Speakers

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

Religion and Faith in Today’s Workplace

On December 7, BPW welcomes The Reverend Canon Katie Churchwell to discuss religion in the workplace. She is an Episcopal priest at The Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Downtown St. Petersburg where she serves as the Canon for Community Formation.  A transplant from Houston, Texas, Canon Katie and her family have thrown themselves into the vibrant life of St. Pete.  Canon Katie serves on the boards of the Downtown Business Association of St. Petersburg as Secretary and Interfaith Tampa Bay. She also plans the events for the Downtown Neighborhood Association and is greatly involved at Campbell Park Elementary School. Apart from her regular priestly duties, one of her biggest joys is serving as the director for Food Is Medicine St. Pete, a collaborative program that brings healthy food access, free health education and free health screenings to food desert communities.

Please make your reservation by Tuesday 12/5.

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Charlie Justice Shares His Annual County Commission Update With BPW

Make your reservation now as BPW welcomes back the Chairman of the Pinellas County Commission for what has become an annual update to the members and guests of BPW. He’ll share the commission’s successes and challenges and how we can participate in countywide efforts to improve our community.
Approachable. Compassionate. Home town boy. All words used to describe Charlie Justice. One only has to spend five minutes with Charlie to know that he is not your usual politician.
Husband to Kathleen for twenty years and proud father of two young daughters Erin and Allison, Charlie grew up the youngest of five children in the heart of Pinellas. As a student at Boca Ciega High, Charlie excelled in academics, but really thrived at putting smiles on his classmates’ faces. To this day, his colleagues and friends admire his optimism and his ability to bring out the best in any person or situation.
After high school, Charlie attended St. Petersburg College, and the University of South Florida. It was important to him to stay close to his family, and build a life in his beloved hometown. During his time in college, he saw Pinellas County grow at an exponential rate. St. Petersburg and the bay area was becoming a metropolis in Florida, and along with that came typical growing pains. Roads were becoming congested, beaches overcrowded, and crime was on the rise. He decided that it was time to get involved and give back to the community that had given him so much. He became active in local politics, eventually becoming the legislative aide to Representative Lars Hafner. His admiration for our area grew, and so did his calling to public service. Five years later, Charlie earned the opportunity to represent us as a State Representative and later as a State Senator.
Tallahassee is a far different place from Tampa Bay. But Charlie relied on the good people of his district that he has come to know and love. He has succeeded in strengthening rights for our military, bringing home millions in beach re-nourishment funds, standing strong for our natural resources and protecting our coastline from near shore oil drilling and mandating stronger consumer protections for the safety of our families. His constituents demanded more attention and money for our schools, and Charlie delivered. To this day he remains a tireless advocate for education and teachers. His district was concerned about every vote being counted and Charlie delivered again, strongly supporting the switch to paper ballots. He continues to stand up for fair and ethical elections, working to rein in frivolous campaign spending by special interests and raising voter confidence by ensuring that everyone has the right and ability to vote.
Charlie credits his open door policy and community involvement for his success. He is constantly in the community, talking to nurses, teachers and others on the front lines who can offer real solutions to state wide problems. It is because of them that Charlie advocates so effectively for our most vulnerable. He has called for stricter regulations on nursing homes and harsher penalties for elder and child abuse. He supports measures to make our foster care system safer and programs that get homeless off the street. He has brought home funds for community organizations such as PARC, Gulf Coast Family Services, Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, and Vincent House, just to name a few.
Charlie has continued that same philosophy on the County Commission. He is working with many community partners addressing the poverty issues in Lealman, Midtown and throughout Pinellas. He worked to pass ordinances providing relief for wage theft victims, providing assistance to human trafficking victims, and expanded Pinellas’ human rights ordinance.
Charlie’s leadership was recognized by his peers when they selected him to serve as Chairman of the Pinellas Commission. He also has served  as Chair of the Tourist Development Council, the Pinellas Economic Development Council, and in leadership positions of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco- Pinellas Board, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Pinellas Historical Preservation Board.
Legislating aside, Charlie’s best attribute is his compassion for the working families who are the heart and soul of his community. He empathizes with those who, like him, worked to make their own way and provide for their families. He has an uncanny ability to identify with almost anyone he comes across, and usually ends the conversation by sharing a laugh and a smile. It is this capacity to connect and deliver that makes Charlie an effective leader, and a role model for others looking to serve their community.

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 membership@bpwstpetepinellas.org

Outreach to Special Communities – Lariana Forsythe, CASA 

As Domestic Violence Awareness month draws to a close the work goes on. Join us on November 2nd when we welcome Lariana Forsythe, Interim CEO of CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) to speak about the ongoing efforts that this vital organization makes in our area and specifically reach special communities that may be underserved by other services.
Lariana brings extensive nonprofit leadership experience to CASA, which is implementing a significant expansion of its programs for survivors of domestic violence in southern Pinellas County, Florida. Longtime employee Suzanne Horn, who had served as Interim Director during the transition period, has been promoted to CASA’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Harry Linn has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
“I am honored to have the opportunity to help change the image of domestic violence in Pinellas County,” said Ms. Forsythe. “So many domestic violence survivors live in the shadow of this systemic issue, which effects as many as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men, and often fear the undeserved stigma and false assumptions that can come with it.”
“Now celebrating its 40th anniversary of service to this community,” she continued, ”CASA is a larger influence than ever before, providing safety and a voice for those who have had theirs taken away.  I look forward to getting to know and working closely with the leaders in our community to ensure St. Petersburg is a vibrant and safe community for everyone.”
 
Lariana has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, most recently serving as the Vice President/Chief Development Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix. In addition to 17 years with the Boys & Girls Clubs, she has held a variety of roles within National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Special Olympics. Lariana has earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.
CASA is the official domestic violence center for southern Pinellas County, Florida. It is also a proud member of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), the professional association for Florida’s 42 independent, certified domestic violence centers.
As a community organization, CASA is in constant need of supplies to support their many efforts. Click Here to see their wishlist and how you might support them.

A LONG History of Public Service: Wisdom from a Woman in Politics

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet C. Long is no stranger to public service.  Join us when she visits BPW on Thursday October 18 to share her lessons, stories and challenges as a female politician for over four decades. She’s held a number of positions throughout our local and state government, taking an active role in shaping public policy.

Her career in government began as a Legislative Aide working in the Old Capitol. The year was 1975 – before word processing, computers, copy machines, fax machines and electronic communication. It was a time when the legislative process was all done by hand.
In 1980, Janet served as the Assistant to the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation until 1986 when she was appointed by Commissioner Bill Gunter as the Deputy Insurance Commissioner for the Florida Department of Insurance with primary day to day management and oversight of the Regional Office located in Pinellas County. She was reappointed by Commissioner Tom Gallagher and again by Commissioner Bill Nelson.
In 2002, Commissioner Long was elected to the Seminole City Council and elected again in 2004 without opposition. In 2006, she was elected as a Democrat to the Florida House of Representatives from District 51 and served through 2010. In her first year of office, she managed to pass five out of her six bills. She has created an electronic newsletter which keeps her constituents abreast of her activities and those of the legislature. In an effort to ensure that her constituents have a voice, she has held various town hall meetings in her district and around Pinellas County on property taxes, the Lealman fire district and the Pinellas Park Water Management District.
While a member of the Florida Legislature she served on the Military & Veterans Affairs Policy Committee; the Economic Development & Community Affairs Policy Council; the General Government Policy Council; the Insurance, Business & Financial Affairs Policy Committee; the Education K-12 Committee and the Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Committee.
Janet Long was elected countywide to a seat on the Pinellas County Commission in 2012. Commissioner Long serves on the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) Board of Directors, the 2016 Pinellas County Charter review Committee, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and the Health and Human Services Leadership board. In addition to her Pinellas County Board of County Commissioner appointments; she also serves as Vice President for the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, and is on the Largo Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Clearwater Central Catholic Advisory Board.

Meet the Candidates: St. Petersburg City Council, District 6

Join us on October 5 as we welcome the candidates for St. Petersburg City Council: District 6. This district which includes the core of downtown St. Petersburg from I-275 east to the water stretching from Old Northeast south to Colony Point has been served by outgoing city council member Karl Nurse. In an incredibly close primary election, 2 candidates emerged to vie for this very important position: Gina Driscoll and Justin Bean. We are delighted that both candidates have accepted our invitation and have an opportunity to share their vision for not only District 6, but St. Petersburg as a whole.

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Gina Driscoll

Gina has lived in St. Petersburg for over 10 years and is dedicated to making the city a better place to live, work, and raise a family for all of our residents. That’s why she’s endorsed by outgoing District 6 City Councilman Karl Nurse.

She is the President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, and has led several projects to improve our neighborhoods including the Clean Waterways Project, renovations at the historic Shuffleboard Club, and donation drives for food, diapers, and other necessities of Daystar Life Center. She has also spoken before City Council regarding issues important to residents, such as the Al Lang Stadium referendum, to ensure that their voices are heard.

Gina has also worked to improve the business climate in St. Petersburg for both large and small business. She serves on the Board of the Downtown Business Association, the Organizational Committee of the Central Avenue Council, and is a member of both the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. While she worked in advertising for the Tampa Bay Times and other local firms, Gina built strong relationships with local businesses and helped them develop successful marketing strategies. In 2015, she also served on the city’s Urban Construction Best Practices Task Force.

She understands the importance of tourism as an economic driver in St. Petersburg. She’s been a leading voice supporting the Sunshine Street Team which is a group of volunteers who help tourists have a better experience in St. Petersburg.

 Justin Bean was born and raised in the St. Petersburg area. He is currently the Business Development and Sales Manager at Reusable Transport Packaging, a growing web based sales and marketing company headquartered in Downtown St. Petersburg. Bean currently Chairs the Williams Park Partnership and SmartBurg. He has served as Chair of SPYP in 2016, was appointed by the Mayor to the Pier Uplands Selection Committee, and currently serves on the City’s Complete Streets Committee. Previously, he served as Economic Development and Arts Chair for SPYP and continues to work as a mentor and serve as Board Chairman for SailFuture, a local Nonprofit that helps keep at risk men from returning to the juvenile justice system.

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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MEETING CANCELLED: What’s It Like to Manage a Mall in These Turbulent Times for Retail

As with many events locally, today’s meeting has been cancelled due to preparations for Hurricane Irma. We hope everyone remains safe and we hope to see you all at our next scheduled meeting on September 21. 

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Chains are closing and online shopping is taking business away from brick and mortar stores. On September 7, come hear Jeni Wilson, Mall Manager of Tyrone Square, which is owned by Simon Property Group, the largest owner and manager of malls worldwide. Jeni, whose duties include overall property management, marketing, operations and leasing, has been with Simon Property Group for 25 years.

Prior to joining the management team at Tyrone Square in October 2010, Jeni served as Mall Manager for DeSoto Square in Bradenton and as Regional Marketing Director for the Southeast region overseeing 26 shopping centers in six states. Jeni has also served as Director of Mall Marketing for Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette, IN, Alton Square in Alton, IL, and Tyrone Square for five years. Jeni earned her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Business Management from Eastern Illinois University. Jeni resides in Bradenton with her husband, Kenneth, and is the proud Mom of ten year old son, Aiden.

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

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St. Pete Innovation District: Creative Innovation in Our Own Backyard

On August 17, BPW welcomes Alison Barlow, the inaugural Executive Director for the St. Pete Innovation District, the professional home to thousands of scientists, doctors, educators and entrepreneurs working together to make life better. Four committees focus on business development, real estate, placemaking and branding, and research collaboration and innovation with the goal of expanding growth and development of the area immediately south of downtown.

With over 16 years in strategic planning, business process improvement and organizational change, she has facilitated more than 800 workshops ranging from small working teams to large conferences, most recently at the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College. She excels at bringing diverse groups together in a creative environment to have critical conversations. Previously, Alison was a management consultant based in Washington D.C. and Tampa, where she led project teams for private and government organizations in functional areas such as technology operations, logistics, real property and training. Alison received a BS from Florida State University and an MBA from American University.

Join us at the luncheon and learn from the St. Pete Innovation District on how to bring creativity into your work and workplace.

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