Home Page Updates

Annual Meeting on April 5

Join us on April 5 for our annual meeting at which time reports summarizing the year’s activities shall be given and officers for 2018-2019 shall be elected.  Elections are always an exciting time for our organization.  We are fortunate to have a diverse and strong membership who believe in the mission of BPW and the importance of a strong leadership team.  Our mission of building powerful women professionally, personally and politically remains as important now as it did when we were formed 52 years ago.  We encourage all members to be a part of electing our new leadership.

We will also discuss the upcoming 15th annual Equal Pay Day Unhappy Hour on April 10 and the BPW/FL State Conference on June 14-17, which will be held at the Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about BPW and its activities and to get to know its members.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting, which will be held from 11:30 am-1:00 pm.

March 15: Your Role in Preventing Sexual Assault

Rose Harris is the Sexual Assault Services Manager at Suncoast Center, a non-profit organization that provides services such as counseling and psychiatric evaluations to individuals throughout Pinellas County. This includes the Sexual Assault Victim (SAVE) Exams, which are available 24/7. Prior to joining Suncoast Center in 2017, Rose managed residential foster homes for 50 children at the Salvation Army Sallie House & Children’s Village in St. Petersburg. Prior to moving to St. Petersburg in 2011, Rose worked as a behavioral health therapist intern and counselor trainee. She enjoys playing kickball and volleyball, taking her puppy to local parks, and wedding planning with her fiancé, James.

Rose has a Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from The University of Akron in Ohio and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rose will tell us about the free services that her program offers to survivors of sexual assault and their families in preparation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which begins on April 1.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting, which will be held from 11:30 am-1:00pm

15th Annual BPW Unhappy Hour in Observance of Equal Pay Day

Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas will hold its 15th annual “Unhappy Hour” on April 10, the symbolic day that the average woman in the United States finally earns the same amount of pay that her male counterpart earned in the previous calendar year. According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2016, the average woman makes just 80 cents for every dollar a man is paid, reflecting a gap that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages over the course of a career. Therefore, if a man was paid $50,000 to perform his job from January 1 through December 31, it will take a woman in the same position, on average, until April of the following year to earn the same amount.

Click Here for Details


Lessons from a Female Florida Pioneer

March is Women’s History Month and on March 1, BPW welcomes Elizabeth Coachman, MD, who will discuss “Mary Jane Safford, MD: A Rediscovered Feminist”. Dr. Coachman will present a short biography of Mary Jane Safford and how she relates to the modern woman. Elizabeth lived outside Chicago before attending Moore College of Art and Rutgers University near Philadelphia. Following two years in Okinawa, she gained an MD at Temple University Medical School and pathology training with board certification in Florida. While working as the Tarpon Springs, Florida, hospital’s Laboratory Medical Director, she also served on the University of South Florida Medical School’s Clinical Faculty.

Elizabeth is also an historian, artist, book writer, and a family member of one of the founding families of Pinellas County. She spent many years researching and touring about the US learning about Mary Jane Safford, who was one of Florida’s first trained women doctors in the 19th century and helped found a Florida community in Tarpon Springs.

Dr. Coachman fills retirement with printmaking, landscape painting, and traveling with her husband Mike throughout the US and Canada. They live on a small, Hernando County, Florida, cattle ranch. Repeated requests for her reenacting Dr. Mary Safford for Temple University Medical School led to research that resulted in the book Mary Jane Safford, MD: Indomitable Mite, which is available on Amazon and at the meeting. Come listen to an amazing woman talk about an amazing woman.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting, which will be held from 11:30 am-1:00pm

Lives Intersected

In the 19th Century four important women’s  lives were intertwined.  The key woman in this foursome is largely unknown today.  In her lifetime she was the second most well known woman in the world only Queen Victoria of the British Empire was better known.  These 19th Century women each made important individual contributions but their initial relationships were rocky.  Largely, the women were not supportive of each other as they failed to realize how significant each one’s work was to their own life.  The achievements made by these  women were hampered by gender, disability, the judicial system, societal mores, pseudo science  and the inability to limit family size.  Most importantly, against great odds these women did make achievements that impact our lives today.  Scarlet Fever was common in the 19th Century and a two year old named Laura Bridgman contracted the illness.  Laura lost 5 of her senses and looked forward to life in an asylum.  The Perkins Institute in Boston accepted Laura at the age of seven.  The institutes founder Samuel Gridley Howe was seeking  deaf/blind students who could be educated.  Laura was teachable and remained at the  school.  She was Howe’s “grand experiment”.  Howe a devotee of phrenology limited Laura’s growth as he was unable to recognize growth occurred other than as he predicted.  Samuel Gridley Howe had a “cash cow” in Laura.  Laura Bridgman brought the Perkin’s Institute donors and visitors such as Charles Dickens.  Howe behaved miserably towards Laura.  There were no established boundaries thus Laura believed herself in love with her doctor  and mentor. Howe’s intentions were to keep Laura dependent upon him and to ensure donations to his institute.
Samuel Gridley Howe sought a wealthy woman to marry he found such a woman in Julia Ward Howe.  Ms. Howe was a noted writer, abolitionist, and suffragist.  Her husband wanted her to have babies and raise money for the institute while he spent her inheritance.  Laura Bridgman and Julia Ward Howe did not get along.  Laura did not understand why she should be concerned about slavery or women;s rights.  Julia Ward Howe was frightened of Laura’s disabilities.  Each was jealous of the other as Samuel Gridley Howe played both women against each other.  Many years would pass before they reached an uneasy truce and a better understanding of each other but on his death Samuel Gridley Howe would leave each woman financially destitute.  Both women would carry on and over come the financial shackles placed upon them.
Laura Bridgman remained at the Perkin’s Institute.  She was given a roommate.  This young woman was Annie Sullivan who would one day teach Helen Keller.  Annie was not liked as she was Irish and a Catholic.  Her only friend was Laura.  Eventually, Helen Keller’s family would contact the Perkin’s Institute seeking help and assistance for their deaf/blind child.—  Annie Sullivan was the unorthodox teacher who would work with Helen Keller. In 1888, Helen Keller met Laura Bridgman.  Laura found Helen enchanting.  Laura was 55 years old and her accomplishments and brilliance had faded..  Helen Keller, wrote in 1929 about Laura Bridgman, “she would have outshone me had she had a life long companion like Annie Sullivan”. Helen Keller did find love but she was not able to marry the  hearing/sighted man she fell in love with.  Society was unable to accept a disabled person living normally,
This article by BPW Storyteller, Lily Alcott is part of an occasional series highlighting historical women.

Advocating for Teenage Girls

Join us on February 15 as BPW welcomes Judith Artis, the new Executive Director of PACE in Pinellas County. Founded in 1985, and started in Pinellas County in 1997, PACE began as a community response to the lack of female-specific programs for girls involved in the juvenile justice system, at risk of dropping out of school, or facing other serious risks. Judith has more than 20 years in the field of Youth Development and has served on numerous civic associations. She has received many awards throughout her career as a result of her professional leadership and community outreach.  Judith has worked in various positions in nonprofit organizations. Throughout her career, she served in executive capacities with organizations in Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. In her previous leadership role, Judith raised more than $500,000 for the organization, which operated at two centers, serving more than 500 children in Douglas, Georgia.
Judith has three adult children in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a national judge for the sport of double dutch jump roping. Judith is a graduate of Kaiser University where she received her Bachelors degree in Business Management and is currently finishing up her Masters degree in Organizational Psychology.

What’s It Like to Manage a Mall in These Turbulent Times for Retail?

Chains are closing and online shopping is taking business away from brick and mortar stores. On February1, come hear Shannon Brzuchalski, Director of Marketing and Business Development Tyrone Square Mall, which is owned by Simon Property Group, the largest owner and manager of malls worldwide. Shannon has been in retail for eight years, with both Simon Property Group and Westfield Group.

Prior to joining the management team at Tyrone Square in July 2015, Shannon served as Marketing Manager for Westfield Mall in Sarasota, Director of Marketing for Treasure Coast Square in Jensen Beach and Charlotte Premium Outlets in Charlotte, NC, and as Marketing Assistant for Tyrone Square Mall.  Shannon earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biopsychology from Eckerd College.

We can all learn from Shannon about managing a business in turbulent times, when all the “givens” for your industry are changing.

Click Here to make your reservation

Bubbles and Business

Do you like your business card? Is it projecting the image of you or your business that you desire? Let’s meet up and talk about it with experts.

On January 31, you are invited to The Melting Pot (2221 4th St N, St. Petersburg) for an event that is a little social, a little practical and a lot of fun. We’ll meet up around 6 pm and have some time to network and exchange those business cards. Perfect Copy and Print will provide some complimentary, yummy munchies. Then, the helpful folks from Media Garage, a woman owned, superstar advertising agency, will help us look at our business cards with an eye on marketing strategy and graphic design.

Reservations are not required but if you have any questions, feel free to contact Membership Chair, Tiki Bates at membership@bpwstpetepinellas.org for more information.





Successfully Balancing Your Career and Your Community

On January 18, BPW welcomes Amy Foster, St. Petersburg City Council, District 8, who will discuss how working women can succeed, how to get involved in the city and how the small business enterprise ordinance has changed. Amy is a Past Chair of the City Council.  Professionally, Amy is the Executive Director of the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay, in which capacity she oversees fundraising and day-to-day operations for the Foundation. She previously served as the National Collaborative Network Manager for the EdLab Group’s National Girls Collaborative Project, a national project focused on gender equity and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Ms. Foster also worked for nearly ten years with Girl Scouts of West Central Florida as the Director of Girl and Adult Leadership Development. Ms. Foster is very active in the community, serving as Community Vice President for the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin, a member of the STEM Advisory Board for Girls Inc. of Pinellas, former Vice President for St. Pete Pride, founding board member of the Industrial Arts Center in Gulfport and member of the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association, among others. Ms. Foster received her BA in psychology and sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana.

Please Register by Tuesday 1/16 – Click Here