Celebrate National Business Women’s Week with Virtual Bingo

Our Annual Celebration of working women in the 3rd week of October will take a new form this year of change. On Thursday October 22, from 6-7pm we’ll hold a virtual fundraiser benefitting the Connie Passmore Scholarship like none you’ve ever played. There will be multiple opportunities to win prizes by chance and by testing your knowledge of glass ceiling breakers and pioneering women in business. You’ll probably even find out about a few new SHEroes.

Topic: BPW Business Women’s Bingo
Time: Oct 22, 2020 05:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 977 3052 7051
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Meeting ID: 977 3052 7051
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Get the Facts on Voting

Join us virtually when we welcome Robin Davidov from the League of Women Voters to our Zoom meeting on Thursday, September 24th at 6PM for an hour jam packed with information to help you be an informed and effective voter. Robin will review the constitutional amendments and school board races that we’ll all see on our ballots. Additionally, she’ll address the various methods by which to vote and how to make sure your vote is counted including dates and deadlines for absentee and early voting.

Our mission has been and continues to be equity for women in the workplace and one of the most effective ways to encourage workplace equity is to vote for it and for candidates that support it. Be engaged with the voting process and know who and what you are voting for in every election. Our foremothers are counting on us.

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Like you, we’re delighted that this new technology is providing the opportunity for ALL of our members and guests to stay engaged and enjoy our speakers at our meetings. However, as the number in attendance at our meetings is reduced so are the limited funds which are used to further our mission including our Connie Passmore Scholarship. If you are able, please consider making a donation to the fund by clicking the button below.

All about BPW – Orientation for All Members

What’s LO mean? ID? How do I get a directory? What committees can I join? Who gets scholarships? Any questions you have about BPW are welcome here. Have some suggestions? Want to make sure you’re getting the most “bang for your buck?” Join Membership Chair, Amy Dinovo and other seasoned members to get to know your club and why being a member is important to so many.

Amy Dinovo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: All about BPW – Orientation for ALL
Time: Sep 17, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 988 4485 2674
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+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
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Meeting ID: 988 4485 2674
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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 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

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


Annual Meeting on April 4

Join us on April 4 for our annual meeting at which time reports summarizing the year’s activities shall be given and officers for 2019-2020 shall be elected and installed. Elections are always an exciting time for our organization. The installing officer will be BPW/FL President Jerri Evans. 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. Our mission of building powerful women professionally, personally and politically remains as important now as it did when we were formed 53 years ago. We encourage all members to be a part of electing our new leadership.

We will also be recognizing the recipients of the Helen K. Leslie Award for Service & Dedication and the Member of the Year Award.

We will also be discussing the BPW/FL State Conference on June 27-30, which will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton in Punta Gorda (Charlotte Harbor). 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of BPW/FL, so it will be cause for great celebration! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about BPW and its activities and to get to know its members.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting, which will be held from 11:30 am-1:00 pm.

March 7: The State of the County

Make your reservation now as BPW welcomes back Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice for what has become an annual update to the members and guests of BPW. He’ll share the commission’s successes and challenges and how we can participate in countywide efforts to improve our community.

Approachable. Compassionate. Home town boy. All words used to describe Charlie Justice. One only has to spend five minutes with Charlie to know that he is not your usual politician.

Husband to Kathleen for 20+ years and proud father of two young daughters Erin and Allison, Charlie grew up the youngest of five children in the heart of Pinellas. As a student at Boca Ciega High, Charlie excelled in academics, but really thrived at putting smiles on his classmates’ faces. To this day, his colleagues and friends admire his optimism and his ability to bring out the best in any person or situation. Charlie attended St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida. It was important to him to stay close to his family, and build a life in his beloved hometown. After college, he became active in local politics, eventually becoming the legislative aide to Representative Lars Hafner. His admiration for our area grew and so did his calling to public service. Five years later, Charlie earned the opportunity to represent us as a State Representative and later as a State Senator.

Charlie relied on the good people of his district and succeeded in strengthening rights for our military, bringing home millions in beach re-nourishment funds, standing strong for our natural resources and protecting our coastline from near shore oil drilling and mandating stronger consumer protections for the safety of our families. He is a tireless advocate for education and teachers. Charlie stands up for fair and ethical elections, working to rein in frivolous campaign spending by special interests and raising voter confidence by ensuring that everyone has the right and ability to vote.

Charlie credits his open door policy and community involvement for his success. He is constantly in the community, talking to nurses, teachers and others on the front lines who can offer real solutions to state wide problems. It is because of them that Charlie advocates so effectively for our most vulnerable. He has called for stricter regulations on nursing homes and harsher penalties for elder and child abuse. He supports measures to make our foster care system safer and programs that get homeless off the street. He has brought home funds for community organizations such as PARC, Gulf Coast Family Services, Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, and Vincent House, just to name a few.

Charlie has continued that same philosophy on the County Commission. He is working with many community partners addressing the poverty issues in Lealman, Midtown and throughout Pinellas. He worked to pass ordinances providing relief for wage theft victims, providing assistance to human trafficking victims, and expanded Pinellas’ human rights ordinance. Charlie has served as Chair of the Commission, the Tourist Development Council, and the Pinellas Economic Development Council, in leadership positions of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas Board, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Pinellas Historical Preservation Board and on the Health & Human Services Leadership Board, the Pinellas County Youth Advisory Committee and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Board.

Legislating aside, Charlie’s best attribute is his compassion for the working families who are the heart and soul of his community. He empathizes with those who, like him, worked to make their own way and provide for their families. He has an uncanny ability to identify with almost anyone he comes across, and usually ends the conversation by sharing a laugh and a smile. It is this capacity to connect and deliver that makes Charlie an effective leader, and a role model for others looking to serve their community.

January 3: The Business Side of the Arts

What does it take to open and run a museum? Jane Buckman, Deputy Director of the Imagine Museum, will share her insight on the business side of the arts. Jane received her MA in studio arts from Western Illinois University. She has been involved with the arts and arts administration throughout her professional life. From her earlier years as an Artist in Residence for the city of Chicago, moving forward as an administrative executive at private arts colleges in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle, she has advanced opportunities in the arts to all audiences she has served. In 2007 she moved to Sarasota and shifted from executive leadership at the college level to be the Director for the Longboat Key Center of the Arts, a division of Ringling College. In this capacity, she gained additional administrative experience in gallery management, community education development as well as originating the Sarasota Glass Weekend in partnership with Ferdinand Hampson founder and past president of Habatat Galleries (MI) beginning in 2010.

Jane came on board with Imagine Museum in March 2017 as Deputy Director opening the Museum in January 2018. Jane is singularly focused on the museum’s development over the coming months and years, as well as founder Trish Duggan’s vision for the advancement of the studio glass movement regionally and nationally. Jane says there are three things that get her out of bed every day: the vision of the museum’s founder, Trish Duggan, ensuring the artists we represent are represented in the best possible light in the museum and the community of St Pete (I feel that we owe something tremendous to the city of St Pete). “I’m grateful to everyone who worked with us to get the museum open.”

Please join us for this every inviting program.

December 6: Maximizing Your Personal & Business Insurance Options

Kristin “Kristi” Demers-Crowell has traveled the state of Florida handling commercial and residential building damage claims, including thousands of losses from hurricanes, fires, sinkholes, collapse, pipe bursts, water intrusion, theft, vandalism and other causes. Kristi pushes insurance companies to pay what they owe building owners. She also focuses on business interruption, bad faith litigation, and insurance agent negligence. From condominiums and homeowners associations to residential homes, churches, marinas, restaurants and other businesses, Kristi handles losses from the start of the claims process through appraisal and trial.

A native of St. Petersburg, Kristi grew up in the legal community here, watching her father serve as a judge for 31 years and her mother practice law and serve as a college dean. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University and her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.

Kristi began her career in 1998 with the oldest law firm in St. Petersburg, Harris, Barrett, Mann & Dew, LLP, where she managed large volumes of insurance defense cases. In 2000, she had the opportunity to serve as a law clerk for Federal Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun, III, in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida, and assisted in writing court decisions in insurance matters and other disputes. Upon returning to private practice in 2002, Kristi knew she wanted to represent the public and help associations, businesses and families recover from disasters. She forces insurers to handle claims, quickly, properly and fairly so her clients can get their lives, communities and businesses back to normal as soon as possible.

Professional associations include Florida Justice Association (Insurance Committee), Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, St. Petersburg Bar Association, Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, Windstorm Insurance Network, Bay Area Apartment Association and Community Association Institute. Kristi is also an alum of Leadership St. Pete.

November 15: Domestic Violence and the Workplace

Domestic violence often intrudes into the workplace in a myriad of ways, either directly or indirectly. Gabriela Lopez, the Community Education and Awareness Manager at CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse), will help us better understand these dynamics and how businesses can best respond.
Gabriela graduated from The Florida State University with a bachelor in Social Work. As the Community Education and Awareness Manager she is responsible for delivering professional domestic violence training to the workplace. Before joining CASA, Gabriela worked as a victim advocate and has years of direct service experience. She assisted victims of various crimes through criminal justice advocacy, accompaniment, safety planning, Crime Victim’s Compensation assistance, and linking victims to additional community resources. Her professional background includes working with victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and financial exploitation.