Leadership

Liz Illgen

PRESIDENT

Liz Illgen

BPW Member since 2014

After 30 years as both a corporate employee and independent business woman, Liz is finally living her  dream life here in Florida, working as a Real Estate Sales Professional and aspiring writer.  Liz graduated with a BA in Business Administration from UW-Eau Claire and an MBA from Rutgers University. She is passionate about learning everything she can to help her clients transition through the purchase and sale of real estate.

Sheila Barry-Oliver, Ed.D.

PRESIDENT-ELECT

BPW Member since 1979

In 2007 Sheila moved to Florida from Northern Virginia. Subsequently she retired after 28 years in information technology and management consulting and 13 years in higher education. Sheila is most passionate about workplace equity for women. Sheila has served as President of BPW/Virginia and Chair of the Board of Trustees of BPW/USA Foundation. In addition to her many BPW activities, she is on the board of Girls Inc of Pinellas and on the George Washington University National Council on Education and Development. Sheila has a BA in mathematics, an MBA and a doctorate in human resource development.

Jane Byers

1st VP / PROGRAMS CHAIR

BPW Member since 2006

Jane is the President of Perfect Copy and Print, a printing and graphic design company. She has an MBA with a concentration in Business and Finance. She teaches soccer at all levels from the Olympic Development Program to TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer; is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities). She is an advocate for the LGBTQ community by serving as the secretary of Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce and committee for Come Out St Pete; fosters and transports dogs for Newfoundland Club of Florida; and sponsors and volunteers for organizations such as Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Beach Goes Pops, and Lives Under Construction.

Gretta Paige Bellas

2ND VP / MEMBERSHIP CHAIR

BPW Member since 2010

Gretta Paige Bellas has been a member of BPW/SPP for 7 years. She has previously served as Secretary, 2nd VP/Membership Chair, President-Elect and President. For BPW/FL she has served as Membership Chair and Vice President. Her BPW sisters have been supportive both personally and professionally, offering help, advice and most importantly, encouragement. She is an active community member in Pinellas County, where she was recently named to the 2017 Queen of Hearts Court (which annually honors the volunteer efforts of seven women), having been nominated by the St. Petersburg Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Guild and Women’s Service League of St. Petersburg. Professionally trained as a paralegal, Gretta is Administrative Liaison for Harvey and Companies, a third party financial institution, and a contract trainer for Regulatory Compliance Services.Secretary

Lily Alcott

Secretary

BPW Member since 2005

Lily Alcott is a storyteller. Her stories feature characters and events from history and literature. Lily crafts her stories to interest children and adults. Characters Lily has brought to St. Petersburg include Molly Brown, Alice Paul, Jane Austen, the Brontes, Mae West and women of the Bible. Lily has developed characters who tell a story about an event or place and its importance in our lives. The oral tradition continues as Lily embodies the 21st century storysmith. Lily has served BPW at both the state and local level. In addition to being Secretary this year, Lily chairs the local Equality Day Tea and Philanthropy Committee. Lily also volunteers with American Stage Theater, is a a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts and a member of a local storytellers group. Other interests include the St. Petersburg Opera Guild and the Passe Grille Women’s Club.

Jill Wenner

Treasurer

BPW Member since 2016

Jill has been passionate about photography and the environment throughout her life. Blessed with encouraging parents, an early science interest, a Kodak Instamatic camera and an early exposure to American National Parks, she headed down that road from childhood. Jill holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies, a Master’s in Environmental Law and a J.D.

Following college, Jill was an environmental professional in NJ and WA and an at-home parent in NC and ME. At 40, she moved her family to VT to attend law school, earning two degrees in three years, and took her dream job as a waterkeeper in Saranac Lake, NY.

After losing her best job to the Great Recession, Jill worked smaller jobs, learned new skills and started her own business, offering freelance photography, event managing, and legal research. Later, while running the Art Walks, she joined a fine arts gallery to show her artwork.

In 2016, Jill relocated to St. Petersburg for new professional opportunities and a fresh start. Currently, she volunteers in the community, advocating for civil rights, environmental and climate justice.

Tami Simms

Parliamentarian

BPW Member since 1997

Tami Simms has been in the business of organization, marketing and graphic design since starting her first business in 1993. She left the freelance world in January 2002 to join her mother’s real estate practice, which has now evolved into The Simms Team at Coastal Properties Group International, a boutique brokerage located in downtown St. Petersburg. She is a national speaker within the real estate industry, and Lead Trainer for the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Tami is thoroughly engaged in the community, serving in numerous non-profit and volunteer leadership roles on local, state and national levels. She is serving a fourth term as President of the St. Petersburg Downtown Business Association, is currently Treasurer and a founding director of the Downtown Waterfront Parks Foundation, Treasurer for the Queens Court, Inc., President of the BPW/FL Education Foundation, a board member for the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, and is an inaugural member of the Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute.


Standing Committee Chairs

Finance: Tami Simms
Individual Development: Open
Legislation: Jerri Evans
Membership: Gretta Paige Bellas
Philanthropy: Lily Alcott
Public Relations: Lori Bremer
Young Careerist: Patricia Igar Curry

Special / Ad Hoc Committee Chairs

Equality Day Tea: Lily Alcott
Equal Pay Day: Kristin Smith
Bylaws: Tami Simms
Technology: Amy Dinovo


 

BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas Presidents

BPW leaders stand on the shoulders of the women who have gone before them. The following women have served as President of our local organization (LO) since its founding in 1966. We thank them for their leadership, wisdom and commitment to BPW’s mission.

1966-1967    Erma Hallett Jaeckle
1967-1968    Charlot Segars Buchanan
1968-1969    Alsace Kenestrick
1969-1970    Margaret Hays & Maxine Siciliano Martin
1970-1971    Erma Hallett Jaeckle
1971-1972    Ruth Jacobs
1972-1973    Constance “Connie” Passmore
1973-1974    Gertrude Sumner
1974-1975    Louise Watson
1975-1976    Marguerite Dawson
1976-1977    Vesta Bishop
1977-1978    Iris Yilmaz & Connie Passmore
1978-1979    Irma Marlis
1979-1980    Peggy Barger
1980-1981    Florence Ianniello
1981-1982    Florence Ianniello & Edna Jones
1982-1983    Alma Dishman

1983-1984    Louise Watson & Martha McLay
1984-1985    Edna Jones
1985-1986    Sally (McCrary) Kamrada
1986-1987    Janelle (Barlas) Quinn
1987-1988    Barbara (B. J.) Munch
1988-1989    Shirley Schmelzinger
1989-1990    Marlene Hacker
1990-1991    Sheri (Buddin) Ellis
1991-1992    Sandra Holt
1992-1993    Karen S. Keaton
1993-1994    Louise Miller
1994-1995    Carolyn Wiggins
1995-1996    Abbi Bliss
1996-1997    Dana Maley
1997-1998    Christine (Lippard) Weigle
1998-1999    Karey Lofton
1999-2000    Tami Simms-Powel

2000-2001    Dana Maley & Paula Popovich
2001-2002 Paula Popovich & Luisa Perez Harvey
2002-2003 Cory Adler-Leidersdorff
2003-2004 Lisa Munafo
2004-2005 Kristin (Guenthardt) Smith
2005-2006 Trish Conner
2006-2007 Rosemary Schrader
2007-2008 Kris Self
2008-2009 Carolyn Wiggins
2009-2010 Sheila Barry-Oliver
2010-2011 Cynthia Jenkins
2011-2012 Tami Simms
2012-2013 Cynthia Gramberg
2013-2014 Gretta Paige Bellas
2014-2015 Alizza Punzalan-Randle
2015-2016 Amy Dinovo
2016-2017 Jerri Evans