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