2023 Working Women’s Forum

An Engaging and Informative Panel Discussion with Local Experts

Our Working Women’s Forum was made possible by these generous sponsors:

Therapeutic Massage Center
Amplify Health Advisors
Goldstar Mortgage Financial Group
The Simms Team at Coastal Properties
Christie’s International Real Estate
Sheila Barry-Oliver, Ed.D.
Helen Igar
Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts

Attending the Event

Registration / Networking begins at 5:30 PM, programming starts at 6:00 PM sharp.


Hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided, and a cash bar will be available.


Sponsorships have underwritten the ticket price, so the event is free to attend but space is extremely limited.


It is unlikely that there will be seats available on the day of the event.


Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 18 to secure your spot.

The Venue

Proudly presented to you by the partnership of

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National Business Women’s Week®


National Business Women’s Week® is celebrated every year during the third week of October. It provides a valuable opportunity to recognize and honor working women, and employers who support working women and their families. For nearly a century now, this celebration has helped to promote leadership roles for women and to increase opportunities for personal and professional growth.


National Business Women’s Week originated with Emma Dot Partridge, Executive Secretary of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs and was first observed in 1928. President Herbert Hoover was the first president to issue a letter recognizing National Business Women’s Week® in 1932.


To this day, it is used to call attention to women entrepreneurs, facilitate discussions on the needs of working women, share information about workplace policies, and raise awareness of resources.

– Monique DeMonaco
5 Ways To Celebrate National Business Women’s Week®

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.

Advocacy in Action (October 2022) Shanelle Rae, Ph.D., Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Tampa General Hospital; Marcia L. Alvarado, PE, Structural Market Leader, WGI; Kimberly Jackson, Executive Director, Strategic Policy Solutions (ISPS); and was moderated by Dawn Hunter, JD, MPH, Southeastern Region Director, Network for Public Health Law

The Great Reset (October 2021) Belinthia Berry, Acting Dean of Workforce Development, St. Petersburg College; Jessica Oreste, Chief Human Resources Officer, Women’s Care; Jennifer Yeagley, Chief Executive Officer, St. Petersburg Free Clinic; and was moderated by Dr. Keesha Benson, Chief Learning and Evaluation Officer, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.

Be Your Own Hero (October 2019) Amy Martinez-Monfort, Owner/CEO Tampa Laundry Company; Natalie Conner, Owner of Love My Dog Resorts: North Pinellas & Downtown; and was moderated by Tami Simms, Coastal Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate.

Gender Equity in Action (October 2018) Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, Kim Woollard, Chief Human Resources Officer; Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Major Stefanie Campbell, Commander for the Support Services Bureau; Sabal Trust Company, Jennifer Garbowicz, CFA, CIPM, Principal; Tech Data, Ameerah Mukayed, CDP, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist and was moderated by Tanya Hollins, Regional Executive Director, PACE Center for Girls

Women of Influence (October 2017) Our panel included Alizza Punzalan-Randle, Community Outreach Manager at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Dr. Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College, and Molly Moorhead, Editorial Writer at Tampa Bay Times and was moderated by Cathy Unruh, WEDU Show Host and Author

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 Seixas, 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 Director 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.