BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas 9/29/2015 Newsletter
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Business and Professional Women (BPW) /
St. Petersburg-Pinellas

Achieving equity for all women in the workplace through education, advocacy and information
Welcome to Step Into Our Shoes, a newsletter focused on the people, programs and activities of BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas! Click here to read past issues
The Present is A Gift

Last month I wrote to you about embracing change. It IS the only thing that's certain. But how do you stop those feelings of worry, or fear about change? Appreciate today. Everything you have today is amazing. Today will never happen again and as much as everyone wants to get through it, lots of people fought through yesterday just to get to today. 

No doubt you have people in your life or maybe you are going through it yourself, where good health is no longer comes as easily as it did. Getting back to "normal" has a new meaning and a new time frame. A good friend asked me "how do I plan when i don't know when that will be?" At some point you have to stop planning and just "be."  Be present in the day and appreciate that you or the person that you love is here now. You have time NOW to say the things you want and spend the time you have doing the things you want to do. The things you do today might just make tomorrow a whole lot better. 

2015-2016 President
BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas


Strategies for Success

Click Here to Register for the upcoming Strategies for Success professional development workshops. Our third workshop, Play Well in the Sandbox Without Getting Dirty (Effective Meetings with Tami Simms and Business Etiquette with Gretta Paige Bellas) Learn how to have worthwhile and effective meetings where all viewpoints are heard and you achieve your goals and learn how to be courteous and effective in your interactions and ever-changing communication with others. 

Held on the second Saturday of each month, these workshops are designed to help increase skills and boost understanding of crucial concepts for every career. Whether you are currently employed, looking to be employed or ready to to something different, Strategies for Success can help you move forward. 


November 14: Play Well in Sandbox Without Getting Dirty (Effective Meetings and Business Etiquette)

December 12: It Takes More than A Village (Public Advocacy and Global Workplaces)

January 9: Hold Your Own Purse (Personal and Professional Financial Management)

Workshops will be held at St. Petersburg College's downtown campus from 9 AM to 12 PM. For more information, visit the website or email
BPW Fall Conference and Lobby Days

Mark your calendars now for the Nov. 15-18 Fall Conference and Lobby Days, set for the Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown. 

Please visit the conference website HERE for complete details, as well as online/paper registration.

You may reserve a room at a special rate by clicking here: 

Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown

Or you may call 1-800-368-7764 and mention the “Business and Professional Women group rate” to book over the phone.


BPW Working Women's Forum Recap
by Jerri Evans

On October 21 Tami Simms moderated yet another successful Working Women’s Forum.  
Our topic this year was “Being the Only Woman in the Room” and the panelists were:
  • Melissa Seixas, Government and Community Affairs, Duke Energy
  • Miriam Irizarry, County Court Judge, Pinellas County Criminal Division
  • Diane Bailey Morton, General Counsel and Chief Human Capital Officer, C-1 Bank
  • Melanie Lenz, Senior Vice President Strategy and Development, Tampa Bay Rays
All four women come from very different backgrounds and experiences in life, but what struck me was how much they had in common.  All felt that they had overcome obstacles on their road as the only woman in the room and when asked about their starts each had a story about a mentor they had, whether it was a family member or a co-worker and how they still rely on mentors.  While none specifically thought of themselves as a mentor all agreed that they saw times in their lives, especially currently, where they have lent a hand, some advice or their time to someone starting out.

The panelists let it be known that even when provided the opportunity to be the only woman in the room, you don’t have to say yes.  That as a powerful, strong, independent woman it is okay to turn down a chance or opportunity that is presented more because of your sex then for your expertise or knowledge.

It was especially enlightening to find out that each of the panelists believe that there are still “glass ceilings” to be broken by this and the next generation.

For photos from this night click here

A huge thank you to our sponsors: Duke Energy, St. Anthony's Hospital/Baycare Health Systems, Gregory, Sharer and Stuart, Janssen and Igar CPA's PA, Raymond James and Associates, Air Quality Control, Brandi Image Photography, Perfect Copy & Print, Lisa Hoppe, PA, Suncoast Center, Inc. Marcia Cohen, Shollenberger, Public Relation, Sabal Trust Company and Stapleton, Johnson and McDowell

Becky's Making Toffee!

One thing I treasure about our members is discovering their special talents. One such talent is Becky Duffy's ability to make amazing toffee. Supplies are limited so order now.  If you would like to place an order, she needs it by November 6th in order to purchase supplies ahead of time.  It will be available for delivery at the first BPW meeting on December 3rd or by special arrangement by calling Becky at (727) 420-1032

14 oz. Holiday Tin - $23.00
7 oz. Holiday Bag - $11.00

November EC Meeting Cancelled

Given the tight schedule at the end of the month with Fall Conference followed by Thanksgiving, The Executive Committee has decided cancel our November meeting. If you have any matters that you need to present to us, please email Amy at

Engage and Contribute!
BPW has lots of opportunities for members to participate in accomplishing our mission of achieving equity for all women through advocacy, education and information. Committees give members the opportunity to develop skills and get to know other members in a collaborative and supportive environment. We are all volunteers who make time for things that we love and enjoy doing. Whether you have time, ideas, or resources to contribute, reach out to the various committee chairs today!

Liz Illgen

Breque Bonner and Audrey Wood

Individual Development / Strategies for Success
Sheila Barry-Oliver and Gretta Paige Bellas

Judithanne McLaughlin

Working Women's Forum
Tami Simms and Kristin Smith

Diversity and Inclusion
Cynthia Jenkins

Equal Pay Day
Kristin Smith

Young Careerist / Outstanding Young Professional
Sheila Barry-Oliver

Beth Knowles

Public Relations / Technology
Amy Dinovo

Terry Christopher

The MEMBERS Only Section is LIVE

Our website has a great new feature that we've talked about for months and is now available to all members. If you visit the website enough you will have seen that there is a menu at the top called "Member's Area" in the upper right but if you try to go to any of the pages, it asks for a long in. Membership has its privileges. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you'll see a place to log in:  

If you are a member in good standing, your log in is your first and last name with no space. For example: AmyDinovo
If you have 2 last names, leave out the hyphen but use both. 

The password is vote4era

Once in you'll be able to enter the members only area where you'll see 3 sections:

1) Members Group - This is the most robust area with discussion forums for all manner of BPW topics. It's a place to post your events and ask for recommendations and engage with BPW members on a variety of levels.  You'll see that every forum is marked Private because it's just for members so that we can all feel comfortable sharing. 

2) Documents - This will be the new storage area for our group documents - from meeting minutes to award submissions and the ever popular Member Directory. We don't have all the docs loaded yet but we'll get that done in the next few weeks. 

3) Membership Renewal - Don't want to mail in a check or remember to bring it to a meeting? We've made it easy for you. 

I'll be talking more about it at our next meeting but for those that want to get started poking around, the gates are open. If you need assistance logging in, please email 


General Membership Meetings

Join us on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 400 Beach Drive Seafood & Tap House in Downtown St. Petersburg. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m.; the meeting and luncheon begins at 12 Noon. Cost: Members, $16; Guests, $21. Reservations are required. A $5 fee will be added to reservations received after Noon on Tuesday prior to meeting. Prices will increase $1 after the 9/3 meeting. All are welcome!

November  Programs

Thursday, November 5th
Personal Learning Styles for Awesome Communication
Please join us on Nov 5th when Pat Hutson, Director of Training and Professional Development for Geek Speak on how to use your own personality style to create win-win situations in your personal and professional life. You’ll also learn how to read other’s style and adjust the way you interact for greater success.

Thursday, November 19th
How to Stay Healthy and Sane During the Holidays

Join us for this timely and important topic when Nutritionist Carrie Gerard will help us all make it through this busy time of year when we want to feel an look our best. 

Register for this meeting
Standing Reservations
Are you a regular at our general membership meetings? If you plan to attend most of them, please fill out the 2015 Standing Reservation Form by selecting your salad and entree choices for the entire calendar year. You can cancel by the Tuesday prior to the meeting if you intend to miss a day. Complete and send the form to

Save the Date

Friday, Jan 15,2016 
6-8 PM

American Spirits

280 Third Street South
St. Petersburg, 33701
(Publix Shopping Center)
$10 Entry Fee

American Spirits is hosting a special Wine Tasting benefiting BPW St.
Petersburg-Pinellas.  Proceeds from the entry fee will be donated to our Chapter!
Relax, unwind, visit with old and new friends and perhaps discover a new 
favorite wine!
In addition to being open to BPW members and guests American Spirits 
will announce the event in their Monthly Newsletter, so we expect a lively 
group perfect for networking!


November Member Anniversaries

Marjorie Chalfant
1 Year

Member Spotlight

Our member spotlight for October is Tricia Curry. It's a great opportunity for members to get to know a little more about each other and practice speaking in front of the group. If you are interested, please send an email to

11/5, General Membership Meeting - Pat Huston, Professional Development Trainer
11:30 a.m. Networking; Noon Lunch, 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House, 400 Beach Dr. NE, St. Pete. Register now
11/14, Strategies for Success,  St. Pete College
9 a.m.-12 p.m. Register Now 
244 2nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
11/15-16, BPW/FL Fall Conference. Tallahassee
Register Now
11/16, BPW Education Foundation 50th Anniversary Celebration Tallahassee
Register Now
11/16-18, BPW/FL Lobby Days. Tallahassee/State Capitol 
Register Now
11/19, General Membership Meeting - Carrie Gerard, Nutritionist
11:30 a.m. Networking; Noon Lunch, 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House, 400 Beach Dr. NE, St. Pete. Register now
12/19 ,BPW Holiday PartyMembers and their "plus 1" are invited to the home of Kristin Smith for Holiday Cheer

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PO Box 1063
St. Petersburg, Florida 33731

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