COSHOCTON -- Six Coshocton Business and Professional Women (BPW) attended the Region 4 Individual Development (ID) and Young Careerist (YC) Competition in Boardman on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Holiday Inn.

Cristie Merce was named the 2009 ID winner and will represent Region 4 at the state competition April 4 in Columbus. Merce 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.

ID judging was based on public speaking and presentation ability. Participants were judged on three phases of competition: Five-minute prepared speech, two-minutes impromptu speech and a 10-minute interview.

Merce, a member of BPW for six 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.

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, Membership and Marketing Chair Liz Herrell at (740) 294-0199 or at