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.
BE A PART OF HISTORY! With the ratification of Nevada in 2017 and Illinois in 2018 there is a renewed effort to get the ERA passed in the remaining 3 states needed. Here in Florida, BPW is joining forces with the League of Women Voters and the Athena Society to get this key element of the #1 Plank of our Public Policy Platform passed. Our strategy is to collect resolutions from cities and counties advocating the addition of those crucial 24 words to the Constitution of the United States. This is a bipartisan effort focused on pay equity and to address the fact that women are underrepresented in the board room, government, sports, and throughout the working worlds most high paying professions.
BPW / St. Petersburg-Pinellas has the opportunity to be a part of this effort THIS WEEK on Thursday, August 15 at 2:45 PM at our City Council Meeting. Join your sisters in the gallery to witness this moment in history. If you wish to speak in support of the resolution, please contact info@BPWStPetePinellas.org for more information. Members, if you attend, be sure to wear your BPW name tag.
Talking about sensitive social issues, such as unintended pregnancy, can be tough. Knowing the facts can help in conversations with those unsettled by topics like teen sexuality or abortion. Amy Weintraub, Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida, will lead a discussion on the state of women’s access to reproductive health care, including abortion care, in Florida and nationwide. She will discuss recent activities in Tallahassee and Washington as they relate to reproductive rights and what we could face in a post-Roe world.
Amy Weintraub is the Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida and is a leader on the statewide Floridians for Reproductive Freedom coalition. She was one of the leads for Women’s March St. Pete 2017 and is an active with the League of Women Voters, the National Organization for Women, and the South St. Petersburg Democratic Club. A seasoned organizer, Amy has worked most of her adult life identifying, educating, and activating citizens toward social justice. Prior to moving to Florida in 2015, Amylived in her home state of West Virginia where she led efforts within organizations such as WV FREE (West Virginia Focus: Reproductive Education and Equality), Covenant House of WV, and Planned Parenthood. Amy lives in St. Petersburg with her spouse and two children.
On Thursday March 22, Membership Chair, Tiki Bates and Equality Day Tea Chair, Lily Alcott attended Defending Women’s Reproductive
Rights and Freedoms: The Curious Case of the Macedonian Abortion Law of 2013 at USFSP at the invitation of member and USFSP Professor, Judithanne McLauchlan. Tiki and Lily had a table where they had the opportunity to not only hear the speaker Professor Dr. Karolina Ristova-Aasterud from Macedonia but also to meet and speak with many of the attendees about our mission.
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.
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.
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.
Elections are always an exciting time for our organization. We are fortunate to have a diverse and strong membership who believe in the mission of BPW and the importance of a strong leadership team. BPW/SPP is entering an exciting time with new leadership this summer at the state level from our local organization.
Our mission of building powerful women professionally, personally and politically remains as important now as it did 50 years ago. We encouraged all members to be a part of electing our new leadership. On April 6 we did elect our officers for 2017-2018. Tami Simms then spoke about The Education Foundation of the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.
Then on April 20, BPW/FL President-Elect Alizza Punzalan-Randle installed the new officers for 2017-2018: Liz Illgen, President; Sheila Barry-Oliver, President-Elect; Jane Byers, 1st Vice President; Gretta Paige Bellas, 2nd Vice President; Lily Alcott, Secretary; and Jill Wenner, Treasurer. Tami Simms will serve as Parliamentarian.
To recognize National Equal Pay Day and to raise awareness of pay equity and wage discrimination, Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas will hold its 14th annual “Unhappy Hour” on April 4, the symbolic day that the average woman in the United States finally earns the same amount of pay that her male counterpart earned in the previous calendar year.