Member Spotlight: Lisa Osborn

lisa Osborn headshotLisa Osborn is a longtime radio broadcaster and entrepreneur. She moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles last year. Currently she serves as the news and public affairs director at KCSB 91.9 FM, the radio station at UCSB. Her business produces on-hold messages and narration services. Lisa is also the host of a weekly health/wellness and personal growth podcast called Lisa.FM Thrive!. Plus she does a weekday (recorded) music show in Southern New England. All that sounds like a lot, but Lisa is very passionate about sharing news and ideas on how to live a more fulfilling life.

For Lisa, AWC is a place to gain support and connect with peers. “The members are fun, friendly and passionate about what they do. I felt welcomed from the first meeting. The generous free-flow of information I receive from the women in this group has been helpful in becoming more established in the community.”

Something you may not know about Lisa, is that she enjoy learning about different ways to find out more about herself and others. She studies birthdays, and can tell you something about yourself based on the day and month you were born (it’s not astrology!). She’s currently exploring pure essential oils from plants that people can use to boost immune systems and maintain a healthy body/mind/spirit.

You can find out more about what Lisa does at www.Lisa.FM, as well as (a So Cal based travel blog) and She’d enjoy connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Lisa loves many things about Santa Barbara, including the beautiful beaches and hiking trails, the never-ending beauty, visiting local craft-beer and wineries and the short commutes. For someone from Los Angeles, Lisa finds living here is a life-changer, when it comes to not being stuck in traffic.

Member Spotlight: Sandy Delos

sandynewsletter“AWC-SB gives me the opportunity to meet and mingle with some of the most creative and talented women communicators in our community.” – Sandy Delos

Sandy Delos describes herself as “the last of the great generalists” and has worked communication jobs from editing a small town newspaper, to computer technical writing with pioneering computer instruction, to conducting research for the Minnesota State Legislature, to selling used cars.

She has worked in the nonprofit sector for the last twelve years as a grant writer and community representative and has funded millions of grant dollars for social service organizations in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and now Central Coast California. Among her accomplishments, she represented The Salvation Army as the largest homeless shelter in Minnesota, on the Commission to End Homelessness, initiated major partnerships for job training and lobbied on behalf of the homeless to all levels of government.

In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she successfully wrote capital applications to fund Tec Centro, a groundbreaking $5.5 million bilingual technology training center created by the Spanish American Civic Association.

Sandy holds a BA from Southern Illinois University with a major in economics and minor in journalism and completed all course work and preliminary exams towards a PhD at the University of Minnesota with a primary program in psychology and secondary program in statistics. She is a member of the Association of Professional Fundraisers and the American Psychological Association.

Member Spotlight: Jennifer Blaise Kramer

Jennifer Blaise Kramer studied creative writing at the University of Arizona and received a masters degree in journalism at Boston University. She’s written about lifestyle, design, travel, family and food for publications including the Boston Globe, C Magazine, Coastal Living, Edible, Houzz, People, and Sky magazine.

After living in New England and the Midwest—where she worked as a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and editor-in-chief of Mpls.St.Paul Home & Design—she’s returned to her home state of California and lives with her husband and three young daughters near the Santa Barbara Mission. Currently a board member on the AWC-SB chapter and contributing editor to Santa Barbara Magazine, she’s also writing her first novel.

Member Spotlight: Carolyn Jabs

Carolyn Jabs has written about families, ethics, environmental issues and the Internet for almost four decades. In 1984 she published The Heirloom Gardener (Sierra Club Books), a book “often cited as a turning point in the pro-heirloom movement.” Hundreds of her articles have been published in magazines ranging from Readers Digest and Redbook to Self and Working Mother. Her opinion essays have appeared in Newsweek and the New York Times.

In the 90’s, Carolyn started writing about how computers infiltrated American homes, first as a Contributing Editor at Home PC and then at Family PC.  When the crash shuttered those publications she started a monthly column, Growing Up Online, which she self-syndicates to regional parenting publications. Now, over ten years later, she continues to give parents practical advice about raising kids who are as safe, savvy and responsible online as they are in the real world.

When the oldest of her three children went off to college in 2001 Carolyn decided to go back to school too. She studied Practical Philosophy (aka Ethics) at Bowling Green State University where she earned her MA in 2005. In that program Carolyn met Dr. Donald Scherer, an environmental ethicist with a unique way of thinking about conflict. For the past six years they have collaborated on a book entitled Cooperative Wisdom which they plan to independently published in 2015. Written as a dialogue between a teacher and a learner, the book proposes five contemporary virtues that promise to dissolve conflict and restore cooperation in environments ranging from families to corporate board rooms.

Carolyn and her husband, David, moved to Santa Barbara in 2013. She was an active AWC member when she lived in Toledo, Ohio, and won several Crystal Awards in their annual competition. Now she feels very fortunate to reside in the only California city with an AWC chapter. At every AWC-SB meeting she learns things she didn’t know before, meets accomplished, energetic women and leaves feeling inspired to become a better communicator. Her husband thinks they’ve moved to Santa Barbara to retire, Carolyn expects to write (and be an AWC member) for the rest of her life!

Laura inks

Member Spotlight: Laura Inks

By Leslie A. Westbrook

AWC: Describe your business. What do you do? Why do you do it?

Laura Inks: I am the Interim Executive Director of SunnyED, an educational program that pairs third grade students struggling with math with eighth grade tutors via the Internet. They begin by viewing vodcasts of our National Teacher of the Year, who explains the lessons in fun and engaging ways. The duo then work on problems together, until the younger one “gets it.” We are also developing a game, where the students can practice newly learned skills, in a fun and non-threatening way. Once the organization hires an Executive Director, I will slide into the position of Director of Community Partnerships.

I am also Executive Director of the Jane Art Fund, a family foundation focused on identifying and encouraging youngsters with artistic talent and showcasing their work.

AWC: When did you start your business?

Laura: I started the moment I hit Santa Barbara, 21 years ago. Building relationships, establishing credibility within the arts and educational communities, and finding partners in the business, political and foundation worlds.

The SunnyED pilot program has run for two years in Santa Barbara schools. As soon as the technology is dialed in, we intend to scale the project to include the entire school district, as well as schools in Los Angeles, North Carolina and (dare I say?)…the WORLD! Go big, or go home… right?

AWC: What do you do differently than anyone else?

Laura: I always look to connect people for mutual benefit, no mater what project I am working on. I look beyond my own immediate needs and try to find ways for people and organizations to help one another. That is why my business is called Creative Collaboration Network. I am always stunned to see what I am able to accomplish, with the right community support.

AWC: What is your business philosophy?

Laura: Make life fun! In my early career as an art teacher I would see what the classroom teacher focused on, in a wide variety of subjects, and see how I could create an activity that would make learning come alive for the students. “Hands on” and “fun” are important criteria for students to engage in order to own their educational experience. I believe that about the business world, too. The new paradigm in business is to have a company culture that takes into consideration the values of your workers and incorporate that into company values so employees are attached emotionally, as well as professionally. Satisfying the need to connect with others, caring about something bigger then yourself, learning and growing, are all things that give us the optimal human experience. It makes perfect sense to tie that into professional goals. Happy people, make good workers, who do good things for the world.

AWC: Why did you join the Association for Women in Communication?

Laura: I recently earned my Masters Degree in Media and Communications Psychology from Touro University Worldwide. I joined AWC in order to expand my knowledge of the communications sector and those who make it their livelihood. I also find that networking is a great way to learn and develop professionally, but also a way to help others with their projects. Since I know so many people, and have been active in Santa Barbara for so long, many people call upon me for ideas for projects that they are working on. I am always happy to serve as a resource.

AWC: What made you and your family choose Santa Barbara?

Laura: We moved here in 1991, three weeks after the birth of our daughter, Olivia. My now, ex-husband, had taken a position at SBCC and I was a stay-at-home mom for the first several years. I also had a newly adopted nine-year-old. Eventually, I became very involved with youth and families at the kid’s schools, serving on many PTA boards and also on the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. At that time we championed computers and music programs in our schools. I also taught art at half a dozen elementary schools, both during the school day or in after-school programs. Music has been a thread ever since and I helped to spearhead many musical instrument drives and am now part of the collaboration that brings Pianos to State Street for an annual event simultaneous to the New Noise Music Festival. I believe wholeheartedly, that art saves lives.

AWC: How can members and friends of Women in Communication help?

Laura: I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with developing computer apps, educational gaming products, mentoring programs, fundraising ideas or partnerships in any of the above. It does “take a village” and I know that together, through collaborative leadership, we can make a collective impact that will help our community solve problems and make life better for all our citizens.

AWC: How do you get the word out about your business or projects?

Laura: I use Facebook to advocate for youth activities, the arts and anything related to the Funk Zone.

AWC: What are the unexpected challenges and joys of starting up in a new community?

Laura: Santa Barbara can be a tough place to get connected. At first I enjoyed creating connections through my children’s experiences. Postpartum Education for Parents (PEP) was my first group of friends, which led to the parent co-op pre-school, The Oaks, from where I still have friends, to this day. After 21 years n Santa Barbara, I am fairly well-known for being connected to arts education, youth advocacy, working with “at risk” youth populations and, more recently, for supporting the arts and artists in the Funk Zone.

AWC: What has your experience been like to date in SB? Any surprises?

Laura: I guess I always thought Santa Barbara would be a great place to raise my kids, but that eventually I would move somewhere else. After 21 years here, and traveling all over the world, I have not found a more perfect place to live. I now have grandchildren here, so I guess this is really my home. There is something to be said for being a big fish in a small pond. I have close personal relationships with government leaders, educational movers and shakers, youth who are now young adults, artists and arts organizations and more. I only wish I had time to serve more organizations whose missions that I resonate with.

ellen reid

Member Spotlight: Ellen Reid

By Leslie A. Westbrook

Ellen “Bookshep” Reid has guided countless authors interested in self-publishing their books. With an eclectic background in the film industry, advertising and the intricacies of self-publishing, she brings a uniquely broad view to the task of assisting authors in producing books of outstanding quality that rise above the crowd – which is a must in this age of “anyone-can-get-a-book-into-print.”

She has been named Beverly Hills Premier Book Publishing Consultant four years running. She is the author of the International Books Award book, Putting Your Best Book Forward: A Book Shepherd’s Secrets to Producing Award-Winning Books that Sell.

How did you start your business?

I started my business after attending Dan Poynter‘s Self Publishing Manual seminars in Santa Barbara and studying with him from 1994 on. The seminars were full of writers who were excited about self-publishing their books. Even though they were good writers, they didn’t know what constitutes a good title, subtitle, book cover and all the myriad details of book production and publishing. Dan suggested I become a “book shepherd”.

When did you start your business?

In the year 2000.

What do you do differently than anyone else?  

As a “book shepherd” I bring my talent and knowledge of the film and advertising industry and the ever-changing book industry to each client. I have the unique ability of understanding what the writer wants the book to do for them and I can orchestrate the creative team accordingly. Branding is a big part of my work. It’s more than hiring an editor, or book designer. You need a book that is excellent in every way – a book that not only has a vibrant cover, a title that grabs browsers, a subtitle that draws them to the back cover, and back cover text that compels to the sale… but one in which every element works synergistically with the others to supercharge the sales impact.

What is your business philosophy?   

Be kind, books are writer’s babies and it took a long time to write them. I need to be gentle and firm at the same time. I closely guide the custom team I assemble for you to do the work. You end up with an exceptional book whose cover copy (including title and subtitle), design and interior layout reflect the excellence of your message.

Why did you join Association for Women in Communications?  

Since books are a brilliant means of communication and I’m in the communication “business”, it seems a perfect fit.

How long have you lived in Santa Barbara?

I fell in love with Santa Barbara in 1995 when I came here to attend the Dan Poynter seminars and then in 2000 moved here. I moved to LA in 2007 and stayed there building my businesses and rented a cottage here and went back and forth. One day I realized I was living in the wrong place! I moved here permanently in November 2012.

How can members and friends of AWC-SB help?

How can I help you all? Let’s get to know each other…I’m happy to be part of the organization and look forward to participating.

Phone, text or email? How do you communicate these days and can you comment on each?

I like email and of course, text, social media is good for staying in touch but for true communication, I prefer phone.

How do you get the word out about your business or projects?

I have a website for each of my companies, a freelance social media expert works with me and I go to events. People seem to find me since there is no place I can go, online or off, to find out who has a finished manuscript and wants to indie publish.

Anything else we should know about your business and/or you?

I love the quote from Kathryn Graham and it fits me perfectly…”to love what you do and feel that it matters, what could be more fun?”

Amy Marie Orozco awc-sb member

Member Spotlight: Amy Marie Orozco

Member Spotlight: Amy Marie Orozco talks to Leslie A. Westbrook

Amy Orozco is the editor of Carpinteria Magazine and the former editor of Carpintiera’s weekly newspaper, Coastal View News. She also runs Orozco Ink, a writing and editing business.

Leslie A. Westbrook: Describe your business. What do you do? Why do you do it?

Amy Orozco: I am an editor and writer. Most of my writing involves newspaper and magazine journalism. My style is clear and concise, which also puts me in demand with government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits.

LAW: When did you start your business?

AO: I became official in January 2008.

LAW: What do you do differently than anyone else?

AO: Not that I do this differently than anyone else, but I’m part of the dying breed that takes a deadline literally. It’s not a target date. I’m always surprised by the number of clients who are surprised that I finish jobs on time, or earlier.

LAW: What is your business philosophy?

AO: Do what you said you would do and by when you said it would be done. When it comes to billing, err in favor of the client.

LAW: Why did you join the Association for Women in Communications?

AO: To be around professional women in my field. I also thought that through the magic of osmosis I’d be inspired, that  professional development would be a natural by-product of membership. Plus, I’m lucky to work and live in Carpinteria, but it’s good for me to get out of here every once in a while.

LAW: Do you have any upcoming events or anything else the chapter members should know about? Toot your horn!

AO: I’ve completed a series of architectural guides. You can check them out at I’ve become more serious about my blog. By serious, I mean being regular and trying to up my followers (this is supposed to be an excellent thing for a writer to do). Also, my friend/writing partner and I have finished a play we’ve been working on via google docs for over a year. We’re going to have a reading in the next couple of weeks. The working titles are Nursing Home and Shady Ends. The play is a comedy.

LAW: Tell us anything else we should know about your business and/or you.

AO: I worry a lot about hurting people’s feelings. As an editor I have to say “no” a lot. Add to that the constant tick-tock of deadlines. Now you have a winning combination for sounding curt, abrasive, and mean.

LAW: When did you know you wanted to be a writer/editor?

AO: I’ve always been a writer. The belief that I could actually earn a living doing this job came in my late 30s. I’m 54 now. I can’t believe what an excellent job I did of ignoring, or not believing, all the obvious signs that I should write for a living.

LAW: Many people might be surprised that you have recently appeared on stage/pounding the boards at the Carpinteria Playhouse. Does acting work a different part of your brain and/or allow a more gregarious part of your personality to express itself? How did this happen?

AO: I defy the stereotype of the quiet, introspective, solitary life writer. I like to think I also defy the stereotype of the “whack job writer.” I’m more the ringleader/class clown type. With friends and family I’m usually the hambone. Performing on stage takes that side of my personality to a new level. Actually, I find the stage a lot easier and safer than I find sharing my personal writing, such as the play. I’ve organized an Improv workshop at the Carp theater. We’re in our second year. And growing!

LAW: How can members and friends of AWC-SB help you in any of your endeavors?

AO: Keep being the best at what they do and sharing their expertise. Keep being friendly and welcoming at meetings. Become a follower of my blog. Remember me when writing jobs surface.

LAW: Phone, text or email? How do you communicate these days and can you comment on each?

AO: Not surprising for a writer, email works best for me. The phone is fine, but I always follow up conversations with an email. Embarrassed to say I don’t text. I know how; it’s that dealing with cell providers is such a pain in the neck I haven’t gotten around to signing up for the service.

LAW: How do you get the word out about your business or projects?

AO: I’ve been fortunate with word-of-mouth, which is great because I am t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e at promoting myself. I want to raise my professional bar, earn more money, and widen my circle, so I’m going to give networking, social media, and marketing a real go this year.

LAW: What are the unexpected challenges and joys of your new Carpinteria office?

AO: Challenges: In the fantasy of having my own office, I was always at my desk writing away by 8 am, and I was perfectly coiffed and groomed. Getting out of bed in the morning remains the singularly most difficult thing I do each day. Once I’m vertical, it is full speed ahead, but getting there … oy vey.

Joys: Feeling like a big girl. Writing the rent check each month. Saying things like “We can meet at my office.”

LAW: Anything else you’d like to add? Any tips for our members about Carpinteria?

AO: Carpinteria has a lot of good restaurants, which is a big change over the last 10 years. Also, Carpinteria has no desire to be like Santa Barbara. Where some people get that idea, I have no idea.

Thanks Amy!

Meet Minette Riordan

Dr. Minette Riordan is a speaker, coach, author, artist and serial entrepreneur who’s passion is connection. Minette’s passion for connecting people to each self and each other is deeply rooted in her belief that it is our connection to spirit, to self and to others that is the foundation of true happiness. Over the years, Minette has found many unique ways of helping people to create both inner connection to their higher self and powerful connections to others around them. She is passionate about helping people remember how to be creative. Through her work as an educator, coach, writer and speaker, she has educated thousands of people, helping them to clarify their vision and bring that vision to fruition in ways that are meaningful, joyful and profitable. She and her family recently moved from Texas to Santa Barbara.

Welcome to Santa Barbara, Minette!

AWC: Describe your business.  What you do and why do it?

Minette: I am in the process of selling the parenting magazine I published for over 10 years in Texas and launching a new business. It’s exciting and challenging to be new in business again and in a new community. I am an author, speaker and lifestyle coach who loves to help women define vibrant visions for their lives and create an action plan to take them from vision to reality. Dreams are great, but they need action behind them to make them come true. There is nothing more rewarding than helping women reconnect to their inner well of creative expression, redefine their dreams and make those dreams come true, whether they want to write a book, start a new business or have a happier marriage.

AWC: When did you start your business?

MR: I am in the process of launching two new businesses. The first is based on my speaking, writing and coaching and is my personal brand featured at I have a variety of group coaching programs for women as well as a membership group called the Creative Expression Circle. The second business is the HeartWise® Coaching Institute, which I am building with my business partner and co-author Dr. Caron Goode. HWCI will be a global coaching institute, training individuals to become life coaches with a specialty in relationships, parenting, intuition or creative expression. This business is still in developmental phase.

AWC: What do you do differently than anyone else?

MR: Good question and sometimes a hard one to answer for myself. Here’s what others have told me: that I have the ability to get quickly to the heart of an issue, I see people for who they are and am able to meet them where ever they are in a spirit of non-judgment and acceptance. I have a gift for asking the right questions and seeing the truth. This ability allows me to help people quickly get resolution on their challenges and make clear, heart-centered decisions on what to do next.

AWC: What is your business philosophy?

MR: Focus is freedom! What we focus on grows. It takes focus and commitment to make dreams come true.

AEC: Why did you join American Women in Communication?

MR: Because I am brand new to the Santa Barbara area and am looking to meet like-minded women who love communication as much as I do.

AWC: Do you have any upcoming events or specials or anything else chapter members should know about?

MR: My book From Fizzle to Sizzle: Four Crucial Tools for Relationship Repair is in soft launch mode and is available on I have launched a new Meetup: The Santa Barbara Creative Expression Circle.

AWC: What made you and your family decide to move to Santa Barbara?

MR: We were ready for a lifestyle change. My husband and I met in the Bay area close to 20 years ago and knew we wanted to return to the west coast. My brother and his family are here in Santa Barbara, so that helped bring us here. Our criteria were beach and family and our options were Santa Barbara or Vancouver. SB won! We love being outside so much more than we were in Texas and we also love the small town feel of Goleta.

AWC: How can members and friends of AWC-SB help?

MR: I am looking for speaking opportunities locally and also looking for people to review my book on On a more fun note, come visit one of my Creative Expression Circles for some creative playtime.

AWC: Phone, text or email? How do you communicate these days and can you comment on each?

MR: I rely mostly on email communication and am generally quick to respond. I also love texting for the quick response. I don’t generally answer the phone, unless I know who is calling and have time to chat. My conversations tend to be lengthy, because I love listening to people’s stories. You didn’t mention Skype, but I enjoy Skype calls and chats, too.

AWC: How do you get the word out about your business or projects?

MR: Most of my current marketing endeavors are virtual through social media and internet marketing strategies. In Texas, I was a huge networker and ran several groups of my own. I am looking to rebuild some of that locally.

AWC: What are the unexpected challenges and joys of starting up in a new community?

MR: The unexpected joy of Santa Barbara has been our membership at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara. Being a native Texan, hospitality is my middle name. I have felt very welcomed by this community and very at home. Unexpected challenges? Grocery shopping! I am a picky shopper and a Whole Foods junkie. Finding the best spots, best prices and most convenient stores has been an adventure.

AWC: What has your experience been like to date in SB? Any surprises?

MR: Our experience so far has been amazing. The best part of our daily life is our walks around our neighborhood or at Haskell’s beach. I cannot believe everything blooms continuously. I feel grateful to live in paradise every time I step out the door, even if it’s into my backyard.

AWC: Anything else we should know about your business and/or you?

MR: I love to work, but when I am not working, I love gourmet food, great wine, reading poetry and long walks on the beach with my husband.

Deborah Hutchison: One Gutsy Gal!

Deborah Hutchison is one Gutsy Gal. She recently cashed in her savings and produced a short animated film celebrating a gutsy gal from history, Berta Benz. (Does the name Benz ring a bell? Think Mercedes).  Deborah aspires to change the way women are portrayed in the media and to encourage girls and women to dream big, be confident, and help change the world.  Read on to find out what this AWC member is up to in this month’s Member Spotlight. Lights! Cameras! Action, Indeed!

Q & A with Leslie A. Westbrook, Newsletter Chair

Leslie A. Westbrook: Thanks for agreeing to be profiled in our Members’ Spotlight, Deborah. You are about to launch a new animated film and I am looking forward to knowing when you will be screening it to the public or to our membership. Can you describe your business, Gutsy Gals Inspire Me?

Deborah Hutchison: Our business is simply to promote positive female role models.  Through animated films, the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards and stories on our website/facebook, Gutsy Gals Inspire Me® aims to inspire girls ages 4 to 104 (and beyond) to aspire to dream big, be confident and help change our world. We need to visually see more female role models in schools and the media, because our girls are the future—whether it’s working with one another or working in conjunction with men. Our goal is to inspire courage, confidence and the desire to drive your destiny.

LAW: What inspired you?

DH: I had very few female role models growing up and decided to make this my mission and company. The stories are taken from historical examples of Gutsy Gals who changed the world and from the enterprising women of the present who are leaving their mark on history as you read this.

LAW: What is your typical day like?

DH: I get up everyday and joyfully go to work. I am on my journey driving my destiny and hope that I set an example through courage and confidence.

LAW: When did you start your business?

DH: In 2005, I read a book by a Santa Barbara woman, Mindy Bingham, titled Berta Benz and the Motorwagen. It is the true story of Berta Benz who, in 1888 in partnership with her husband, actually changed the face of transportation. My question was: Why had I never heard of her before? In 2008, I started Gutsy Gals Inspire Me to provide women with positive female role models to look up to.

LAW:  What made you decide to make an animated short?

DH: Why not, was my thought? There are not many animated movies based on real female characters. The artwork from the book inspired me. I thought it was a fresh idea. With talented local animators willing to help, it seemed like the truest method of reaching our target audience.

LAW: What do you do differently than anyone else?

DH: We are entirely independent. By producing content, such as our animated film,  The Improbable Journey of Berta Benz, we aspire to change the way women are portrayed in the media. With no studio support, we have made a beautifully animated short film using a Santa Barbara cast and crew. The Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards are open not just to businesswomen, but also to everyday women who have accomplished big things, which may seem small to someone else.

LAW: What is your business philosophy?

DH: To inspire courage, confidence and the desire to drive your destiny.

LAW: Why did you join Association for Women in Communications?

DH: I met Lois Phillips some years ago and she presented an idea about establishing a Santa Barbara Chapter of AWC. Who can ever turn Lois down? It was a brilliant suggestion and I was delighted to be part of the founding women for the Santa Barbara Chapter. The idea was to create a place where women in communications of any capacity could meet and share information, look for jobs and meet other women.

LAW: How did you finance your animated film?

DH: During the 2008 stock market drop I decided to make use of the money I had and bet on our girls. I sold my stock  in time and put the money toward the company and the film.

LAW: How do you plan on making money or getting your investment back?

DH: In my perfect world we find sponsors and/or partners who see the value in our film and teaching guide and purchase it from us for giveaway to schools, museums, libraries and other empowerment building organizations. We’d be happy to give away and match any number of purchases in the same way as Tom’s Shoes. Buy one and we give away one.

LAW: How has AWC been helpful or inspiring to you in the past (if it has)?

DH: The women are FAB and inspiring to me.

LAW: What are your favored communication techniques? Phone, text, email, social media?

DH: I’ve been on the East Coast for the past few weeks, so I’ve been using FaceTime to communicate with my interns back in SB. My favorite form of communication these days, however, is definitely social media. The stories we share in our Gutsy Gals blog can be instantly shared via our website and our Facebook and Twitter accounts at the click of a mouse. The interconnectivity of social media websites provides a fantastic means by which we can branch out to new audiences and share our message across a variety of platforms.

Email is still great for sending personal messages, but as a small business owner I know all too well how burdensome having to scroll through a mass of emails can be. That’s why I prefer spreading the word about Gutsy Gals events via social media, where people choose to interact with any updates we send out.

LAW: How else do you get the word out about your project? Do you use traditional PR?

DH: We are now starting to use PR as a compliment to the above. We have released a pitch for the film via, as well as started groups promoting the film on Facebook and LinkedIn. Plus, we have a Twitter feed that alerts our followers about upcoming Gutsy Gals events and the progress of the film.

LAW: What were the unexpected challenges and joys of making your film?

DH: One challenge that came was good, and not so good. Just after completing the test animation for the film in 2007, I was delightfully informed that Sterling Publications, a division of Barnes and Noble, had picked up my book proposal for Put it in Writing! Creating Agreements between Family and Friends to be written and in the market place by December 2009. I had to put the film on hold, because in 2008 I was getting paid to create the book. See my website to view the book and it’s contents. I held onto the rights of my agreements, so that took even more time to develop the website. I went back to work on the film in 2010, and now we are finished!

The joy is about getting to tell Berta’s story, is working with fellow talented filmmakers from our SB community. Our Executive Producer and amazing mentor Phyllis de Picciotto; Keith English, amazing Director of animation, and wonderful big music from Mark Henderson. Perhaps my biggest thrill is having the vision and staying with it no matter the challenges. I had never ever made an animated film and we did it with a small budget.

The joy is presenting inspiration for girls and women. We can do – we will do and we are doing more and more each day. My joy is to be part of the change and inspire girls and women to have courage, be confident and drive their destiny.

LAW: How can members and friends of AWC-SB help? Do you have any upcoming events or specials or anything else the chapter members should know about?

DH: Help us spread the word about our Indiegogo campaign through October 6. We want to positively impact a future generation of Gutsy Gals and we humbly accept any assistance in financing or promoting the film.

We are currently holding a fundraiser on Indiegogo for our film. We hope to raise enough money so we can distribute and exhibit this film to schools and libraries nationwide. The event is currently underway and ends on the night of October 5. Any donation to our campaign is deeply appreciated and is going toward a good cause: our daughters’ futures.

We are pleased to announce our first film, The Improbable Journey of Berta Benz has been selected to screen at the LA Femme International Film Festival on Friday, October 12 at 4 pm.

LAW: Any regrets? Would you do it again?

DH: Not one regret! Absolutely I’d do it again! We hope to make the film part of a series of Gutsy Gals Inspire Me films. We hope to branch out and give more Gutsy Gal Inspire Me Awards. We will have an announcement soon, but can’t make it quite yet!

LAW: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Deborah, any parting words?

DH: We’d be grateful if everyone would follow us Facebook and Twitter, and join our Gutsy Gal Family on the Website Gutsy Gals Inspire Me.

Featured Member: Nancy Marriott

By Rachel Cansler

In the field of Communications, Nancy Marriott has done it all.  She currently owns her own editing company, New Paradigm Writing, Editing and Coaching Services, and has worked as a free-lance book editor, author, and coach for over 15 years.  You may know Nancy better as the Newsletter Chair for AWC-SB.  Although she no longer serves as a board member, Nancy remains a mentor and member of AWC.  In honor of the impeccable writing and teaching Nancy has contributed to AWC-SB, we would like to highlight her personal and professional achievements. 

Nancy received her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Massachusetts and pursued a Master’s in both English and Theater Arts at Columbia University.  She also spent time abroad at Oxford University, and later earned a TESOL certificate in English as a Second Language from UCSB.  Nancy’s career path first led her to Viking Press where she worked as an editorial assistant.  Later she took a medical editor position at the University of California at San Francisco.  Her extensive training and experience allowed her to coach people on how to achieve their goals. She has led numerous seminars on personal growth and productivity.

Nancy started her writing and editing service in 1996, assisting authors in all phases of book writing to develop their ideas and texts and ready them for publication.  Her particular slant is transformational books, both fiction and non-fiction, books that impact people and aid in changing lives.  These types of works, in addition to her love for words, is what inspired Nancy to build her business and help others through every stage of writing and life.

In addition to these past achievements and owning her own business, Nancy is an Adjunct Instructor in English as a Second Language at Santa Barbara City College. Occasionally she teaches guest programs through UCSB.  Nancy stands out because she has embraced a spiritual path in her writing and life coaching. She has spent a good deal of her life seeking higher consciousness in many different forms. She also has a strong interest in cutting-edge science, especially the health field, and Eastern philosophy, which explains her well-rounded expertise.  She is developing a seminar series aimed at people who want to write and publish transformational books.  Nancy will be starting a pilot program in September and will keep any interested followers informed via her website, Or you can contact her through email at .

“I’m a voracious reader,” Nancy noted about her career as an editor, “But I went through a period of 10 years when I didn’t read a single thing. I had an opportunity to experience life more directly, and when I returned to books, I could approach writing and editing with fresh eyes. It took ‘dropping out’ to really ‘tune in’.”  Since then, Nancy has strived to run her business differently and take on each project like it will make a huge difference in the world.  Her supportive coaching tactics and warm-heartedness make her an approachable friend and mentor.  Nancy is always helping writers to build their confidence as well as turn out excellent books.

Nancy is a firm believer in associating yourself with successful people, or even people working towards success, you move closer to success yourself.  She considers it especially important for women to heighten their courage across all aspects of life by surrounding themselves with like-minded people.  These notions led Nancy to join AWC and serve as a Santa Barbara Chapter board member.  “Not to mention all the great business connections I’ve had in my three years of membership and board participation, I’ve also enjoyed the camaraderie of so many great women who value communication as a key in so many fields.”