AWC-SB Becoming an Influencer Panel Review

By Rachel Cansler

Over 40 AWC-SB members, newcomers and local influencers filled the workzones presentation room Wednesday, November 2 for the anticipated “Becoming an Influencer” expert panel. The crowd appeared enthusiastic to hear the influential stories of our powerhouse panelists, Jenny Schatzle, Fitness/Nutrition expert, Life Motivator, and creator of The Jenny Schatzle Program; Hollye Jacobs, New York Times Bestselling author/speaker and creator of The Silver Pen; and Talina Hermann, Creative Director and mastermind of the Talina Hermann clothing brand.

So, what makes someone an influencer? What journey do these types of individuals go on to become famous online and offline? Many of us think luck makes legends overnight sensations. In reality these women worked tirelessly for years on their image, shaping their goals over the course of many experiences which amounted to who they are today. I’m excited to share with you the steps they took to become influencers in their field.

AWC-SB Board Member and Senior Editor of Santa Barbara Magazine, Jennifer Blaise Kramer moderated the event. “What got you started? How did your following begin and on what social media platforms?” Jennifer asked of the panelists.

To this first question a theme of organic authenticity emerged. Jenny, Hollye, and Talina admitted they’d never paid for formal advertising, followers, endorsements, etc. In their own genuine way, each discovered the power of Facebook, blogging, and photos (each worth a thousand words) to showcase their talents, raise havoc, and bring new wisdom to their unique fields. Jenny used Facebook first to share her fitness and nutrition advice as well as to publicize her exclusive workout classes, originally hosted at neighborhood parks in Santa Barbara for only $5!

Fresh out of fashion school, Talina spread selfies across various social media platforms before selfies became a thing. Hollye found blogging her best soapbox where she shared her transition from bedside nurse to in-bed patient. Respectively, their guidance related to fitness/nutrition, fashion, and battling breast cancer, grew viral from their truly grassroots approaches.

All panelists agreed, despite some hesitancies, that social media is here to stay. You can use these platforms for good if you remain playful, authentic, and do it your own way. They felt the true test of their influence became evident when their followers engaged with them on social media. Their unique stories got their fans through their own struggles, and shed light on their lives in a powerful way. Each of the panelists expressed that they felt like they woke up one morning to realize they truly helped others through the lenses of their journeys. No one else did what they did . These bona fide women putting their stories out in the open for all to see led to Jenny owning a gym and getting a smoothie named after her at Whole Foods, to Hollye writing the ultimate “Girlfiend’s Guide to Battling Breast Cancer” (as she refers to it), and to Talina’s collaborations with brands and stores around the world.

Although money didn’t spearhead their experiences, by sheer organic authenticity endorsements found their way overtime to each woman. Jenny told stories of how her following has helped her find quality products, like Hoka shoes. She stands behind these products on her mission to transform individuals’ bodies. Her best advice for fellow influencers, “K.I.S.S., ‘Keep it simple stupid.’” She feels she has her team to thank for keeping her in check of not becoming overwhelmed by social media. Every time Jenny goes to post she reminds herself of this message to ensure her message is coming across simply, clearly, and powerfully.

Hollye’s blog, The Silver Pen, struck her followers heart strings. As a result the blog caught fire that spread to speaking engagements, her book deal, other writing positions, and more. She suggests to all, “Think twice, before you post or act once.” Hollye feels there’s no real reason to follow the “should and should nots” in life, but that taking a minute before acting or posting is the best way to safeguard your credibility as an influencer online and offline.

While Talina didn’t frame her brand to feature others’ designs, she adapted to staying beautiful in her own right online by remaining the only orchestrator of her social media content. She only outsourced for data such as Google Adwords and others’ inspiration boards.

“Where is this all heading and what is okay to share online?” Jennifer asked. In response, Hollye warned not to get caught up in the tsunami of social media because these platforms will remain a powerful tool. Remember to slow down and pivot your perspective when something doesn’t go as planned. The social media craze frightens Jenny. The world’s youngsters feel entitled, believing they can get rich overnight. “Lead by example,” Jenny said, “as others won’t do what you say, but as you do.”

Talina is happy to say she feels as if, “We ate it [social media] all up like candy, and got sick of it.” The days of posting every little thing about our lives became uncool. She hopes people will now focus on only posting those inspirations which add beauty to the world’s improvement. Talina Reminded us to meditate daily (even if for only a few minutes), The panelists’ stories of influence gave attendees three examples of the kindness, beauty, and authenticity we can all spread if we choose to use this power for good.

AWC-SB is pleased that workzones graciously hosted this thrilling event and grateful C’est Cheese supplied local cheese, meats and treats. We’re glad we could share an evening with all of you and provide a small bit of thanks for all of your thoughtful discussions with AWC-SB…until next time!

2016 Women of Achievement Awards

AWC-SB 9th Annual Women of Achievement Awards from Ninety Degrees Media on Vimeo.

Lois Phillips’ Thread

“There’s a thread you follow…
you don’t ever let go of the thread”
William Stafford (1914-1993)

If you knew Lois, like I know Lois, you’d say
Oh, Oh, what a woman—her thread woven in the 60’s—
dervish, feminist, organizer, family woman, and friend
who lends her walking poles and backpack
when you’re off on a trek should trails be rocky
or steeper than planned. Oh she’s a planner, a juggler
whose passion is standing women in the light.

If it weren’t for Lois, we wouldn’t be here,
AWC’s co-creator, original Founder and ED
of Santa Barbara Antioch University, she taught
the value of diversity. Where there’s need,
she takes matters in hand, consultant guru her claim.
If your life’s going south, she points you north,

like last April headed up Figueroa Mountain Road
to behold the wildflower splurge with husband Dennis
and half the city, traffic stopped cold. Picture this!
Lois in a large-brimmed, poppy colored hat,
out of the car, arms in the air, directing stop and go.
Oh she’s a go-to woman, an un-jammer,

attitude changer. In the 70’s, she cajoled the dean
of Massachusetts U, Amherst, to support adult women
then reentering college. Her own dreams on hold,
she relinquished her job, followed her spouse hired
by UCSB, across country. The rest is history.
When a single mom with two children, she made
ends meet, earned a PhD, found herself, and Dennis
who filled her heart. Thread in hand, now reflects

on her life’s deep well, replaces fragmentia, a word
she coined in another century, with her creative muse—
Renaissance woman she is, singer, poet, painter.
With Dennis, she’ll keep crossing oceans, trekking on,
curious about what’s next, her advice to the young.
Oh Lois, you’re one to walk your talk and talk your walk!

by Perie Longo
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita
AWC-SB Women of Achievement Awards, 6/3/16

Lois Capps Addresses Congress

People will forget what you said…but never forget
how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou

Good morning everyone, and it is good,
all of us having arrived safely from cruises
or far corners. A few words before I leave office.
Remember how you commented I was “just a nurse,”
how dare I run for Congress after Walter passed away?
My skin thicker, here I still am, woman of the day,
to lower the temperature of the climate in here,
globally as well. Essential as the long list of legislation
I’ve  helped orchestrate to improve the physical
and mental health of Americans, including yours.

And as voted,  “nicest person in Congress”
for the past eighteen years, by you and the whole staff,
(those who really get things done), I have some guidelines.

Return your hand to your heart as when we pledged
allegiance. Breathe deep, watch your breath.
If it balks on exhale, mindfully push through,
go with the flow. You’ll lower blood pressure
and renew energy. You know, that buzz phrase
I’m famous for, considering one of the committees
where I sit. Picture your most happy place.

Now I ask you, is it nice to shut down the government?
We’re not a grocery store, after all, or Yahoo!
As Walter often said, “We are humans first. Everything else
is secondary.” There’ve been a lot of secondary goings-on lately.
So….we’re going to practice coming to our senses,
grounding ourselves, play a different bipartisan game.

Everyone count 1-2, 1-2 all around the room. That’s it.
Now all the ones move to the left and all the twos
to the right. I know it’s a little confusing but, oh well!
Congress is really a metaphor for the family, its values,
and joys; squabbles and heartbreak. Now turn
to your opposition with respect, and ask
from your heart, how we promised to lead, ask
how are you? What do you want for your children’s future?
Shake hands. Doesn’t that feel better? Trust the moment.
Now be well, do good, and please, stay in touch.

by Perie Longo  (with apologies)
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita
AWC-SB Women of Achievement Awards,  6/3/16

Digital and Print Media: Facing the Future Without Losing the Past

By: Lilly Erickson, Intern

In this new digital age, people tend to scroll through Instagram and Facebook on their iPhones to find trending topics, rather than flip through a paper-and-ink magazine. Don’t let these social media-thirsty people fool you. Print is still very much alive. That being said, times have changed and the issue of how to tackle the online world, while still sticking to good old-fashioned print, is multifaceted.

On Tuesday evening, April 5, 2016, entrepreneurs, journalists, editors, and numerous other members of the Santa Barbara community attended the insightful panel hosted by AWC-SB, “Modern Journalism: Local Pioneers Keeping Print Alive and Pushing Digital Media Forward.” The diverse panel, led by Jennifer Blaise Kramer, senior editor of Santa Barbara Magazine, encompassed various forms of print, from news, to lifestyle and food. The local media gurus included Marianne Partridge, editor-in-chief of the Santa Barbara Independent; Gina Tolleson, executive editor of Santa Barbara Magazine; Krista Harris, editor of Edible Santa Barbara; and Andrea Estrada, director of news and media relations at UCSB.

The first question regarded print publications, and how they are surviving today. Gina remarked on the importance of staying in touch with the Santa Barbara community. With the current downsize in print, staying updated through social media and other writers, is a way to get to know “how the city ticks.”

The panelists pointed out that the balancing print and digital platforms is a challenge. Andrea focuses on a two-part process of putting out news, as well as reacting to news, the balance between these two mediums is difficult. Marianne highlighted on the fact that journalism is about “rolling with the punches.” Whether print or digital, the main purpose is to get the news out to the public.

Several other publications inspire these panelists while they try to stay on the forefront of both digital and print platforms. In the foodie world, Lucky Peach has a “great online presence,” Krista said. In terms of global issues, Marianne pointed out that The New York Times and Washington Post are really pushing online publication in order to spread news to the public as seamlessly as possible.

In the panelists’ channels of modern journalism, they must use social media all the time to publicize their stories. What do you think gets the most “Likes” on Instagram from Edible Santa Barbara? If you’re picturing those sweet, savory, gooey, oozing-with-chocolate desserts, you guessed right. What about from Santa Barbara Magazine? It’s those iconic, epic Santa Barbara sunset shots that get the most hits.

In this digital age, pushing online media forward while keeping print alive is a complex issue. These panelists, however, have tackled the task. Marianne said, “It takes human power and working really hard hours, but I am the luckiest editor in the United States.”

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.

Review: Environmentalist Becca Claassen Honored

By Tara O’Neil

At AWC-SB’s event on March 8th, Becca Claassen enlightened the audience on the importance of speaking out about the issue of global climate change. As the recipient of 2016’s Lois Phillips Founders Award, Becca told the inspiring story of her journey as a lifelong environmental advocate.

In addition to the AWC-SB Founder’s Award, Ashley Kruzel represented Das Williams to award Becca with a certificate of recognition from the California State Assembly.

The night began with a reminder of why AWC is an important community of professionals. AWC-SB President, Dr. Minette Riordan said, “Women who communicate are very accessible.” This brought light to the Association’s true purpose: to provide a space for women to not only meet new professionals in communication fields for networking events, but also to support one another as they develop professional goals.

In addition, Lois Phillips expressed her belief that “there’s value in talking to people about changes happening in a different sector.”

Becca Claassen then came to the podium to discuss her life as an activist as well as her views on climate action. At only 7 years old Becca became aware of environmental destruction after learning about the greenhouse effect. She studied Earth Science and engineering in college. She became a chiropractor, believed that would be her professional life. But after giving birth to her daughter Hazel, she realized the urgency of climate change’s impact on future generations. Becoming a mom, she said, was the tipping point that caused her to put her career as a chiropractor on hold. She went all out for climate change advocacy, for the most part as a full-time volunteer.

Reticent as a child, Becca claimed public speaking didn’t come naturally to her. She credits her outspoken advocacy to the energy she found in herself years ago while she marched against the bombing of Iraq.

Since then, she has used her momentum to create local chapters of national organizations and help others get involved in environmental protection. “action is the antidote to despair,” she said. Throughout her environmentalist career, Becca discovered we have all the technology we need to make renewable energy possible. The only roadblock is lack of political will. Of the fight against fossil fuel she said, “If we are able to unify our movements, we can win.”

In light of International Women’s Day, Becca said, “I want to lead by example for my daughter Hazel.” While she navigated a male-dominated field of scientists and engineers, Becca found they wrote her off as if “uneducated” on complex topics. Male associates often told her “it’s complicated” when she asked bold, scientific question. She states that she has since learned to speak with authority on topics where she is knowledgeable. Becca added that women are valuable in environmental discussions, as they tend to work more collaboratively and present a different perspective.

In closing, Becca urged AWC-SB members to start a conversation on climate justice. She encouraged us to look into the many ways one can get involved from voting to environmental rallying to joining Anyone can volunteer their time to campaign on this issue, spread the word, or make the switch to an electric car!

Meet Our Board of Directors

 President:  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. Carolyn 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. Contact:


Past President: Lisa Angle started in communications by creating computerized tutorials in 1990, moved on to writing, laying out and editing newsletters, then web design, and now is active in filmmaking and social media. As owner of Ninety Degrees Media her mission is to expand knowledge through creativity and technology. She has written articles for Montecito Journal, The Independent, and, has produced videos for the Santa Barbara chapter of NAWBO, the SB Zoo, the SB Writers Conference, and AWC-SB, and designed and edited the SB Film Weekly e-newsletter for the SB County Film Commission for several years. She co-produces an online television show called Literary Gumbo.


Treasurer: [Vacant] 

Membership Chair: Sharon Cox, a financial professional for 30 years, her experience includes serving as a financial planner, socially responsible investment advisor, small business consultant, and national conference manager. An award-winning speaker and author of materials published by the National Endowment for Financial Education, Sharon offers private and small group money coaching, interactive workshops, and speaking engagements through her business, The Money Dance,


Programing Chair: Jennifer Blaise Kramer studied creative writing at the UnivJenniferBlaiseKramer-smlersity 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, where she is now senior editor at Santa Barbara Magazine. Contact:


Marketing Chair: Monica Kunz is a Digital Marketing Communication Professional at Monica Kunz Design, a Hybrid marketing, designer-developer with a 20-Year graphic art-web-design digital marketing and technology career with private and nonprofit expertise. Served on two other nonprofit boards. Her experience includes a unique blend of technical knowledge, analytical creativity, and artistic talent. Contact:


Women of Achievement Co-Chair: Lisa Osborn is a longtime radio broadcaster and entrepreneur. 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. Contact:


Women of Achievement Co-Chair: Nancy Seagal CCH, BWRT Keynote speaker specializes in Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking. With a background of over 23 years working as a therapist and as an advocate of science based, cutting edge coaching and learning technologies, Nancy enthusiastically continues to expand and share her knowledge. Nancy is a best-selling author where she defined her recovery from mercury poisoning by inspiring others to focus on their recovery. As founder of Rising Above It, Nancy produced personal development programs including an extensive audio collection addressing reduction of stress and working through anxiety. As a skilled communicator Nancy is versed in the nuances of promoting concepts and ideas on a broad range of subjects through a variety of modalities.











Leadership and diversity photo by rachel sarah thurston photography

Review: Leadership and Diversity

By Rebecca Ponsdomenech

At AWC-SB’s “Leadership and Diversity” event, Audrey Addison Williams, a leader in both the profit and nonprofit world, discussed what diversity and leadership means to her. Her speech shed light on how humans create diversity by our own personal perceptions of the world.

Audrey shared personal stories of struggles she faced in her life due to her gender, weight, and the color of her skin. Instances such as when she noticed the valet left her headlights on. She didn’t turn them off for fear someone might think her stealing her own car. She realized where we’re from and how we look effects how we act in society. How others perceptions of us don’t depend on our skin color, but on the way we carry ourselves as well. Audrey explained that while working in Africa, they referred to her as “Mzunga,” meaning white person. Why? Because of facial expressions she made when she spoke. It’s not about race; it’s about how each individual filters the world in their mind.

Americans seem caught up in pointing out our differences. How do we fix that problem? Audrey explains that to heal America we must acknowledge the problem. All people suffer. Stop labeling people and remember we’re all human. Our lives are linked together so celebrate diversity and realize it’s our strength.

Review Sandra Tsing Loh’s Visit to AWC-SB November 5, 2014

sandratsingloh2By Alessandra Labrador

At AWC-SB’s event on November 5, Author, Sandra Tsing Loh, shed light on what it means to go through menopause. After discussing her book, The Madwoman in the Volvo, Loh depicted a positive side to menopause, emphasizing the importance of discourse on a taboo subject.

When Loh experienced her own menopausal meltdown she turned to research to get some answers. She discovered women experiencing “the change”, showed hormone levels similar to that of a preteen girl. Since the women of today live much longer than women of the past, fertility only applies to a third of a woman’s life. Loh’s breakthrough of a redefined ‘change’ allowed her to gain new insight on the pressures women experience while fertile and the liberation menopause brings.


Women, more so than men, are constantly subjected to ideals and expectations of perfection – from how to dress, to how much to weigh, to how to carry oneself. No wonder women in the United States choose not to openly talk about menopause. Women try to live up to society’s forced expectations of them, thus do not want to admit to going through menopause. In an attempt at ‘perfection’ and equality in the workplace, women suppress their emotions. According to Sandra Tsing Loh, when you “go mad” you gain perspective on how “mad” the world is. Loh has found discussion of menopause a release. She believes that instead of stigmatizing menopause, people should talk about the condition, connect to each other, and bridge gaps across genders and generations.

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!