Individual Development

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.

Working Internationally

Successfully working internationally offers incredible opportunities but also requires patience and awareness and knowledge of cultural norms and differing legal environments. On September 21, come listen to the experiences of three women, who in different stages of their careers and in different industries chose to work outside the US (in different parts of the world). They are Tricia Curry, Marcia Cohen and Sheila Barry-Oliver. How did working internationally impact their careers and their work interactions?

Tricia Curry, in practice since 2008, studied massage therapy at the Cortiva Institute in Pinellas Park and received her BS in Exercise Science in 2012 from USF. She co-owns St. Pete Massage and Fitness with her husband and splits her time between St. Petersburg, FL, and Los Cabos, BCS, Mexico.

Marcia Cohen holds a BA in Education from Roosevelt University of Chicago, an MA in Music Composition from Northwestern University, and a JD from Stetson University College of Law. She practices primarily in the area of labor and employment law with a concentration in employment discrimination and sexual harassment. She was a delegate of the Destree Institute of Namur, Belgium, at the UN Conference on the Status of Women in 2013. Ms. Cohen has been appointed NOW Legal Counsel as of August 2017. She divides her time between Florida and Paris, France, where she is Of Counsel to the international law firm of Cimadevilla Avocats.

Sheila Barry-Oliver, Ed.D., who retired after 28 years in information technology and management consulting and 13 years in higher education, will moderate the discussion. While in consulting, Sheila created and led the workforce diversity initiative at Booz Allen Hamilton, which involved training and implementing corporate policies globally. She has worked in Egypt and lectured on global workplace diversity at Oxford University in England. Sheila has a BA in mathematics, an MBA and a doctorate in human resource development.

The lessons these women learned about working successfully on an international basis can be applied to all work situations.

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BPW/FL Leadership Programs

On June 1 our luncheon program will focus on the signature programs that fall under the umbrella of BPW/FL Leadership: Individual Development, Women in Transition and Young Careerist.  Jerri Evans, Legal Assistant with Lisa A. Hoppe, PA, Attorney at Law, will represent BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas at the Individual Development Speak Off at our upcoming BPW/FL State Conference.  The speak-off consists of a five-minute prepared speech and a two-minute impromptu speech. Jerri will deliver her speech on one of the prescribed topics set forth by the BPW/FL Leadership committee:

1: Running for political office
2: Transitioning to a new job or a new career
3: Motivating women to go out and vote
4: Advising a BPW scholarship recipient
5: Converting the energy at marches into concrete action
6: Celebrating BPW/FL’s 100 year anniversary

Sheila Barry Oliver will discuss our Young Careerist Program and Cynthia Gramberg will inform us all about the program that we have for Women In Transition.

 

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Strategies for Success 2017

Strategies for Success 2017. Strategies for Success professional development workshop series based on BPW’s long-running Individual Development curriculum is back by popular demand. This year we had four monthly sessions held on the fourth Saturday of each month (from January through April) at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Education and Conference Center. This workshop series was for you if you are… Employed or in transition • Early, mid or late career • Working in the for profit, non-profit or government sector • Anticipating a career change • An entrepreneur or working for someone else. Each session was $20 for members, $25 for non-members and there was an early enrollment discount if you enrolled in all four before the first workshop on January 28, 2017. Click here for more information. 

Farewell Tricia!

Please join us this Friday, September 9th at 8:00 pm to wish our fellow BPW sister Tricia Curry goodbye. Please contact Jerri at jerri.bpw.president@gmail.com  for more information. Please bring your own beverage.

Liz Illgen Wins 2016 Speak-Off

Liz Illgen, a realtor with Keller Williams Gulfside Realty, won the BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas (BPW/SPP) Speak-off held on May 5, 2016. The Individual Development (ID) speak-off, which consists of both a prepared speech and an impromptu speech, is the final stage of the ID program. BPW’s ID program was developed in the 1960s and has continued to evolve as the workplace has changed. BPW/SPP has held ID programs for the last two years, which consisted of five Saturday morning sessions of two modules each. Speak-off participants must have attended at least six ID modules and must be BPW members. For her prepared speech, Liz gave advice to women considering starting their own business.  Liz joined BPW in 2014 and has been active ever since, serving as an officer both last year and this. Liz will represent BPW/SPP at the 2016 BPW/FL State Conference, to be held on June 24-25 at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg.

Reach Your Financial Goals in 2016

Join us for “Hold Your Own Purse: Personal and Professional Financial Management,” the last in our Strategies for Success series of Individual Development workshops.  Learn about wealth management planning, budgeting, saving vs investing, planning for retirement, insurance, estate planning, organizational financial statements, taxes, and cash flow from our three expert speakers. Attendance at any of the previous workshops is not required, so bring a friend and start 2016 with a step to your own financial security.

Click here to register today!

Join us for the last program of the session

Register Now for “What’s your (Power) Point?” (i.e., creating and delivering powerful presentations). In the final installment of this season’s Success Strategies Workshops you will learn about presenting well, inspiring audiences, and being effective in front of groups.

Click Here to learn more and to register for the March 7th Strategies for Success Workshop

Pick Me! Pick Me! Register NOW for the February 7th Workshop

Learn the best strategies for landing that job, getting that invitation to join a prestigious board, or winning that award from local executive and business coach, Yvonne Ulmer. Once you’ve gotten the job Jerri Evans will teach you proven negotiating tactics that will help you get the salary, parking space or any kind of deal you may encounter.

Click Here to learn more and to register for the February 7th Strategies for Success Workshop

To reach for the stars, you have to navigate the cloud

Whether you know it or not, you have digital footprint. Stand Out in the Cloud on January 10th will help you learn how to make that footprint work for you with potential employers, clients and business partners. Learn strategies and best practices to get the most out of social media.

Click here to register and learn more about the next workshop.