Virginia Warren

Virginia Warren

BPW Franklin


Founding Member  1983 to present

Newsletter editor: 1988-1990 and 2016 to present date

Catering convenor: 1985/86

2nd Vice President: 1987

1st Vice President: 1989

President: 1991 – 93

Publicity : 2014 to present date


BPW NZ Federation Marketing Chair: 1989


BPW Awards:

Haywood Gavel: 1990

Daphne Chapman Award: 1996

BPW Women in Business Award: 1996

BPW Franklin Special Recognition: 2008


Professional & Personal Insight:

  • Initiated and developed a Macadamia growing, processing and retail business, which was later sold as a going concern.
  • Attended the BPW International Congress held in Kenya in 1993 and as she had been brought up in Kenya it was an added incentive to attend this congress.

Virginia Warren –  Her Story:

As a member of BPW Franklin: Attended the very first public meeting and became a founding member.

During her annual trips to Europe Virginia fostered the BPW aims and visited clubs in the United Kingdom and Los Angeles.  It provided a great experience and opportunity to exchange ideas on club activities and promotions.

Has attended many conferences over the years including the Golden Jubilee Conference in Wellington:

¨ applied for funds from the 1985 Congress Award Fund, which assisted with training fees

¨ was awarded a contribution to the registration fees for a residential course in running community groups

1996 Received the BPW Women in Business Award, resulting in 24 months advertising revenue for her Macadamia business

2010 Was on the BPW Franklin 25th Anniversary committee and proved once again her invaluable help to the club through her record keeping of every newsletter since they were first published.

2012 Chaired the committee which organised the BPW NZ National Conference in Pukekohe

2013 Initiated the development of the BPW Franklin web page and later the Face Book page.

2014/15/17 Organised and ran Brain Fit for Life courses in conjunction with the Memory Foundation with profits going to BPW Franklin. This has since been taken up by other BPW clubs

2014 organised and ran stalls at several different Expos and shows promoting BPW Franklin with good results  attracting new members and making BPW better known. Also organised and ran a stall at the Women’s Lifestyle Expo in Christchurch to help promote and develop the club there.

2015 Assisted Fiona Ritchie with the very successful Career Ready Workshop for school-leavers.

2015 Successfully applied for funding from Auckland council for the printing of leaflets  to promote BPW Franklin.

  • In recognition for her continued promotion and support of BPW Franklin
  • 2006 Virginia was made a Life Member of BPW Franklin
  • 2008 Virginia was presented with a Rimu Visitor’s Book for “Being the best advocate for BPW Franklin”.
  • International representation: 1985 Attended Auckland Congress,

1993 Kenya Congress

1986 Attended meetings at the BPW London Exchange Club, and attended a meal in the Houses of Parliament when BPW London Exchange club  were guests of  Edwina Currie.  Also met with several BPW members in Los Angeles for a stimulating  lunch.

1993 Kenya, ¨Old spectacles were donated by every member of BPW Franklin and these were presented to the African Medical & Research Foundation, (AMREF).

1993 Kenya ¨BPW congress attendees were taken to the Nairobi slums where attendees saw the efforts going into teaching people about preventing the spread of AIDS through the use of song, dance and mime.

Looking back on 25 years of BPW in Franklin:

Anita Filkin asked me to consider joining BPW in 1983 when there was a move to start a club in Pukekohe but I told her I didn’t think it was really my scene! Then I thought I would give it a try and I have been hooked ever since.

Fairly early on I was talked into being on the committee, my main memory was our lack of funds to do anything. We all had great ideas but no money so it is heartening to see how BPW Frankllin has achieved aims like getting an Education Bursary.  How this has extended over the years from one recipient to several, increased from the initial $200 to thousands and now we are contemplating an even bigger increase in the size of the gift.

I enjoyed being newsletter editor and was proud when we were awarded best publication. This was a significant acknowledgement for me as it was the first recognition of my ability in anything other than bringing up children (which in itself should not be under emphasized as to its importance) and being a good wife!

The encouragement given by other members of BPW is its greatest asset   – the women in BPW nurture each other and encourage each of us to achieve. The newsletter award was probably of greater significance to me than the Woman in Business Award in Oct 1996, although the latter was of considerable benefit to my business.

The first conference I attended was in Christchurch when Bev Sturgeon was National President.  I was so impressed with this lady as a role model with her wonderful command of proceedings, her ability to succinctly sum up the feelings of the meetings, her compassion and understanding of the nervousness of new members, it will remain with me forever.  BPW introduces members to great role models.

I remember once hearing the main way to increase membership is to talk about BPW every day to someone new. Every person we meet should be given the opportunity to hear about our wonderful organization. I am committed to BPW and hope to be a member for many years to come and to introduce more women to the organization. I am particularly pleased I introduced Vicky Mee to the organisation as she has been an asset to BPW along with other wonderful women.

To quote the BPW collect –  “remember to be kind.”