72.4 F
Cruz Bay
Monday, January 30, 2023

HomeNewsArchivesNot for Profit: Business and Professional Women

Not for Profit: Business and Professional Women

April 20, 2007 — With membership aging and long ready to turn over the organizational duties, the St. John chapter of the Business and Professional Women hopes younger St. John women will join.
"Maybe we're old and stale," says BPW stalwart Yvonne Wells.
A retired educator, Wells says that the organization has recruited some younger members like President Edwina Hendricks, vice-president Dariel Bastian-Hendricks, secretary Dionne Wells and treasurer Julice Harley, but needs more to keep going.
"We are hoping they'll bring in their friends," Wells says.
The BPW currently has about 15 members, down from a peak of about 30 some years back. Wells and Hendricks both stressed that the organization is open to all women.
"It's a woman-based organization and good for young people to get involved," Hendricks says. "And it's a nice thing for the community."
While the old guard is interested in issues pertinent to aging, such as health care, the members are willing to tackle topics like financial planning that would appeal to younger members, Wells says.
The organization also tried changing its meeting night from 5:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month at Nazareth Lutheran Church hall to mid-week, but it didn't convince any more people to turn out.
The organization helps women learn how to present themselves and provides networking opportunities with other women. The St. John chapter got its start back in 1961 when Edith Dennen and Elaine Sprauve formed the first St. John organization.
Those early members encouraged young women such as Wells to join right out of college.
"In the 1960s and 1970s, the organization was something to talk about. We tackled issues such as free beaches," Wells says.
BPW, a national organization, began in the Virgin Islands in 1959 thanks to efforts by St. Croix attorney Gertrude Converse. In 1960, the St. Thomas chapter formed.
The St. John Chapter funds a $1,000 scholarship for a St. John high school student, and hopes to send a representative to the Young Careerist Competition to be held May 19 and 20 on St. Thomas. However, the St. John Chapter has yet to come up with a candidate. The winner of the local competition gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Reno, Nev., for the national competition, Wells says.
The topic is, "How can men and children help women achieve equality, and what responsibilities do women have to educate men and children on inequalities that exist for women?"
To learn more about BPW, call Wells at 693-5270.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.