Roma Vance, Coshocton Business and Professional Women President, l, stands with Cristie Merce, ID winner, and Marilyn Lauvray, ID chair stand at the recently BPW meeting in Coshocton.

Coshocton BPW have ID competition

COSHOCTON -- Coshocton Business and Professional Women (BPW) held the Individual Development (ID) competition at Jerry's Restaurant.

Cristie Merce was named the 2009 Individual Development winner. She chose the BPW platform issue, health care, and spoke on Alzheimer's. Her speech was entitled "Sharing the Caring." Merce has been a home health care aide for over 20 years and specializes in Alzheimer's. She will represent Coshocton BPW at the Region 4 competition in Boardman Feb. 28.

Judging was based on three phases of competition: A 5-minute prepared speech, a 2-minute impromptu speech and a 10-minute interview.

Merce, a member of BPW for 6 years, serves as the Buckeye Girls State Chair. She also serves on the cake auction committee, a fundraiser she had suggested. She belongs to the Ohio Order for the Preservation of Storytelling, fondly referred to as OOPS! She has been telling stories for over 24 years, and has served on their Board of Directors for 10 years. She has been a member of the Write-On Writers Group for 5 years and is currently writing her own memoirs. She has been married to Rodney for over 34 years, has three adult sons, and resides near Plainfield.

Judges were Paula Hathaway, a substitute teacher and past Toastmaster, and Coshocton BPW members Tomma Bordenkircher and Liz Herrell, both ID Facilitators.

BPW/USA, founded in 1919, promotes equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information. With 1,300 local organizations across the country and members in each congressional district, BPW/USA is the leading advocate for millions of working women on work-life balance and workplace equity issues. BPW provides members with professional development programs, networking, and participation in grassroots activism.

For information, contact Liz Herrell, Membership/Marketing Chair, at (740) 294-0199 or at