17 Jun Member Spotlight: Jerri Evans
I am Jerrilyn “Jerri” Evans, and I currently serve as your Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. (BPW/FL) President. As many of you know, I became the BPW/FL President in July 2018 when then President Alizza took a new job, which required her to move from the state and go forward in a new position. I was then elected to a two-year term in June 2019. I do not really recommend this fast-tracked manner of becoming president, but it certainly did challenge my leadership skills and ability to adapt to new and ever-changing issues quickly.
I am a life-long resident of St. Petersburg and am passionate about my city, women’s rights and mental health. Over the years I have been a part of many organizations that have fueled and satisfied my needs as it relates to these passions. In 2019 I learned through some newspaper articles and a BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas speaker about problems within our city’s housing authority, I immediately wanted to get involved. That same year the Mayor and City Council unanimously supported my appointment to the Housing Authority, where I currently sit as the Vice Chair. I am also the current Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Personal Enrichment Through Mental Health Services (PEMHS), which acts as our county’s involuntary Baker Act facility. PEMHS is also a primary provider of mental health services in Pinellas County collaborating well with other providers of mental health and addiction services. I became involved with PEMHS and their multiple services when I worked as the Judicial Assistant for Circuit Court Judge Irene Sullivan and she asked me to be the court’s liaison to PEMHS on a number of boards that were involved with juvenile justice, truancy and dependency.
I have basically worked in the legal field since 1981. I’ve worked in large firms, small firms, and for a judge. I love the law! It fits very well with my rule-following type A personality (my husband used to tease that it was a double A!). I’ve work for Lisa A. Hoppe, P.A., handling guardianship, estate and trust matters since 2013.
I am a widow who was blessed to have had a 32 year relationship with my husband that resulted in 1 daughter, 1 stepson (who is older than I am, yes another story), 5 grandchildren, 2 great grandsons and a love of Halloween! I have been a member of BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas since 2011 and held positions from Legislative Chair to President over the years. My best friends are members of BPW, some were there before me, some have come after; how fortunate I am to belong to such a diverse and ever changing organization that at its core believes in equal rights for all, economic equity for women, work place safety, the environment and women’s health! We are stronger together.