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

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

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 for more information.





Join us at Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant in St. Pete for Happy Hour!

All members and guests of Business and Professional Women are invited to join us to indulge in free appetizers and a cash bar. Cocktails will be on special and include $6 Ketel One Mules, Tanqueray Cucumber Gimlets and Don Julio Margaritas or a Bulleit Old Fashioned.
November 8 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Ceviche is conveniently located at 10 Beach Drive NE.

For more information contact

Sign up Today! The Equality Day Tea is set for August 26

If you haven’t already saved the date for our Equality Day Tea, stop reading right now and put it on your calendar!  We are excited to go back to an old-fashioned tea party, to be held on Saturday, August 26, 2017, from 2 – 4pm,  at Sweet Tea Celebrations, located at 5325 Gulfport Blvd., Gulfport, FL  33707 (located in The Boulevard Shoppe).

Join us for refreshing home-brewed teas, hot or cold (or bring your wine of choice) and a wide selection of pastries and finger sandwiches, as well as good old-fashioned girl talk on a Saturday afternoon. (Don’t forget to wear your hat!)

Advanced reservations and payment will be required. Click here for details.


Pinellas County Schools – What’s new?

July 20, Lori Matway speaks to BPW about Pinellas County School system. Lori Matway is the Associate Superintendent, Student and Community Support Services.

Lori Matway joined the district in 1987 working as a middle school and high school social studies teacher for 11 years. She also served as a track and cross country coach at both levels. In 1998, Matway joined the district’s administrative ranks as an assistant principal at Kennedy Middle School, which is now known as Clearwater Fundamental. In 2005, Matway was named principal at Pinellas Park Middle School, where she worked for two years.

In 2007, Matway left the district to join the City of St. Petersburg as the managing director of Education and Government Services. In that capacity, she was responsible for growing the city’s programs that supported schools, to include the Mayor’s Mentors & More program. Matway worked to recruit mentors for the city’s 43 public schools; secure private funding for TSIC/Doorways Scholarships; pair public schools with corporate partners; and fund incentive programs for principals of top-performing schools.

Matway holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida in Educational Leadership. Matway served as president and treasurer of the Secondary Assistant Principal’s Association and was winner of the 2013 Chairman’s Award from the Pinellas Education Foundation.

Click Here to Make a Reservation for the Meeting


Dr. Kanika Tomalin: Deputy Mayor

July 6, Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin will speak to BPW St. Petersburg-Pinellas . Dr. Kanika Tomalin is the Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida. In this role she works in partnership with Mayor Rick Kriseman to strategically advance one of Florida’s largest cities toward its goals.

As deputy mayor, Dr. Tomalin’s citywide purview ranges from operations to strategy and serves to extend the mayor’s reach. Prior to being appointed deputy mayor, Dr. Tomalin served as a healthcare executive in various senior leadership capacities for Health Management Associates’ 23-hospital Florida Group and the five-county Bayfront Health Network.

An experienced strategist, she has also worked as a marketeer and journalist. Dr. Tomalin earned a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, an MBA from the University of Miami and a Doctorate from Northeastern University.

She is the fifth generation of her family to call St. Petersburg home. She was married to well-known adventurer Terry Tomalin and they have two children, Kai and Nia.

She has received numerous awards and appointments and is committed to many causes, namely improving the health of the community she serves.

Click Here to Make A Reservation

Get Social In Style

BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas invites you to a Fashion Mix & Mingle at Necessories BFF Boutique, located in the heart of St. Petersburg’s famous Central Avenue EDGE District. Necessories is a women centered boho funk gem with one of a kind designs in clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories. Come have a glass of wine, some cheese and lots of good company!

We’d like to extend a special invitation to our BPW sisters from around the state who will be arriving for our annual state conference taking place at the nearby Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort.

There is no cost to attend so you have more to spend!
Thursday, June 22nd
6PM – 8PM

Necessories Boho Feme Funk is located at
953 Central Ave
For more info on them visit

For transportation call Round the Town,
St Pete’s ONLY free, fun, and
100% eco-friendly way around town.

Join Us at BPW/FL State Conference and we’ll help you pay for it.

BPW State Conference
June 22-25

BPW/FL 2017 Annual State Conference will be held at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
* Book your hotel room before June 1


Once again, BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas is offering a subsidy to members who register for the BPW/FL State Conference before the June 1st deadline.

BPW/SPP will pay up to $105/registrant towards your registration costs at State Conference.

To take advantage:
1. Do not register on line!
2. Get a blank registration form. Print a copy.
3. Fill it out.
4. Write a check to BPW/St Petersburg-Pinellas for 50% of your conference fees (covers Friday and Saturday sessions/courses/business meetings/lunch and Saturday night Installation and Banquet, with music, dancing, and a masquerade competition).
5. Give the completed registration form and check to any officer NO LATER THAN June 1, 2017.
6. Book your room by June 1 if you plan to stay as they are filling up fast.
7. Come join the fun!

I’d personally love to see all of you there. It truly is a rewarding and enriching event.

Liz Illgen
President, BPW/SPP

Election and Installation of Officers for 2017-2018

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.  BPW/SPP is entering an exciting time with new leadership this summer at the state level from our local organization.

Our mission of building powerful women professionally, personally and politically remains as important now as it did 50 years ago.  We encouraged all members to be a part of electing our new leadership.  On April 6 we did elect our officers for 2017-2018.  Tami Simms then spoke about The Education Foundation of the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

Then on April 20, BPW/FL President-Elect Alizza Punzalan-Randle installed the new officers for 2017-2018: Liz Illgen, President; Sheila Barry-Oliver, President-Elect; Jane Byers, 1st Vice President; Gretta Paige Bellas, 2nd Vice President; Lily Alcott, Secretary; and Jill Wenner, Treasurer.  Tami Simms will serve as Parliamentarian.