys BPW and get more value from your membership, consider joining a committee!

    Right now several committees are looking to add members (no experience required):

    Membership, Marketing, Scholarship, Endowment Fundraising, Hospitality and Financial/ Audit.

    The more helping hands we have, the more value we can bring to our members and the community as a whole!



    Every month, we host an engaging luncheon or networking happy hour that attracts a diverse group of members and guests (both women and men) from Key Largo, Tavernier, Islamorada and beyond. 

    Sponsor an event and get your organization in front of members and guests before, during and after the date.  Benefits include: 

    • Prominent logo placement in event announcements and newsletter
    • Mention in BPW social media posts promoting the event
    • One free dedicated e-blast
    • Display table and/or handouts to attendees and banner display 
    • Two free entries to sponsored event 
    • Opportunity to speak to attendees at the event 
    We have a limited number of opportunities and our sponsorship calendar is filling fast.

    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 300 members and others in the Florida Keys. 

    Our E-Blast prices are as follows:

    $15.00 - Members

    $30.00 - Non-Members

    $50.00 - Political Ad


    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 just a few that caught our eye this month: 

    C Kokonis got word that her property will be included in the February 2023 Garden Walk organized by the Garden Club of the Upper Keys. It's a big honor and we're all looking forward to visiting your little oasis.  Atta girl, C!!  

    Emma Haydocy took on a new statewide policy management role with Surfrider Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches.  Atta girl, Emma!

    Everybody who walked in the Fourth of July Parade in Key Largo: Atta girls, Sue Woltanski (Monroe County School Board, Holly Merrill Raschein (Monroe County Commissioner), Ginnette Hughes (MarineLab), Courtney Dorchak !

    Renewing & returning members

    Glad you're still with us!

    • Lisa Feliciano, SouthState Bank
    • Wendy Ives, Tropical Realty
    • Christina Teasley, Key Largo Library
    • Kimberly Rock, Upper Keys Marine Construction
    • Theresa Sutter, Theresa Sutter Virtual Assistant

    New members

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

    • Megan Smulowitz, Gardenia’s Bistro

    • Nancy Hull, Small Business Development Center at FIU

    • Philip Ganz, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

    • Zayra Fosse, Affinity Group Concepts


    Newsletter news!

    If you're a regular reader of the BPW Connection Newsletter, you'll notice that this one looks kind of different. Please pardon our dust as we transition to a new format.

    You can still access past issues in our Upper Keys BPW Newsletter Archive.

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