Thursday, June 11, 2009

The 90th Anniversary Celebration

The Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. is sponsoring a celebration of 90 years of building powerful women. This promises to be a exciting event as we kick off a new era for business women.

Missouri has disassociated with BPW/USA and we are forging forward with new ideas. This had orginally been planned as the BPW National Meeting, but with their financial problems, BPW cancelled the celebration. The Missouri Federation stepped up to make sure this important anniversary of Business and Professional Women was celebrated in style.

We welcome all our sisters to this celebration in the city where BPW began. Come to St. Louis if you want to celebrate the success and strength of American workingwomen.

Meet us in St. Louis, July 31! For more information conact Debora Biggs:

Linda Fisher
First Vice President

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sowing Seeds of Success: Sedalia Business Women

Dear Member:

This is an exciting year for Sedalia Business and Professional Women! We are no longer affiliated with BPW/USA. Our State Federation voted to disassociate from BPW/USA effective June 1, 2009. The votes on the merger have been tallied and BPW/USA now has the authority to merge with BPW Foundation. I wanted you to know the results of the vote, but since the State Federation has already voted to disassociate from them, this does not affect us.

What does this mean for you? You no longer will pay dues to BPW/USA. Your dues will be $45 per year ($10 for our local club and $35 for the State). And in these leaner economic times, we are all happy about the lower dues. Student members will only pay $20 for their State membership. Notices will be sent to you very soon and dues will be paid to our own treasurer, Della Schnakenberg.

The State Board and regional directors are very excited about the future of the Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. The Board is looking to reinvent and to rebrand the Missouri group to be bigger and better than ever! Your Sedalia Board members are also excited about the opportunities this reorganization brings to us. The programs we have used from BPW/USA will no longer be available for our use, but the Missouri Board will be creating new programs that will help us to continue to educate, train and inform ourselves and others. We will be able to continue to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for area women. In fact, locally, we have already had a brainstorming meeting to suggest ideas to the State Board.

As your President this year, I am looking forward to talking to each of you and working to help you understand the changes and to move forward with us. My theme this year is Sowing the Seeds of Success. I want to plant the seeds you need to help you be a successful person. I want to help nurture those seeds so that you can reap the benefits and achieve your goals in your personal life and your professional life. As the Club moves forward with the help of the State Federation, we will be looking to improve and reinvent so that we can advance our Club and make it work better for you. So, I ask you, what can we do to help you? What steps can we take and what seeds can we sow to help you reach your goals?

I am here to serve you.

Dianne Simon, President
Sedalia Business & Professional Women’s Club, Inc.

Notice to Missouri Federation Members

Several members have received renewal notices from BPW/USA. Please disregard these. All of Missouri's renewals will be collected by your president and/or treasurer of your local organization.

As a member of Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women Clubs, Inc, you will not receive a renewal notice. Members will pay the local organization and the local will submit the membership dues to the Missouri office.

Please contact us if you have any questions. Again, please disregard any renewal notices from BPW/USA.

Keep Moving Forward
Generation to Generation
Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women Clubs, Inc
Angela Moran
President, MFBPWCINC

Friday, May 15, 2009

BPW Merger with Foundation Passes

With 3,130 votes cast, 2,459 were in favor of the merger between BPW/USA and Foundation and 671 against.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Merger Announcement Email from BPW/USA

The following email from BPW/USA was sent to members. Instructions to access the Webinar or to listen in by phone were included.

Merger Announcement

"We invite you to join us via webinar for the official meeting to cast the proxy vote forms on the merger of BPW/USA and BPW Foundation. The webinar is scheduled for Friday, May 15, 2009 at 4pm EDT. Voting by proxy closed on May 5, 2009 at 5pm EDT. Electronic votes have been recorded but hard copy ballots that were mailed to vendor, True Ballot, are still being tallied. Both BPW/USA President Diane Polangin and BPW Foundation Chair Roslyn Ridgeway will be in attendance and make remarks at the meeting."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Merger Voting Ends on May 5!

Please cast your ballot on the BPW/USA merger with BPW Foundation. Let your voice be heard!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Answer to Question on Missouri Resolution to Disassociate

How did you make this decision without everyone’s vote? Assuming not every member attended the state convention.

Also, what were the arguments for/against?

Thanks for keeping us informed.

I wanted to answer the above comment on Missouri Passes Resolution to Disassociate from BPW/USA.

Our Missouri Federation kept members well informed of the upcoming merger and released information as it came available to them. The state sent questionnaires to Missouri members to get a feel for how they planed to vote on the merger. Several question requested our input as to whether we wanted the state to remain with national or break away. Based on the answers, the state proposed the resolution.

One reason the vote took place at our state conference is if we did not make the decision during the conference, we would be faced with licensing fees if the merger went through and we had not acted. At that point, some of the locals would have dissolved or broken away from both state and national rather than pay the fees.

Many of the locals had already discussed the merger and the possibility of the state disassociating with national. Everyone knew this was probably the most important conference we had ever held in Missouri next to the one in St. Louis ninety years ago when BPW began. People that really wanted to vote were at the meeting.

Arguments against disassociation were few. One lady didn’t think the $40 license fee was a big deal and we should continue to stay a part of national. Mostly, the ones opposed were people who were not well informed of the situation.

Arguments for disassociation are included in many of the comments on this blog. Missouri has a strong federation and is fiscally responsible. BPW wasn’t started by meek and mild women satisfied with the status quo and now it was time to us to show we are strong women with leadership qualities. We no longer want to remain in limbo waiting to implode when members oppose the license fee. The high national dues ($60) is part of the reason our membership numbers are declining. We chose to embrace the changes and move forward. BPW as we have always known it no longer exists at the national level.

Our district rep emailed some of our questions to Barb Henton. One former state president asked the question: If the CEO really brought in more money than her salary, what is her salary and how much did she bring in? Another member wanted to know why BPW had only gotten the trademark on “BPW” and several of the programs in January of 2009.

Instead of answering our questions, we got a promo on BPW/USA. As the state board member said, “I’m disappointed in Barb’s response. She didn’t answer our questions, she only gave us fluff.”

We stood up for the vote, overwhelming in favor of the resolution. Only five women were opposed to the resolution to disassociate.

The state is still encouraging us to vote for the merger so that states that choose to remain with BPW can do so. Personally, I voted against the merger because I think it is only delaying the inevitable and allowing BPW/USA to hold our name hostage. I refuse to vote for something that is totally against my principals. (For more on this visit my personal blog at and read "Stand Up and Be Counted.")

Whether you are for or against the merger, please vote! The more who vote, the better our voices will be heard.

Linda Fisher
Membership Chair
Sedalia BPW

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sharon Mangan message to Missouri Members

I want to thank all the Missouri Members who attended the State Conference and participated in our votes regarding Missouri's future. You were all wonderful, willing to discuss and willing to vote your conscience.

Thank you for running the race with me this past year, for your determination to continue with the State Federation we love and your willingness to be a part of this great change. With the mindset of the Missouri members, I feel sure that we will be able to have our Federation, Generation to Generation as we follow our new President Angie Moran's 2009-2010 theme.

Sharon Lee Mangan,
Past State President Missouri Federation BPW, INC.
1927 E. Cardinal St. Springfield, MO. 65804

Monday, April 27, 2009

Letter from Sedalia President Elect about State Conference

Dear BPW Member:

As your incoming President, I attended the State Conference this past weekend along with several other members of our local - Marla, Nancy, Della, Carolyn, Cindy and Linda. We learned a lot from our State Board about the merger vote and about how the State organization plans to move forward. I wanted to pass on to you the information we learned this weekend.

First, you have the opportunity, and the right, to vote on whether you think that BPW/USA should be allowed to merge with the BPW Foundation. You must cast your ballot by May 5. The actual ballot reads as follows:

I direct my proxy to vote FOR the Federation to be governed by the current District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act “New Act” and FOR the approval of the Plan of Merger between the Federation and the Foundation.


I direct my proxy to vote AGAINST the Federation to be governed by the current District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act “New Act” and AGAINST the approval of the Plan of Merger of the Federation and the Foundation.

Second, on Saturday, April 25th, by an overwhelming majority, the Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. voted to dissociate itself from BPW/USA, effective June 1, 2009 and to discontinue the use of all related logos, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, and signature programs currently controlled by BPW/USA and/or the BPW Foundation. The State Board, the regional directors, and the BPW members that attended the conference are very excited about the future of the Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. The Board is looking to reinvent and to rebrand the Missouri group to be bigger and better than ever! The programs we have used from BPW/USA will no longer be available for our use, but the Missouri Board will be creating new programs that will help us to continue to educate, train and inform ourselves and others. We will be able to continue to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for area women.

Third, if you have paid your dues for the 2009-2010 year, you can ask BPW/USA for a refund of the national portion, but don’t hold your breath to receive the same. Actually, they should have already notified you if you are eligible to receive a refund.

Fourth, there will be a new dues structure. There will be NO National dues. State dues were approved to be $35 for general membership, $20 for student members and $40 for members-at-large. Sometime after May 1, there will be a notice coming from the State board with regard to the dues.

Most importantly, DO NOT pay anything to BPW/USA. If you have been billed, please disregard said billing.

We are ready and willing to accept the challenge of moving forward. We will be looking to you for ideas on programs for our use locally and on the State level. We can do this! Please join me for an exciting year of change!

Dianne Simon
Sedalia BPW

Message from Sedalia BPW President

Dear BPW Members:

Personally I do not wish to support or condemn BPW/USA or the leadership. I believe they have fallen short in the futuristic planning where our finances are concerned. However, I also believe that the unforeseen state of the global economy has had an impact beyond their control. The decreased number of members paying in dues, the loss of sponsors for conferences due to a reduced number of members attending, and the expense of trying to save our organization are just a few areas that have had a major impact on the budget.

As for the merger of BPW/USA and BPW Foundation, I do not believe that the heart, the body of this organization being its membership has been given adequate consideration. If we are expected to pay – we want a say!! (A vote) There have been too many questions that have received vague or no answer at all. The presentation of the planned merger left too many if’s.

Members of the Missouri Federation attending State conference this past weekend voted overwhelmingly to disassociate ourselves from BPW/USA. Missouri and its membership are strong, energetic and intelligent. We will be stronger, more effective and more efficient standing on our own. We have the resources available and the responsibility to continue to work toward a better future for all human beings everywhere particularly where women are concerned. We should lead others by being a positive example.

We have been given the right under the merger plan to disassociate ourselves with BPW/USA. I believe that we should see to it that the states that wish to remain a part of a national organization have that right as well. Therefore, I will vote to approve the merger knowing that the wishes of the Missouri members to disassociate have been met and we will now be able to move forward on our own while allowing others to proceed in a direction they see is in the best interest of and in accordance with their the wishes of their members.

I am disappointed at the national level of our organization but I refuse to use time and energy that could be put to better use than on being angry. It is time for Missouri to turn the page and move forward!!!!

Marla Franklin
Sedalia BPW Local

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Missouri Passes Resolution to Disassociate from BPW/USA

At the Missouri State Conference today, the Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. overwhelmingly passed the following resolution:

That the Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. disassociate itself from BPW/USA June 1, 2009 and discontinue the use of the BPW/USA, BPW/MO, BPW Local Organizations, BPW (standing alone) and all other names, Logos, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, and signature programs currently legally controlled by BPW/USA and/or the BPW Foundation.

Members of the Missouri Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc, was incorporated in the state of Missouri in 1938. Our attorney's legal opinion is that we can continue to use our incorporated name without infringing upon the BPW trademark registered by national on January 6, 2009.

Our members are excited about the opportunity to develop programs and rebuild our organization to meet the needs of Missouri workingwomen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Vote Against the Merger

I have read all the papers and heard a lot of talk on the merger. I really enjoyed reading this blog which let me know that others were thinking what I've been thinking. So when the vote came out, I voted against the merger. I believe that this is in the best interests of the state federations and thus the locals.

I know that our long history cannot be taken away and most of us have put on enough YC and ID programs that we can easily enough set up a new one if necessary. But I do not believe it will be necessary as I think that they will be for sale to either anyone with a certain dollar amount or the highest bidder in some cases. I can live with that and I can also live without anyone from national telling my state and local what we can and cannot do -- like the world will end.

Thanks for the place to express my feelings.

Glenda Smith, Rushville IN local
Past State President IN, 1997-98
and all the jobs in between and after

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To Merge or Not to Merge

I just finished reading Linda Fisher's comments and want to say I agree wholeheartedly with her reasoning. I was appalled to think that not only would I still have to pay $40 to use the BPW name, but I still, in my opinion, don't get much back. Now, if they had said, $40 per state or local, I might be willing to vote in favor. But ever since I heard that not only would we still need to pay $40 per person, but my voting rights were going to be taken away.

National tells us the biggest problem facing BPW/USA today is member retention; what makes them think this "alternative" is going to retain members? Or even more important, grow our membership at the local level.

In today's economic times, when people have to choose between a roof over their heads, clothes on their back or food in their stomach, this proposal is unrealistic.

Carolyn Gilg, Michigan

BPW/USA Email Does Not Sway Local President Elect

Today, we all received an email from BPW-USA with regard to voting process. This email again explained why they want us to vote "Yes":

"A Plan of Merger was approved by the BPW/USA Board of Directors and the BPW Foundation Board of Trustees. Adoption of the Plan of Merger ensures continuation of the BPW/USA mission, heritage and legacy through BPW Foundation. A “yes” vote for the Plan of Merger allows for the continuation of BPW/USA’s mission. Members will have the opportunity to work with their State and Local Organization leadership in choosing to enter into a license agreement with BPW Foundation. A “no” vote for the Plan of Merger will eliminate any and all opportunity of choice and ultimately means dissolution of BPW/USA and our mission. Choosing to merge and choosing to enter into a license agreement with BPW Foundation are two separate decisions with the license agreement decision to be made at a later date by the State Federations and/or Local Organizations."

As incoming President for Sedalia BPW, I want to share my viewpoint. I have been a member of Sedalia BPW since 2003. I have always thought that the National dues were too high. Each year, the amount of the dues made me question my renewal in BPW. The fact that the officers of BPW/USA were not good stewards of our dues and have financially ruined the national organization just infuriates me. And the fact that these officers will stay with BPW and now become Trustees of the new BPW Foundation tells me that I do not want to vote for this merger. Another reason I will not vote for the merger was the announcement by the BPW Foundation that they would not be giving any national scholarships because they had given $500,000 to the BPW/USA to help them pay their bills. I thought the money that had been donated to the Foundation was to be used for charitable purposes. How is helping BPW/USA stay afloat a charitable purpose?

I will not vote for the merger. Sedalia BPW can stand on its own or with the Missouri BPW in the event they do not approve the merger. We can, and will, continue to empower workingwomen to achieve their full potential!

Dianne Simon
President Elect
Sedalia, BPW

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Linda Fisher's Opinion of State Presidents Urge Members to Vote for Merger

I just received an email letter from our State President urging Missouri BPW Members to vote for the merger. I have asked permission to print her letter on the Blog in fairness to those who think merger is our best option. If I receive permission, I will post President Sharon's letter.

Meanwhile, I'll post my opinion of the urge to vote "Yes".

BPW/USA needs 2/3 vote of the members to merge or they will go bankrupt or dissolve. (Same story). BPW/USA’s approach now is to urge everyone to vote for the merger regardless of whether they plan to remain in BPW and pay the fee or disenfranchise from BPW. They are asking this as a favor for those states who want to remain in BPW.

The following is my opinion of BPW/USA’s arguments that we should vote for the merger:

1. To be a BPW member, you still have to pay the $40 licensing fee.
2. BPW members are voting to never vote again. The ones that stay in BPW are non-voting members with no say.
3. The only concession BPW/USA makes for student members is for the ones who were members as of June 30.
4. Don't you just love it that the states that have foundations can change their name with their Secretary of State?
5. National still isn't going to be doing anything to earn their license fee--and what happens when they lose half of their members and go belly up in a few years? Then, BPW will certainly cease to exist at all levels just as BPW/USA predicted.

This is just my first impressions of our voting instructions to vote to keep a portion of BPW rather standing up for states and locals to keep the BPW name. My opinion is that the merger will destroy BPW. When states and locals split off and rename or reorganize, BPW falls. What happens to our name then?

Linda Fisher
Membership Chair
Sedalia MO BPW

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Assessment means dues without voting rights

An assessment is just another term for dues without voting rights. BPW/USA failed its members by negotiating a one sided merger that benefits the Foundation at the expense of State Federations, Local Organizations, and Members.

This is not the first time BPW/USA leadership has misled members. When BPW leaders believed our Headquarters at 2012 Massachusetts Ave needed to be renovated, they urged members to contribute - even threatening to raise dues if we didn't. We gave and gave, but our dues went up anyway. I remember our LO bought a brick, but it was tossed away when Headquarters moved because we didn't want to pay the ransom to have it shipped to us. The biggest insult was finding out when they sold 2012 that we didn't own it after all. It belonged to the Foundation, which reaped a big profit that we members helped create.

Does anyone remember the details about the International Federation? My understanding is that BPW/USA found some excuse to drop out of the International Federation and diverted our dues to the BPW/USA coffers. This may not be true, but it's what I recall being told at the time.

I really want to merge, but the terms are outrageous. I want BPW/USA to renegotiate the terms of the merger.

Linda CrowderPresident of the BPW/Granite Falls, NC

Monday, April 6, 2009

Will you give up your right to vote?

Although nothing would make me happier than to have BPW/USA continue to survive and thrive, that is no longer a possibility. We are going to lose our voting rights at the National level no matter the outcome of the merger vote. What is at stake now is the survival of State and Local memberships. If the merger vote were to pass, then it is very likely that the State and Local organizations will be diminished greatly or disappear entirely. The power of BPW has always been its grassroots membership. These members can no longer afford to pay National dues (or license fees) of a magnitude comparable to State and Local fees combined... To grow the membership at the State and Local level, it would be necessary to reduce the fee to a level attractive to new members. If merger is in effect this will not be possible. The choice would then be to pay the fee, which will drive the membership down even more at the State and Local level, or refuse affiliation. Either way, the membership at the State and Local level is destroyed.

The vote on the merger is intrinsically tied to all subsequent decisions. In fact, it is the last vote that we as members of BPW/USA will have on anything related to our logos, trademarks and signature program materials. Unfortunately, the Board has portrayed the vote on merger and the later vote on affiliation as separate and independent votes. They are not that at all. Adoption of merger significantly diminishes alternatives available to the State and Local organizations. Passage of the merger resolution with its current framing reduces the subsequent affiliation vote to a pointless choice between two different ways to destroy the State and Local organizations. The merger resolution could be reframed so as to provide the rights to the logos, trademarks and signature programs to both BPW Foundation and the State Federations simultaneously. If this form of merger passed then the affiliation vote would be a true choice by the State organizations regarding whether affiliation was in their best interest. In the event that the current version of the merger is defeated, there is a distinct possibility that use of the BPW name and signature programs will pass to the State organizations upon dissolution of BPW/USA through direct transfer or bankruptcy proceedings. This is the only outcome that will allow State and Local organizations to continue under the BPW banner.

If we vote for merger with BPW Foundation, we will sacrifice the democratic tradition that has guided BPW/USA since its founding. Decisions about BPW's future will no longer be in the hands of the membership regardless of the outcome of a later vote on affiliation.

Without all the information on the table prior to the vote, I cannot in good faith vote for the merger giving away the democratic ideals our foremothers struggled for in the suffrage movement. Although this has been a hard decision for me, the most persuasive consideration is that the good name of BPW and the programs developed through the membership fees and volunteer work must remain in the hands of the members, subject to their vote. If this cannot be at the National level then it should continue at the State and Local levels.

A vote for merger is a vote to destroy BPW at the State and Local levels.

Virginia Adamson
President, BPW of the Triad
BPW/NC State Conference Chair
Only a 2.5 year old in BPW but love it nonetheless

Question about License Fee

The Question: Would a non-member pay the same licensing fee?

BPW/USA Answer: No. BPW Foundation is offering the licensing arrangement assessed at a per member cost of $40 to BPW/USA members only as part of the transitioning process of the two sister organizations to the new merged organization. The non-voting member fee will be considerably higher for non-BPW members.

My Question: Why would a non-BPW member be able to buy a license for the BPW brand at any price?

Linda Fisher
Member Chair
Sedalia BPW

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Hi Linda-

I have attached each of the Frequently Asked Questions so that you might put them on the blog…this info was just sent out this weekend and is available on the BPW/USA website…I want all to have all information possible prior to voting.

I have also informed Barb Henton, Past National President of the website and asked her to help me in explaining any of the concerns posted so that I can be prepared to present information at state conference.

I am not saying I am going to urge everyone to vote for or against the merger, I like Sharon, would like everyone to be well informed before voting so they can each make their own choice.


Sandy Majchrzak, BPW/USA Area 5 Rep

Note: BPW's website is
The links to the FAQ are on the right side bar.

Be Informed! Wait Until After State Conference to Vote

President Sharon has been keeping us informed of what is going on and I commend her for not taking sides so MO members can decide themselves. I know she has an opinion but I do not know what it is at this time and don't want to know. I really like the statement that she would not instruct MO women on how to vote because we need to make our own decisions.

Right now voting is suppose to start on April 15th which we were told last month it would be done by now. I urge all MO voting members to wait until after state conference to vote. We have until May 5th so we will not miss out and that gives us a chance to hear everything. Once we vote that is the end and if we jump in too soon, we don't have a second chance.

I have served on the board of BPW/MO for several years and have told members to hang in there with national because the question was always "What is national doing for us?" I now feel like I have been stabbed in the back by national because if we, as members, are not BPW, who is?

If you will look in the recent HQ news the foundation report, it states in there that there will not be any scholarships given for 2009-2010 due to the economy. My question is if they don't have the money, how can they give BPW/USA $500,000 to help bail them out? When I give to foundation, I earmark my monies for scholarships so what happens to my dollars? I am wondering if they keep this CEO, how long will foundation last? I personally think it will be gone in 3-5 years and then where will we be? I am against the licensing fee because I feel we have already paid for the logo and signature programs.

I agree a lot with Betty Beason. I will wait until after state conference to cast my vote so that I can hear what everyone has to say and weigh all options.

I think Missouri has always been a strong state organization and can stand alone. If someone doesn't believe that, just ask anyone on the Celebration Committee how the plans are coming--we have great leaders and members in this great state!!

I am waiting to hear how our corporation is set up as we were incorporated (I believe) before we joined national and where we stand on that.

Sharon Tuttle
Past BPW/MO Board member
Nominee for BPW/MO Vice President for 2009-2010
VP of Kirksville BPW

Sunday, April 5, 2009

BPW/USA Should Stick With Original Plans of No Dues or Fees

Linda, I certainly share your notes and for me, anger, that we are being "messed over" by BPW. I consider the programs YC, ID and Women in Armed Services as programs we have supported financially by our dues to BPW. To think that we would be assessed an annual fee (or whatever label they choose-still an annual assessment, which is unfair and should not be tolerated) to continue those programs are not in my opinion, in keeping with the original "No National Dues" after the "merger." BPW HAS NOT acted in Good Faith with the membership, as I see it. #1 by being irresponsible in their choice of an overpaid CEO who apparently placed her own greedy-less-than principles in place and allowed BPW to be placed in a state in insolvency. That choice (of hiring that particular CEO) was made when BPW had the option to hire an experienced business woman who was fully aware of BPW policies and procedures and could surely have made sound business decisions and very possibly could have avoided our being in this ugly situation we now face.

I have not been able to watch or participate in any of the Webinars, another matter I have problems with - that is limiting member's access to knowledge they need to have before them. I have yet to see any sign of a ballot from the National level for voting on anything. Has there been such a thing?

I am still questioning National's "wisdom" in canceling the National convention which would have been held in St. Louis, but at that point planned to hold the National convention in Hawaii. Not a very financially sound decision, in my opinion. Then when Madam Diana, the current National president, chose to get out a memorandum TELLING Missouri members what they could and could not do at our planned meeting in St. Louis, I was beyond questioning their loyalty to the BPW MEMBERS. Power and Greed were at the helm and obviously those factors had not allowed for the success of BPW as some of us long time members have expected from our membership.

I still have more questions than answers, but cannot truly say I am of a positive mind to throw more money to an organization which is demanding annual assessment (DUES, by any name) and MEMBERS ARE NOT ALLOWED A VOTE. Of course, think about it, have we had a vote at any point for matters to come to the current status???

Betty J. Beason
Past State President and active member of BPW/MO

Our Voices Should be Heard

I feel like we are being railroaded by the same people who have taken a 90 Year-old Club started by the MO Federation in 1919 and essentially have bankrupted it and they want us to let them do whatever (licensing fees in lieu of membership, trustees) without any vote of the membership. This is not a democratic process. This is like a Stimulus Bailout by the BPW Foundation.

Shame on BPW/USA!!! We had a very good reputation and we are supposed to be BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN!!! We need to start practicing what we preach. That means we have a budget and live by it. We work very hard on the local level to have a Business and Professional approach to all we do and at this point I wonder why we even need a National.

If my dues had not already been paid by the business I work for-I would not have made “May Days are Pay Days!” I have been a member of this club for over 30 years and I am only 56 years old. For me to question my membership with this club would have been unheard of for the time and efforts I have put into this club. We give a lot to our community and we have averaged $2000 a year for the past five years in local scholarships to deserving young women to our area. I champion the scholarship program and have been very interested in the Women Joining Forces net-working. Sedalia BPW has always been a leader in this state and with what is going on the National level I would advocate either a local club or staying with the Missouri (Federation).

Over the past several years our board members have questioned some of the decisions that the National have made but we have abided by their decisions even when we disagreed or felt that our voice was not heard. The women who have served over the years for BPW would be rolling over in their graves to see what has happened to the National BPW....National President Hazel Palmer, State Presidents Nyra Price and Marge Garansson as well as all the local leaders we have had. Shame on us!! It is time for us to stand up and be heard. Several board members listened to the webinar at our Board meeting Monday night, it was discussed at our weekly luncheon today and you can be sure it will be discussed again at our regular meeting Thursday night.

We must pray for our leaders and our members so that we have the strength and courage to uphold the standards our early leaders used to form this club. Missouri women do not accept the easy route and just go along with things. We need to have a Vision and that Vision needs to keep a grassroots level. Missouri Women are strong, independent women who do have a Vision and have had for 90 years!

Arlene Wischmeier
Sedalia BPW
Young Careerist 1979-80
Foundation and Career Advancement Co-Chair (5 years)
President 1988-89
Board Member too many years to count
Member since October 1978

Unanswered Questions a Concern

I have attached the poll information and also a response to the recent BPW situation.

I joined BPW in 2005 from a recommendation from now Sedalia past president, Nancy Grey. She stressed to me all of the past history of the organization and all the wonderful things that the Sedalia club had accomplished over the years. It took one meeting and I joined. I have chosen to move up the ladder quicker than I anticipated but the opportunity came at a time when I was going through the transition of empty nester with my children leaving for college in two consecutive years. Also with my husband and I operating our own trucking business since 1995 and moving to MO in 1997 from CA, I strongly believed that it would be a great networking opportunity to meet other powerful women in the community. I am still learning about BPW everyday. I have been able to attend State Conferences for several years and attend more and more functions both locally and regionally. At this point in time am now slated as of last night to be President Elect for 2009/2010.

This past year I have been saddened how BPW/USA slowly but surely has drained the organization bit by bit. Poor financial decisions and overall poor judgment/practices is the perspective that has been given to me. The webinar was a terrific attempt at a "sales pitch" on how wonderful it will be for Foundation and USA to merge. Why would we allow this to happen? Changes definitely need to be made from the ground up. The fact that our choice to "vote" after this merger is completely taken away from the members who have built BPW is completely unacceptable.

Many questions were not able to be answered at the Webinar which is also a concern. The attitude "we won't know until after the merger" does not sit well with me personally. It seems as though they are pushing the merger to hurry the process and then our voices will be silenced.

90 years ago BPW was started in MO, I think it is a sign that MO needs to set the course and not allow this merger to happen. We have a state of powerful, knowledgeable, women of all ages and professions. We can make BPW what it once was and still be an organization of the future business women.

Cindy Goalder
1st Vice President
Sedalia BPW

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Linda Fisher, Sedalia BPW, Position Statement on BPW Merger

When I first heard of the merger between BPW/USA and Foundation, I breathed a sigh of relief that our organization would continue. Changed, yes, but forging forth with a national effort to resolve issues facing workingwomen today.

After watching the Webinar, my opinion has changed. Several things about the merger concern me. The answers to the frequently asked questions were not the answers I wanted to hear.

BPW/USA says that if they dissolve, BPW will cease to exit on at every level. Our local is active in our community. We have managed to work within our budget while providing local scholarships and making donations to local charities. We have supported our Missouri Federation, BPW/USA, and Foundation. Out of our $95 dues, only $10 stays with our club--a vital partner with other civic and charitable groups in our area. I do not believe a 90 year old organization should be taken down because our national office has made unfortunate business decisions.

BPW/USA says that if they dissolve, it is not certain that state and local BPW groups will not be able to use the BPW logo or name. BPW/USA owns the trademark and copyrights, apparently. Somehow, I was under the impression that the members are the heart of BPW, and in truth ARE BPW. We are the ones that paid dues ($60 per member, per year) so BPW/USA could represent us on a national level.

If BPW/USA merges with Foundation two things will happen that goes against the basic beliefs of the members. First, if we vote for this merger, we will never vote again. We become non-voting members of BPWF. I don't know about you, but it goes against my general principals to belong to a civic group where I have no say.

The second basic thing I disagree with is the $40 license fee. It is wrong that members of BPW locals will have to pay a license fee to use the BPW name. We the members are BPW! We will no longer be able to vote and our state organizations will be invoiced on a per-member charge to use the name we have so proudly upheld and honored for the previous 90 years.

The Sedalia BPW Chapter plans to make an informed vote. All our officers and committee chairs watched the Webinar following our Board Meeting. We discussed the ramifications of merger or dissolution at our club meeting. Several of us are going to the State Conference and will report on what we learn at that meeting to a townhall meeting of our Chapter.

Sedalia BPW will not cease to exist if BPW/USA dissolves. If they deny us the BPW name, we will continue operation under a different name. We will continue to be a vital part of our local and hopefully state organization.

BPW was not founded by meek and mild women who accepted the status quo. It was founded by women with a vision and a purpose. Those women exist today and they are the MEMBERS of BPW. Our challenge now is regain focus on the mission that BPW has had for the past 90 years.

Linda Fisher
Membership Chair
Sedalia BPW

Friday, April 3, 2009

BPW Members to Vote Between April 15 - May 5, 2009

BPW/USA members need to vote between April 15 and May 5 on whether to merge with BPW Foundation or dissolve.

It is important that all BPW Members cast an INFORMED vote. To fully understand the consequences of both of these options you should participate in one of the Webinars . Upcoming Webinars are on April 4 (3:00 p.m. EDT) and Tuesday, April 7 (8:00 p.m. EDT). Information for the Merger Webinars can be found in the merger section of the Members Center on the BPW/USA website.

"This is a historic juncture in BPW/USA history and all members must be involved in this decision making process," reads the email from Member Services BPW/USA.

When speaking about the merger or dissolution, the email says, "Dissolution means that BPW would cease to exist at every level."

BPW/USA Merger Plan and Frequently Asked Questions

About the proposed merger between BPW/USA and BPW Foundation

Why a $40 licensing fee?

One of the main concerns received from members was the protection of the BPW name and brand. This fee is a means of guaranteeing, as much as possible, that the integrity and legal name of BPW and its brand, programs, trademarks, copyrights, heritage, legacy and mission are protected and that the BPW quality and value we have come to expect are ensured. This licensing fee has the characteristics of a brand/service sharing program fee in that the fee permits the sharing and the usage of BPW/USA brand and signature programs.

Besides the BPW brand, what services or programs are covered by the $40 brand/service sharing program licensing fee?

The fee provides for use of the Young Careerist Program, the Individual Development Program, the Women Joining Forces Program, and an electronic publication similar to the legislative hotline.

Will the $40 brand/service sharing program licensing fee include a membership option?

Yes, upon payment of the fee, BPW/USA members will become non-voting members of BPW Foundation. This non-voting membership is very similar to non-voting memberships that are paid to community libraries, museums and other non-profit organizations.

Are there any additional benefits that members who pay the licensing fee receive?
The fee will also provide for an opportunity for the non-voting members to participate in issue/focus groups and provide guidance to BPW Foundation on the areas of women veterans, young careerists, women business owners, an d workforce and workplace advocacy.

Is the licensing fee an annual fee?

Yes. This $40 brand/service sharing program license fee seems low for the benefits provided. How was the amount established? The fee was established by looking at the market value fo r services provided. The market value for the services and programs to be provided was considerably higher than the $40 brand/service sharing program license fee. Also, a comparison was made to other like-kind professional organizations as to the services and programs provided. The BPW Foundation Trustees recognized the importance of our heritage and mission as it relates to the BPW brand, the importance for workingwomen to have advocates on their behalf, the desire to stay connected at the national level, the need to receive current and timely information on the issues facing workingwomen, and the ability to continue using the BPW Brand and the Signature Programs such as, the YC, ID and WJF programs. As a result, the BPW Foundation Trustees agreed to share in the investment financially and with other resources as necessary to carry out these priorities. The $40 fee is clearly a great value.

Would a non-BPW member pay the same licensing fee?

No. BPW Foundation is offering the licensing arrangement assessed at a per member cost of $40 to BPW/USA members only as part of the transitioning process of the two sister organizations to thenew merged organization. The non-voting member fee will be considerably higher for non-BPW members.

Could a BPW member use the BPW brand if the licensing fee is not paid?

Payment of the licensing fee is required for the privilege of using the BPW Brand.

What happens if a State Federation or Local Organization does not pay the licensing fee?

A State Federation or Local Organizati on that does not pay the $40 per member licensing fee cannot operate under the BPW name, cannot use the BPW logo or any of the BPW Signature Programs, nor can a person say that they are a BPW member.

Is this considered a dues assessment? The impression was that there would be no more National dues.

No, this is not a dues assessment. This is a brand/service sharing program fee that provides the protection, integrity, and quality control needed to preserve the BPW name and brand. The overall brand/service sharing program fee is calculated based on a per member cost of $40.00.

How will the $40 per member brand/service sharing program licensing fee be assessed, invoiced, and collected?

Even though all the details for the assessment, invoicing, and collection of the fee have not been finalized, the preliminary thoughts are to invoice the State Federation based upon an assessment of the State’s membership numbers at June 30, 2009. If a State Federation does not exist, the fee will be invoiced to the Local Organization based upon the same facts

When will the $40 brand/service sharing program licensing fee be invoiced?

The dates for invoicing the brand/service sharing program fee are under discussion. The fee will not be invoiced immediately following the merger ef fective date of July 1, 2009. However, these are the type of details that the BPW/USA and BPW Foundation Joint Implementation team will address once the Plan of Merger has been approved.

A large portion of our current members are "May Day" dues renewal me mbers. These members are being encouraged to renew by May 31st, for what will essentially be one (1) month of BPW/USA membership. Will the final negotiations with the Foundation allow for this $60 USA dues "to be transferred to the Foundation's $40 brand/ service sharing program Licensing Fee"?

Yes. It is anticipated that the dues that are paid prior to the merger will be considered as a credit to the license fee. The fee will not be invoiced immediately following the merger effective date of July 1, 2009. The dates for invoicing the brand/service sharing program license fee are under discussion and will take into consideration the members in a state transitioning to the BPWF. These are the type of details that the BPW/USA and BPW Foundation Joint Implement ation team will address once the Plan of Merger has been approved.

Will there be a special rate for Student Members?

The brand/service sharing program state licensing fee is based on Members of Locals only.

If the merger vote is not adopted, would the BPW name be available for use by State Federations? Who owns the trademark and programs under a dissolution or bankruptcy?

The assets, trademarks and copyrights remain the property of BPW/USA until ownership is transferred to another entity. In the case of bankruptcy or dissolution use of the BPW name by State Federations is not certain and would be determined during the dissolution and/or bankruptcy planning process.