BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas May 9, 2014 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

Be Relevant.

Welcome to the first issue of Step Into Our Shoes, a newsletter focused on the people, programs and activities of BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas!

A few weeks ago, several of us gathered for an energizing strategy session to start the 2014-15 year. We started our time together by asking, "What comes to mind when you think of BPW?" We generated words like "sisterhood," diverse professions," "passionate" and "community." (For a complete list, see the high heel wordle above.) The exercise reminded all of us why BPW has relevance in our lives.

This year, I ask you to join me in ensuring BPW's relevance to your personal life, your professional development and your political awareness. In a time of competing interests, when organizations may seem interchangeable because of their similar missions and audiences, what can we do to set BPW apart? 

Be relevant.

The co-authors of the upcoming book, Relevance: Matter More, identify four dynamics intended to help people and organizations become truly relevant in the world. When pursued together, the opportunity for BPW to become more relevant to our members and our community grows exponentially.

Authenticity - When we understand who we are, where we come from, and why we have signature programs and events, BPW has the best chance of being the leading advocate for working women. We will strengthen what we do best.

Mastery - Developing mastery requires the ability to put first things first, to take action before it is forced upon us, and to stay mindful while taking action. In BPW, it means achieving equity for all women in the workplace as an act of creation, rather than a reaction to people and event. We will be mission driven in all that we do.

Empathy - This ability allows us to connect what we do with those who need it. By expanding BPW’s impact, we will grow BPW’s membership. We will diversify our reach, way of thinking, audiences and partnerships.

Action - This element drives relevance. We will mobilize our efforts so that BPW will continue to be the organization known for raising the standards for women in the workplace and promoting the interests of working women.We will communicate, collaborate and connect to further our influence.

I challenge all of us to be more authentic, gain more mastery, develop our empathy, and take more action as we work toward becoming more relevant to each other, the membership, prospective members and the greater community.

Contact me anytime. I look forward to hearing from you!

In solidarity,
Alizza Punzalan-Randle headshot
Alizza Punzalan-Randle
2014-15 President
BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas
Member since 2002

Community Engagement Manager
All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine


Upcoming Speakers

Our general membership luncheon meetings feature topical speakers and programs that meet the personal, professional and political pillars of BPW. Reservations are required. 

"A Voice for Women Veterans" 
Thursday, May 15, 2014
11:30 a.m., Networking; 12-1 p.m., Meeting & Lunch

Speaker: Larri Gerson, Supervisor of Claims for the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs; Appointee to the Federal VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

Florida is home to the third largest population (160,000) of women veterans in the nation. In honor of Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day, Air Force Veteran Larri Gerson will address the fastest growing segment of the veterans population and how we can help local veterans on a professional basis. 

Meet the Executive Committee

2014-15 Executive Committee
Pictured L-R: Parliamentarian Tami Simms, President Alizza Punzalan-Randle, President-Elect Amy Dinovo, Treasurer Joan Ghassemi, Secretary Audrey Wood (Past President Cynthia Gramberg standing in), 2nd VP / Membership Chair Kristin Smith and 1st VP / Programs Chair Jerri Evans.

The 2014-15 officers were installed at the April 17 general membership meeting. Click here to view photos. Let us know what we can do for you! Executive Committee (EC) meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 5:45-7:15 p.m. The May 28 EC meeting will be held at The Hangar (540 1st St SE, St. Pete). All members are welcome to attend.

BPW/FL: State Updates

Doubletree Orlando

BPW/FL State Conference, June 27-29, 2014
Doubletree by Hilton at SeaWorld, Orlando

A two-time US Olympic Trial Qualifier/motivational speaker. An identity theft workshop led by a banking VP, an IRS agent and a women's specialty banker. Networking, annual recognition for local organizations (LOs), learning about the inner workings of BPW at the state level, having fun, and creating bonds to last a lifetime. State Conference features all of the above and more! Click here to learn how you can participate as a sponsor, exhibitor, silent auction donor and/or attendee.
Conference fees range from $90-$200. To help offset costs, BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas will cover the $40 registration fee for the first five members to confirm their attendance. Email Alizza for details.
FBW Spring 2014 issue

The Spring 2014 Issue of FBW is Here!

Published three times a year, Florida Business Woman Magazine is a valuable resource for you and your business. BPW/SPP member and Past State President of Virginia Sheila Barry-Oliver edits FBW, providing information and connections to members statewide. A subscription for a hard copy version is included in your dues. Click here to learn more about submitting content and placing ads in future issues.

In the Community

Pictured L-R: Audrey Wood, Cynthia Starks Jenkins, Amy Dinovo, Naomi Tutu, Kitty Rawson and Cory Adler

YWCA Tampa Bay's Stand Against Racism

BPW members listened to the inspiring words of Naomi Tutu, daughter of Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, at the YWCA's 6th annual Stand Against Racism event on April 24. The global race and gender justice activist's encouraging words for the standing room-only audience was to "sing a new song" - an on-point message for our diversity and inclusion initiative. BPW is pleased to support the efforts of its community partners, especially when led by member, YWCA Tampa Bay President/CEO Lenice Emanuel!
BPWSPP at Engage St Pete
Pictured L-R: Amy Dinovo, Cynthia Gramberg, Alizza Punzalan-Randle, City of St. Petersburg Councilman Steve Kornell and Kristin Smith. Not pictured (but definitely there!): Gretta Paige Bellas and Jerri Evans.

Engage St. Pete

On April 30, the BPW membership table saw plenty of activity at Engage St Pete, an opportunity for young up-and-coming professionals to connect with community leaders. Co-hosted by the St. Pete Young Professionals and the Sunset Rotary Club, the event featured St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as the keynote speaker, breakout sessions and attendance by nearly 200 people.

In This Issue
May 9, 2014

Be Relevant!
BPW/FL Update

Calendar of Events
Get Involved
In the Community
Legislative Sidebar
Meet the EC

Mission Driven

Upcoming Speakers
With Appreciation

Legislative Sidebar

BPWSPP selfie with Mayor Kriseman

Selfie with the Mayor

On April 21, the Legislative committee coordinated a visit with St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman and Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin. The sun shines on BPW!

Get Involved

Candid from Working Women's Forum

May Membership Social & Committee Meeting on May 27

A Membership Social & Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 27, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the home of Kristin Smith, 2nd VP/Membership Chair. Current and prospective members are invited to mix, mingle and help Kristin with membership duties for the upcoming year. Light appetizers will be provided; please bring your choice of beverage. Email Kristin for event details.

Survey Check

Member Survey


We want to know what you think. Coming soon,  you will be asked to complete a member survey that will help inform our plans this year. Thank you in advance for your participation and for sharing your ideas with us!

Candid from Working Women's Forum

Join a Committee


BPW is only as good as the membership makes it. You can help shape our activities by serving on a committee. Contact the following chairwomen to learn about each committee's functions and planning efforts.
Cory Adler, Diversity and Inclusion
Kristin Smith, Equal Pay Day Unhappy Hour
Cory Adler & Jerri Evans, Equality Day Tea
Kristin Smith, Finance
Sheila Barry Oliver, Individual Development
Jerri Evans, Legislative
Kristin Smith, Membership
Gretta Paige Bellas, Philanthropy
Amy Dinovo, Public Relations / Technology
Elizabeth Knowles, Scholarship
Amy Dinovo & Wendy Wesley, Working Women's Forum
Sheila Barry-Oliver, Young Careerist

Mission Driven

City Councilman Steve Kornell, Kristin Smith

Equal Pay Day on April 8

Nearly 60 people attended our 11th Annual Equal Pay Day Unhappy Hour at the Morean Arts Center on April 8, the day when women's earnings catch up to men's from the previous year. Committee Chair Kristin Smith accepted a proclamation from City Council Vice-Chair Steve Kornell, Council Members Darden Rice and Charles Gerdes, and community partners like the League of the Women Voters showed their support by attending the event. Click here for more photos.

With Appreciation

Gretta Paige Bellas

2013-14 President Gretta Paige Bellas

Thank you, Gretta Paige Bellas, for your leadership, energy, commitment and enthusiasm for BPW! We commend you for meeting your annual goals (increasing our visibility in the community, partnering with like-minded organizations, and holding more membership socials). You exhibit the best of BPW in everything you do.
Sheila Gretta Helen 2014 awards

2014 Special Awards

On April 17, outgoing President Gretta Paige Bellas (center) recognized Sheila Barry-Oliver (left) with the Helen K. Leslie Award and Helen Igar (right) with the Member of the Year Award. Sheila, a 35-year member of BPW, a Past State President for Virginia, and a Past President of our local organization, served as Parliamentarian; Helen, an accountant by trade, served as Treasurer. Both members will continue offering their expertise and leadership skills behind-the-scenes. Kudos to Sheila and Helen! Click here for more photos.

Calendar of Events

5/15, General Membership Meeting - "A Voice for Women Veterans" - Larri Gerson
11:30 a.m. Networking; Noon Lunch, 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House, 400 Beach Dr NE, St. Pete. RSVP here.
5/27, Membership Social & Meeting
5:30-7:30 p.m., Home of Kristin Smith, Pasadena Yacht & Country Club. Email for address.

5/28, Executive Committee Meeting
5:45-7:15 p.m., The Hangar,
540 1st St SE, St. Pete

6/5 & 6/19, General Membership Meetings
11:30 a.m. Networking; 12 p.m. Lunch, 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House

Early June, Working Women's Forum Committee Meeting
Time and Location TBD

6/23, Tampa Bay Rays Professional Women's Night
Game begins at 7:10 p.m., Tropicana Field

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Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas
PO Box 1063
St. Petersburg, Florida 33731

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