News

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.

November 1: Veteran Reintegration Into the Civilian Sector

In recognition of Veterans Day (November 11), Shelina Frey, USAA Military Affairs Representative, will address the challenges faced by female veterans upon separating from the military and entering the civilian sector.

Shelina joined the USAA Military Affairs Team in February 2018 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a Command Chief Master Sergeant with 34 years of service. USAA’s Military Affairs team is composed of retired officers and senior noncommissioned officers who dedicate themselves as advocates for those who are currently serving in the military, all those who have honorably served in the past and their families. The team of professionals is responsible for creating and sustaining relationships between USAA, its strategic partners, military leaders and military-related organizations so that USAA can engage, serve and advocate for the military community.

Shelina’s last position was as principal advisor to the commander on matters of health, welfare and morale, development, and effective utilization of 38,000 active duty and 71,000 Air Force Reserve Command/Air National Guard enlisted personnel assigned to the command. Shelina served in numerous senior enlisted positions: Special Assistant to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force; Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, First Term Airman Center; Commandant, Airman Leadership School; First Sergeant duties; Command Chief Master Sergeant at the Wing, Air Expeditionary Wing and Air Forces Central Command in Southwest Asia and 4-Star Major Command levels.

Chief Frey enlisted in the Louisiana Air National Guard in September 1984. She entered active duty in May 1987. Her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Air Force Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, and an Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold combat border.

Shelina successfully completed numerous military schools. She received an Associate’s Degree in Information Systems, Community College of the Air Force in 1994, an Associate’s Degree in Human Resource Management, Community College of the Air Force in 2009, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Quality Systems Management, National Graduate School of Quality Management, Falmouth Maine in 2013. Shelina is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting

October 18: New Treatments for Breast Cancer

New treatments for breast cancer are happening all the time.  Dr. M. Catherine Lee, Moffitt Cancer Center, will bring us up to date. Dr. Lee graduated magna cum laude from Kent State University and completed her MD degree at the Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio. After a general surgery residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, she completed the Susan G. Komen/University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Breast Fellowship in Ann Arbor. She is board-certified in General Surgery and joined the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Comprehensive Breast Program as an Assistant Professor in 2008. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014.

Dr. Lee is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Society of University Surgeons. In addition to her clinical interests in young breast cancer patients, she is active in clinical research, clinical trials, and translational breast cancer research. She is actively involved with her colleagues in investigating and improving fertility preservation education and collaborating with the faculty in Molecular and Functional Imaging in the development of novel agents for intraoperative identification of breast cancer. She is the recipient of NIH/NCI and private research funding. Dr. Lee has numerous publications in peer-reviewed medical journals and has presented her work regionally and nationally.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting

October 4: Know Before You Vote

Twelve proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution remain on the Nov. 6, 2018, ballot, eight more than appeared on the 2016 ballot. Of the twelve amendments, seven were proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), three by the Florida Legislature and two by citizen initiative. To pass, each of them must receive at least 60% approval by voters. This is the first time that constitutional amendments proposed by a CRC have faced the 60% hurdle, which voters approved in 2006. However, voters face more questions than is apparent.

Come learn more about the proposed amendments from Robin Davidov, a volunteer with the League of Women Voters St. Petersburg Area (LWVSPA). As a member of the Voter Services group, Robin helps voters register and update their registration. The League’s volunteers engage students and adults to foster an understanding of elections and democracy.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting

September 20: Why the Internet of Things is Important to You

Why is the Internet of Things (IoT) important to you professionally and personally? Come find out from Laura Malavé, a Tampa Native, leads the St. Petersburg College (SPC) College of Computer & Information Technology Center for Cybersecurity. Laura joined SPC in July 2015 as Academic Chair for the Midtown and Downtown campuses and successfully grew a Computer Repair certificate program at the Midtown Keene center. Prior to coming to SPC, she taught Computer Science and Information Technology at Hillsborough Community College and Keiser University Tampa Campus. She has Masters and Bachelors of Science degrees in Computer Science from the University of South Florida. She has more than 15 years of Computer & Information Technology college teaching experience.

Laura has numerous industry certifications including: GIAC GSEC, CompTIA CySA+, Security+, Network+, A+, EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker, MOS, and MTAs, etc. Laura is very active in the Tampa Bay Cybersecurity community, and is an active member of ISC2 Tampa Bay, and a volunteer and committee team lead for the BSides Tampa Conference. She is the advisor to the SPC Cybersecurity club, TitanSec, which actively participates in online, and local ‘Capture the Flag’, Cybersecurity, competitions, and attends local conferences and industry events.

Laura received the 2016 League of Innovation Excellence Awards in Teaching and Learning in the category of: Innovation in the Use of Technology. She has been awarded two grants while at SPC: NSF-ATE Grant Application Co-PI, Biomedical Engineering & Cybersecurity, and the SPC Innovation Grant 2016, Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity Lab. She is currently in a mentorship program to have SPC designated as an NSA Cybersecurity Center of Academic Excellence in Two-Year Education for the AS Degree in Cybersecurity.

She is also a member of the HSI, Homeland Security Investigations, 2018 Citizens Academy.

NOTE: THIS IS A SPEAKER CHANGE.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting

September 6: Voting and Cyber Security

It’s election season and Julie Marcus, Pinellas County Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections, representing Deborah Clark, is the perfect person to tell us about voting and cyber security.  She is committed to conducting fair, accurate and secure elections for Pinellas County.

Marcus ascended to her position in 2007 after having served in other capacities in the Poll Worker Department and in Voter Outreach and Education.  Prior to joining the Elections Office, Marcus worked as a District Senior Executive Secretary for a State Representative from 2000-2002.

Marcus is a Certified Election/Registration Administrator.  She graduated from the University of South Florida where she was President of the National Political Honor Society.

Click Here to Attend This Luncheon Meeting