Fri, June 9: 10th Annual Women of Achievement Awards

Patty DeDominic and Helene Schneider to Receive
10th Annual Women of Achievement Awards

For the past 10 years AWC-SB has championed the advancement of women by recognizing excellence in leadership. The 2017 Women of Achievement Award winners embody this year’s theme, “Inspirational Women Leaders: Communication, Empowerment, Outcomes,” with their strong guidance skills.

Patty DeDominic, International Women's Festivals Founder and Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara will receive their awards at a luncheon on Friday, June 9 at El Paseo Restaurant. Following the tradition of recent years, Poet Laureate Emeritus, Perie Longo will present poems especially composed for the inspiring pair.

Helene Schneider, Santa Barbara Mayor

Schneider has served at Santa Barbara City Hall since 2004, first on the City Council, and now she will finish her second term as Mayor at the end of this year. She strives to connect local government with the business community and nonprofits. Prior to her elected office, she volunteered in leadership roles as Commissioner for the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, President of the SB Women’s Political Committee and President of the SB Human Resources Association.

“Leadership is not dominance; it’s a willing collaboration,” Schneider said. “I look to leaders who balance a strong public stand to move something forward with creating opportunities for others to use their expertise and shine in the spotlight.”

Mayor Schneider honed her communication skills as a human resources management consultant. She earned her BA from Skidmore College and her Professional Designation in Human Resources Management from UCSB Extension.

Fellow honoree DeDominic praised Schneider for her advocacy and tireless leadership of our beautiful city. “She is diplomatic and dignified, yet playful, which is pretty hard to find in one leader,” DeDominic said.

Patty DeDominic, Founder, Santa Barbara International Women’s Festival

DeDominic also developed skills as a communicator through her work in Human Resources. In 1979 she founded PDQ Personnel Services, Inc., and later acquired CT Engineering, that grew into a powerhouse staffing agency. She sold those businesses in 2006. Capitalizing on over two decades of success, she currently operates DeDominic & Associates, a specialized business consulting firm that offers professional services to enterprise builders and philanthropists.

“I invest in every one of my clients,” DeDominic said. “It may not be money but it's an emotional and psychic investment. If I can't illuminate things for a client, and I observe them on a difficult trajectory, it's actually painful for me.”

That kind of passion extends to DeDominic’s 20 plus years volunteering in the nonprofit world. She’s contributed her services to the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Chamber of Commerce, and SCORE, as well as global organizations like the Jane Goodall Institute and Direct Relief International. In 2007 she launched the International Women's Festivals to celebrate women around the world in conjunction with International Women's Day.

Tickets for the Women of Achievement Awards luncheon are $55 for AWC-SB members and $75 for nonmembers. Those who purchase a table of 8 for $750 will also receive a half-page, black-and-white ad in the event program. For information on sponsoring the event, contact Dr. Minette Riordan,, (469) 585-3615.

Women leaders who’ve received the Women of Achievement Award in the past include former Congresswoman Lois Capps, Dr. Nancy Leffert, Marianne Partridge, Marsha Bailey, Paula Lopez, Perie Longo, Lynda Weinman, Starshine Roshell, Catherine Remak, and Sara Miller McCune.




AWC-SB March Event: Communicating Effectively in a Polarized Environment

By: Lilly Erickson, AWC-SB Intern

Today’s recent political environment has generated feelings of uneasiness among many Americas. Regardless of our political affiliation, many of us feel uncertain about when to speak up to defend our beliefs, and how to communicate effectively to avoid offending others.

In a panel discussion held on Wednesday, March 1, a diverse group of panelists shared their insights on how to effectively communicate, without letting politics sabotage the conversation. Led by Carolyn Jabs, AWC-SB president-elect, AWC-SB welcomed panelists Judy Guillermo Newton, Senior Vice‐President and Director of Organizational Development and Human Resources at Montecito Bank & Trust, Kelly Scott, Chief Deputy DA at Santa Barbara District Attorney, and Anna Everett, Professor of Film, Television and New Media Studies at UCSB.

Changed political climate

“Many people who’d never talked about politics now want to talk about politics, and with it comes a lot of personalization—the words are harsher,” Newton said.

Since the most recent presidential election, people have seen a dramatic increases in political conversations at work. This upsurge in opinions lends itself to the potential to offend others. The panelists remarked on the difficult task of continuing to remain nonpartisan with co-workers as a team, despite the emotional unrest that appears ever-present.

Knowing when to speak up

“It’s important to weigh what battles you’re going to take,” Newton said.

Deciding when and if you should make yourself heard is not an easy task. Sometimes an issue feels so important to your own personal morals that you feel obligated to speak up. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind the costs associated.If losing your job, family, or friends is more important to you, you may want to remain silent on the subject.

Three ways to bring contentious talk into a more civil space

  1. Active Listening: “Silence is a pause that can minimize a charged environment,” Everett said. By taking time to listen to others, you show respect for their opinion, even if their views are different from your own. Everett suggested to first remain silent while listening to the other person’s beliefs, then repeat back what they said in order to make sure you heard them correctly.
  2. Self-awareness: “It’s crucial for us to be aware of what the signals are in our own bodies that make us behave in ways that might be uncivil,” Newton said. Stay aware of the way you respond to a situation, particularly if it puts you on-edge. This enables you to step back, take a moment to compose yourself, and react in a manner that facilitates constructive discussion.
  3. Working Towards a Common Goal: “When there are divisive political discussions, I try to make everyone find what the common goal is,” Scott said. Working towards a common goal allows team members to learn from one another and focus on the task at hand, despite their different political views.

As all three of the panelists touched upon, the key to communicating effectively in a polarized environment is taking time to listen before responding. Seeing the other’s perspective, despite their political differences, enables compassion and understanding. By following this advice, we can work with others as a team and come to mutually beneficial solutions.



Wed, May 3: Free Networking

Powered by Eventbrite

Join AWC-SB for networking on Wednesday, May 3, 5-7:30 pm at Mulligans Cafe & Bar. Bring your business cards. Prepare your thirty second elevator pitch. Connect with leading women in local communications positions such as marketers, designers, writers, journalists etc.. This event is FREE so if you've never attended an AWC-SB meeting, or haven't in a while, this gives you an excellent opportunity to meet some of our local chapter members and learn what the organization is all about. Bring your friends and enjoy food and drinks at Happy Hour prices, not to mention free parking.

Wednesday, May 4, 5-7:30 pm
Mulligans Cafe & Bar
3500 McCaw Ave
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

No Host Bar
FREE to attend

Wed, April 5: AWC-SB After Dark

Join AWC-SB for a LIVE storytelling experience on Wednesday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 pm. Sit back while you’re entertained by people sharing personal stories and enjoy wine and cheese at workzones, transformed into a cozy coffeehouse.

Wednesday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 pm
Paseo Nuevo
351 Paseo Nuevo 2nd floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20; Full-time Students $10
Appetizers and wine provided

Storytellers include:

Carolyn Butcher - "To Whom it May Concern"
Carolyn, who wrote her PhD dissertation on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, teaches critical thinking through literature at Santa Barbara City College. She has published numerous memoir pieces in print and online journals, in addition to performing personal stories three times with Speaking of Stories at Center Stage. "To Whom it May Concern" was sparked after President Trump’s “Pussy” comments, when women of all generations began sharing their own experiences of past sexual harassment or abuse.


Adele Menichella - "Naked Eye"
Adele is an independent writer-editor whose work has appeared in print, radio, television and film. She has been a diarist since the age of seven.



Natalie D-Napolean - "I Used to Believe in Magic"
Natalie  is a writer, singer-songwriter, and educator from Fremantle, Australia who now lives in California. She is currently working as a Laboratory Teaching Assistant at the SBCC Writing Center while also working on songs for a new album of original material.



Elaine Gale - "Red Cabbage Rising"
Elaine Gale is a California-based writer, performer, humorist, professor and journalist who loves art, artists, building community, giving back, healing, border collies, Hendry's, fish tacos and pedicures. She will perform her one-woman show, ONE GOOD EGG, directed by Rod Lathim, at Center Stage Theater May 5-7.For more info and tickets:


Valerie Burns -  "Organic Warrior"
Valerie, a style consultant for home and wardrobe, and graduate of the Hollywood school of hard knocks, is a recent breast cancer survivor. She’s currently writing a book, Caution: Mermaid Crossing, about her warrior ride, and blogging about this and much more.



Maggie Mixsell, Artistic Director of Speaking of Stories, provided performance coaching for our five storytellers. We look forward to hearing your story.

Select Files
















Speak to Engage Review

Photo by Rachel Sarah Thurston Photography

Photo by Rachel Sarah Thurston Photography

By: Lilly Erickson, AWC-SB Intern

Do you ever find yourself speaking in front of an audience but the words don’t come out right? You’re trying to share your message, make them believe in what you’re passionate about, but you can’t figure out what to say or how to say it.

On Wednesday, February 1, Lisa Braithwaite, founder of Speak to Engage, presented at our monthly AWC-SB meeting on how to move beyond these apprehensions to create a memorable experience for the listeners.

Lisa first emphasized the importance of engaging your audience, instead of focusing on yourself, to craft a message they won’t forget. Do this and your audience will leave the room with a drive to take action.

Crafting a emotionally engaging speech involves preparation. You must first know your two objectives: yourself and your audience. Ask yourself, what you want to achieve? Do you want media attention, or are you simply trying to build confidence in your own abilities? In terms of your audience, what do they need, want, and care about? Are they interested in money and fame, or security and recognition? What is your call to action? What do you want listeners to do as a result of your talk?

After understanding your objectives you can develop a compelling message that caters to your audience. Consider the structure of your message. Lisa pointed out, “If you don’t have a structure, you’re not taking your audience on a journey and they may not know how to get to your call to action.” Lisa described different types of structures:

  • The “sandwich” technique -- cushioning bad news in the middle of your speech
  • Listing chronological events
  • Going global to local (e.g., the U.S. to Santa Barbara)

Keep in mind which structure would work best for your audience.

Lisa emphasized the importance of not talking about yourself when opening your speech. Rather, tell your audience why you want to speak to them. Some examples of effective openings are starting with a quote or story, leaving a cliffhanger (until your closing), or discussing a current event that pertains to your topic.

You must also have an intentional closing to your speech. Lisa warned against ending with Q&A because it kills the momentum you created. Alternatively, she suggests offering Q&A before your closing, then give your call to action to inspire your audience to take initiative.

The key to overcoming your uncertainty to effectively share your message involves connecting with your audience. Instead of focusing on the features of your message, take into account what benefits listeners will gain from your speech. Speak their language, bring them into your world, and you will, “Create a meaningful and memorable experience, and watch the results!”


Wed, Feb 1: Speak to Engage: Audience-Centered Presenting

Many people find speaking in front of a group nerve-racking. What if you could command the room with your presence and feel incredible satisfaction at the end of your talk? Learn how to create a memorable experience for your audience when AWC-SB presents "Speak to Engage: Audience-Centered Presenting" with Lisa Braithwaite on Wednesday, February 1, 5:30-7:30 pm at workzones in downtown Santa Barbara.

Wednesday, February 1, 5:30-7:30 pm
Paseo Nuevo
351 Paseo Nuevo 2nd floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20
Wine and appetizers provided by C’est Cheese included

Lisa Braithwaite (© Fernando J Tirado 2015)

Before starting her public speaking coaching business in 2005, Lisa Braithwaite, a Santa Barbara native and Cate School graduate, worked in the nonprofit sector in Santa Barbara for sixteen years, developing  and implementing programs, curricula, and training materials for local organizations. She has spoken to thousands of people, both youth and adults, on topics ranging from domestic violence and healthy relationships, to gender equity and Title IX, to public speaking and presentation skills.


Wed, March 1: Communicating Effectively in a Polarized Political Environment

Our country has become a more polarized political environment. Regardless of how you voted, you need a safe space to think about when, where and how you want to engage with contentious political topics. AWC-SB wants to help by offering a panel, "Communicating Effectively in a Polarized Political Environment".

Wednesday, March 1, 5:30-7:30 pm
Paseo Nuevo
351 Paseo Nuevo 2nd floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20
Appetizers by C’est Cheese and wine provided

Topics for discussion include:

  • develop non-adversarial strategies for communication with customers, clients and colleagues
  • determine boundaries between what's personal and what's professional
  • decide when to avoid political conversation and when to speak up
  • defuse political anxiety, hostility, aggression


Judy Guillermo Newton, Senior Vice‐President and Director of Organizational Development and Human Resources at Montecito Bank & Trust for ten years. She served as a member of the Executive Leadership Team, helped cultivate a strong organizational culture, led the Bank’s leadership development efforts including coaching members of the Senior Management Team, and directed the Human Resources and Organizational Learning Departments. Prior to Montecito Bank & Trust, Judy worked with leaders from a wide variety of organizations to create inclusive environments in which each member of the community is valued, respected, and able to fully contribute their talents.

Kelly Scott, Chief Deputy DA at Santa Barbara District Attorney. Kelly supervises the most serious felony cases in Santa Barbara. In this capacity she oversees the gang prosecution team, vulnerable victim unit including sex crimes and crimes involving domestic violence; homicides and other serious and violent crimes; real estate fraud; consumer protection; and environmental prosecutions. Kelly grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and came to California to attend Pepperdine University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and later a law degree from Pepperdine. Kelly lives in Solvang with her husband Craig, an environmental geologist, and eleven-year-old son.

Anna Everett, Professor of Film, Television and New Media Studies at UCSB. Her former administrative positions include: Acting Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Academic Policy; Chair of the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, Director of the UCSB Center for Black Studies. Dr. Everett is a two-time Fulbright Senior Scholar Award recipient. Her many publications include the books Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949; Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media; AfroGeeks: Beyond the Digital Divide, and Pretty People: Movie Stars of the 1990s. She is finishing a new book on President Obama, social media culture and Millennials.








Wed, Jan 4: Citizen McCaw Screening

In 2008 AWC-SB honored five former Santa Barbara News-Press journalists. Do you remember the courage these women possessed over ten years ago to stand up for what they believed? AWC-SB will revisit this important time in journalism history at a movie night featuring Citizen McCaw on Wednesday, January 4, 5:30 pm.

Wednesday, January 4, 5 pm
TV Santa Barbara
329 S Salinas St,
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20

Citizen McCaw chronicles events starting in July 2006, when editor Jerry Roberts and five of his colleagues left the News-Press, citing owner Wendy McCaw's abandonment of journalistic ethics, which McCaw denied. McCaw and dozens of her former staffers engaged in a fierce clash of wills that raised important national questions of freedom of the press and media ownership.

SFGATE said about Citizen McCaw, “No screenwriter could conceive a more perfect setup for a horror story.”

Come early to network, drink wine and tour the TV Santa Barbara studios. TVSB’s nonprofit media arts center is the place for people to create media and connect with other local media makers.



Wed, Dec 7: AWC-SB Annual Holiday Party

The Holidays are just around the corner. Kick off your holiday party season with the annual AWC-SB Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 7. Join us at the Au Bon Climat tasting room for an engaging evening. We will serve complimentary wine by the glass provided by Au Bon Climat and a savory cheese spread provided by C'est Cheese.

Annual Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 7
5:30-7:30 pm
Au Bon Climat
813 Anacapa St.
Downtown Santa Barbara
Street parking available
AWC-SB Members $25; Nonmembers $35

girls-inc-of-greater-santa-barbara-1We take this time to honor a local Nonprofit of the Year that works to empower women. Girls Inc. works to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Through research-based, data-driven educational and enrichment programs, Girls Inc. provides life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges that girls face, fostering their growth into healthy, educated, independent women and orienting them toward a bright and successful future. Please bring an unwrapped item from the Girls Inc. Amazon wish list to benefit the young women in their organization. Items include educational supplies for their tutoring and literacy programs, games and activity sets, program materials, office supplies, and more!

cj-bio-photo-a-683x1024To keep with tradition, we will also recognize an AWC-SB Member of the Year who has gone above and beyond this past year for our association. Carolyn Jabs is an experienced professional writer with a reputation for insight and sensitivity in dealing with complex issues. She has written hundreds of articles about families, ethics, environmental issues, and the Internet. Her work has appeared in many publications ranging from TV Guide and Reader’s Digest to Working Mother and Redbook. Her essays have appeared in Newsweek and the New York Times. She is a lifelong member of the Authors Guild and the American Society for Journalists and Authors. Her latest book,Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart, she co-authored with Dr. Donald Scherer. Besides serving as an AWC-SB board member, Carolyn participates in the Women’s Fund and practices tai chi.

Stay till the end, and bring your business cards, because we will hold a drawing for a bottle of Au Bon Climat's finest bottle of wine to one lucky winner!

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!