Home Page Updates

May 7 Meeting Goes Virtual

Last Tuesday evening, the executive committee met and determined that our May 7 meeting will be virtual via the Zoom app. We haven’t gotten any firm dates on when gatherings such as our luncheon meetings will be permitted again and our normal location, 400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse is still closed. We have a number of important things to discuss to continue the business of BPW but nothing that would require us to break CDC guidelines. A zoom link and meeting ID will be in our next Touch Base Tuesday.

Many of you have had the opportunity to communicate with Zoom or other apps like facetime during this unique period in history but for those that haven’t, we’re here to help. In true BPW fashion, we want to help everyone in our organization use the now popular tool employed by millions to connect, do business, hold meetings and educate. So, if you’ve never used it, aren’t sure how and would like some help, send an email to us at info@bpwstpetepinellas.org and let us know. Amy, Vicki and others have offered their expertise with tech training at no charge to help get everyone up to speed.


Like most organizations, our bylaws provide guidance for a wide number of activities and these unprecedented times are no different. While we can postpone elections and installation until the time is right, there are a number of things that really cannot wait. Our fiscal year ends Thursday and we need to pass a new budget in order to collect and spend money to further our activities whether we are meeting or not. The reason you are receiving this Touch Base Tuesday early is because we plan to meet 10 days from today, the required notice period is 10 days  and there will be a few items that require a vote.

PROPOSED BYLAW AMENDMENTS – BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas – April 2020

(New sections, automatic renumbering)
Section 5.     The local organization, all committees and subcommittees shall be authorized to meet by telephone conference or through other electronic communications media so long as all the members can simultaneously hear each other and participate during the meeting. Quorum requirements for electronic meetings are the same as face-to-face meetings.

Section 6….. Unless members indicate otherwise to the President in writing, all communication required in these bylaws, including meeting notices, may be sent electronically.

Rationale: This would allow for the conduct of business when in-person meetings are not possible, while ensuring appropriate notices and quorum requirements.

Existing Language
Section 3.     Committee chairs and members shall be appointed for a term of one year and may be reappointed. No person shall serve on more than three consecutive years on the same committee.

Proposed Language
Section 3.     Committee chairs and members shall be appointed for a term of one year and may be reappointed. No person shall serve as chairperson for more than three consecutive years on the same committee.

Rationale: There are a number of members who serve repeatedly on committees. The bylaws committee recommends that only the chairperson be limited in tenure.

Here’s a link to the proposed budget which has been reviewed by the Executive Committee and will be presented to the membership for a vote.


Proposed BPW 20-21 Budget

Business and Professional Women (BPW)/ St. Petersburg-Pinellas Mark National Equal Pay Day with 17th Annual “Unhappy Hour” 81 Cents on the Dollar is Not Enough

WHAT:  Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas will hold its 17th annual “Unhappy Hour” on Tuesday, March 31, the symbolic day that the average woman in the United States earns the same amount of pay that her male counterpart earned in the previous calendar year.  According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2019, the average woman makes just 81.6 cents for every dollar a man is paid, reflecting a gap that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages over the course of a career.  For full-time, year-round workers, median salaries showed that women earned an average of $45,097 compared to men’s $55,291 in 2018 – the reason for the “Unhappy” Hour. Equal Pay Day has been historically recognized with Proclamations from the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County elected officials.  The event is free to the Public.  No RSVP is necessary. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available. For more information, visit www.bpwstpetepinellas.org.

WHEN:  Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 5:30 PM. to 7:30 PM.  Brief remarks at 6:15 PM.

WHERE: Rococo Steak, 655 2nd Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL  33701

WHY:  When the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, women were earning an average of 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. Today, while women hold roughly half of all jobs, and their earnings account for a significant portion of the household income that sustains the financial well-being of their families, they still experience a gap in pay compared to men’s wages. For women of color, the pay gap is even greater. At the current rate of change, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has estimated that the wage gap will not close until 2059.

About Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas

Founded in 1919 at the national and state levels, and in 1966 at the local level, BPW crosses generations, occupations and political parties. BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas is the local chapter of BPW/Florida, which is affiliated with the national BPW Foundation. BPW’s mission is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information. General membership meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House in downtown St. Petersburg. www.bpwstpetepinellas.org.


Mayor Rick Kriseman: The State of the City

Join us March 5 when we welcome St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as he presents “The State of The City,” an update on the activities, events and latest happenings that affect not only the citizens of St. Petersburg but the entire Tampa Bay Region. Of particular interest to the Business and Professional Women, Mayor Kriseman will address the local economy and upcoming opportunities for all of us to participate in the future of St. Petersburg for the remainder of his term and beyond.

BPW Scholarship Applications Now Available

Each year BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas awards scholarships to women in our community who are seeking further education in order to advance their current career or perhaps start a new one. Throughout the year, BPW members engage in various activities in order to fund these scholarships. The application for 2020 is now available and is due by April 15th.

Click Here for More Info

Art is a Catalysis for Connecting

Please join us on February 6 as we welcome D YaeL Kelley who was recently named the MUSE Visual Arts Award winner for 2020 by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.  The MUSE arts awards shine a spotlight on special people who inspire and guide St. Petersburg as a true City of the Arts.  Please join YaeL as she shares why  the Arts  are so important to the health and success of the community.  She will share her journey and how St. Petersburg has risen  to become an international arts destination.  YaeL shared this quote ““My grandmother taught me that I am a part of my community, that the health of that community depended upon me and that my identity was not who I claimed to be, but who claimed me. We are who we are through every connection we have made or will make.”   I hope you can join us for this enlightening discussion.

D YaeL Kelley lives and works at her studio in the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Her eclectic heritage influence her current explorations.  YaeL was born in Ohio and grew up in Florida, where she sold her first work at age 14.  She has since lived in England, Arizona and Texas.  While in England she attended Suffolk College of Art and Design.  She has worked in the visual arts, in museums and in the theatre.  Her career spans more than 40 years as a professional painter, arts advocate and certified instructor/demonstration artists for several major arts manufacturers, which include Crayola Crayons, Winsor and Newton, and Daler Rowney.  She is a past president and artist in residence of the center for Contemporary Arts of Abilene, past vice-president of the Texas Visual Arts Association, served the city of St. Petersburg on the Arts Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s Transition Team for Arts and Culture.  She is a founding member of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.  YaeL has enjoyed many solo shows and group exhibitions throughout her career and is represented in St. Petersburg by Red Cloud Indian Arts Gallery.  Her paintings are in collections internationally.


Click here to make your reservation

New Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

Please join us on January 16th as we welcome Tom Magoulis, the Executive Director of the new Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.  This new gem is planned to open in early 2020 and will be a welcome addition to the booming St. Petersburg Arts scene.  From collection and storage of the art to the upcoming grand opening of the museum, Tom will share the museum’s journey and how they ended up in St. Petersburg.

A little bit about the Museum

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement will showcase a world class collection of art objects consisting of furniture, metalwork, lighting, ceramics, pottery, wood block prints, photography, fine art and other decorative works that date back to the 1900-to-1930. This historic movement, a reaction to the industrial revolution, dangerous factory working conditions, inferior mass-made objects, and a renewed appreciation of handmade art using natural materials, dramatically changed design philosophy and the way craftspeople worked.

After more than 20 years of collecting world-class art objects from the Arts and Crafts movement in America and founding the nonprofit Two Red Roses Foundation to house the collection, Tarpon
Springs businessman and art collector Rudy Ciccarello is finally realizing his dream to make this amazing collection available to the public.

The five-story, 144,000-square-foot museum along the 300 block of Fourth Avenue North will be the first of its kind in the country and the largest in St. Petersburg.

The approximately $90 million museum will feature more than 40,000 square feet of gallery space, temporary exhibition space, a 100-seat auditorium, a resource library, children’s education center, as well as a graphic studio and darkroom facilities for educational programs. Also included is Ambrosia, a 200 plus seat destination restaurant, a café, retail store, event ballroom and private art gallery designed for weddings, corporate events, and private parties.

Click here to make your reservation for January 16

Voices of Florida Women

Kelly Sciba will be visiting our local BPW luncheon meeting on Thursday, December 5 as we participate in the series of public forums that are being conducted around the state n Florida’s diverse regions and communities to talk to women about the challenges they encounter in their everyday lives. The 2019 Voices of Florida Women Listening Tour is a coordinated partnership with local commissions for women and other organizations from the panhandle to Key West to hold community conversations in their communities. Community Conversations will be scheduled throughout the state until the end of 2019. Here’s our chance to join in.


Click here to make your reservation


November 7: Gender Pay Equity–An Economic Issue

Lorrie Lykins, Vice President of Research at the Seattle-based Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and Editor of The SheSuite™, an ongoing series of in-depth interviews with women executives, will address the issue of gender pay equity and its implications as an economic issue. A thought leader, speaker, and researcher on the topic of gender equity, Lorrie has worked in the field of human capital research for a decade, beginning with the Human Resource Institute, and has published numerous articles, playbooks, case studies, editorial features, and whitepapers on topics ranging from corporate volunteerism to women in leadership, learning and development (L&D), talent management, and talent acquisition.

An award-winning writer and former correspondent with the St. Petersburg Times, Lorrie’s work has been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She is a contributing author to the best-selling books ASTD’s Foundations of Talent Development: Launching, Leveraging, and Leading Your Organization’s TD Effort (2018), The ASTD Leadership Handbook (2010), and Red, White, and True: Stories from Veterans and Families, World War II to Present (2014).

Lorrie is a graduate of Eckerd College and Queens University of Charlotte and serves as an adjunct professor in the adult education program at Eckerd College. She is based in New York City.

October 3: Current Insights in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

On Thursday October 3 BPW welcomes Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of the Embarc Collective, the innovation hub in downtown Tampa backed by business mogul Jeff Vinik and whose mission is to foster startup talent by providing a range of services and support to build thriving companies. Her experiences with hundreds of emerging businesses in Chicago and in the past 18 months here in Tampa Bay give her a unique perspective on our local talent and areas of opportunity for women. Whether it’s pooling resources or engaging a community or developing programs for women founders, she’s known for helping new companies and the leadership teams survive in their most vulnerable and crucial stages.

Lakshmi Shenoy is the CEO of Embarc Collective, the innovation hub in downtown Tampa that helps Tampa Bay’s startup talent build bold, scalable, thriving companies. Before moving to Tampa Bay, Lakshmi was in Chicago and served as the Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at 1871, the #1 university-affiliated business incubator in the world. Prior to 1871, Lakshmi worked at Prophet Brand Strategy, Time Inc., Procter & Gamble and Leo Burnett. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Lakshmi was recognized as one of 20 Rising Brand Stars by AdAge in 2017.

Click Here to Make Your Reservation for the October 3rd Luncheon Meeting

Wine Tasting Social September 12th

Join BPW on Thursday, September 12 at American Spirits 280 3rd St S in St. Petersburg from 6 to 8pm. Guests are welcome and there will be a an opportunity to win a gift certificate for at least $20.

Each attendee of the August and September luncheon meetings will receive a ticket to win and one ticket will be given for each bottle of wine purchased at the event prior to 7:45pm