2017 Working Women's Forum: Women of Influence

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Join us for our annual Working Women’s Forum to celebrate National Business Women’s Week ™

Presented by:

Working women influence their environment in a myriad of ways. BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas (BPW) celebrates these Women of Influence in our community to build awareness for National Business Women’s WeekTM.  Hear the stories of accomplished women in diverse business sectors and industries at different stages of their careers talk about their journey to success. Each will share how they influence their industry, their community, and their networks.

  • Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg, 

  • Dr. Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College, and 

  • Molly Moorhead, Editorial Writer at Tampa Bay Times.

  • Moderator: Cathy Unruh, WEDU Show Host and Author.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) Kate Tiedemann College of Business

Lynn Pippenger Hall, 700 4th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

(Parking Lot #19)


5:30-6:00    Reception in the Ellen Cotton Atrium

6:00-8:00    Program in the Auditorium


Tickets are now available (online through 10/16; only at the door on the day of the event). The price is $35 ($30 for BPW members) and includes admission to the event, hors d’oeuvres, one drink and parking in lot 19. Ticket price at the door will be $40.

The event is today. Advanced Registration is officially closed. We will be accepting cash and credit cards at the registration table for admission to the event.



Thank you to our 2017 event sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor:

Gold Level Sponsors:

Bronze Level Sponsors:

Janssen and Igar, CPAs PA

Perfect Copy and Print

Kristin Smith

Small Business Sponsors:

Let Amy Handle It

Marcia S. Cohen, P.A.

Sabal Trust

Shollenberger Public Relations

The Simms Team, Coastal Properties Group

Suncoast Center, Inc.

Community Partners:


BPW/Hernando County

BPW/Tampa Bay

Working Women of Tampa Bay

YWCA of Tampa Bay

Printing Provided by:


Event Photography Provided by:


We have a variety of sponsor levels. Click here for more information on becoming a sponsor of this event. 


A tradition continues…

  • Since 2012, BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas has been fulfilling its mission of advocacy, information and education by presenting the Working Women’s Forum. Presented as a panel discussion, the Working Women’s Forum takes on issues that are relevant to the lives of working women. The forums have included some of our area’s top subject matter experts and women leaders delivering informative, engaging and often entertaining conversations. Our most recent forums are listed below.
  • From My House to the White House: Navigating the Crossroads of American Democracy (October 2016). Our panel included: Deborah Clark, Pinellas County Elections Supervisor; Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, Director of Urban Affairs for the City of St. Petersburg; and The Honorable Myriam Irizarry, County Judge, Pinellas County, and was moderated by Rob Lorei, a veteran of local news in the Tampa Bay area.
  • Being the Only Woman in The Room (October 2015).  Our panel included Hon. Myriam Irizarry, Judge, Pinellas County Sixth Judicial Circuit, Criminal Division; Melanie Lenz, Tampa Bay Rays, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development; Diane Bailey Morton, C1 Bank, General Counsel; Melissa Seixa, Duke Energy, Government and Community Relations, Pinellas and Pasco, and was moderated by Tami Simms, Coastal Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate.
  • From Grasshopper to Queen Bee: Mentoring Relationships that Buzz (October 2014).  Our panel included USFSP Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, Founder of Working Women of Florida Jessica Rivelli, Executive Vice President of the WTL Group Elaine Smalling, and Infinite Solutions of Tampa Bay President and CEO Gwendolyn Reese, and was moderated by Tami Simms, Coastal Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate.
  • Women’s Success Stories: Shaping Your Career or Letting It Shape You (October 2013).  Our panel included Director of the Leadership Development Institute at Eckerd College Margaret Cooley, Publisher of The Power Broker & Grapevine magazines Gypsy Gallardo, President of MAP & Associates Marty Petty, Owner of MISRED Outfitters and Lead Fashion Designer Sara Stonecipher, and was moderated by Tami Simms, Coastal Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate.
  • The Affordable Care Act (October 2012).  Our panel included Cigna Senior Medical Direcor of Healthcare Coverage Dr. Julie Kessel, Bayfront Medical Center VP of Strategic Planning and Public Affairs Dr. Kanika Jelks-Tomalin, and Doctors for America Senior Regional Director Dr. Mona Mangat, and was moderated by Stetson University College of Law Dean of Faculty Michael Allen
  • Why Do State and Federal Elections Matter to Working Women? (February 2012).  Our panel included County Commissioner Karen Seele, School Board Member Nina Hayden, and Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, and was moderated by USF Political Science Professor Dr. Susan McManus