Wed, Jan 10: Film Night

Please join AWC-SB for our third annual film night on Wednesday, January 10, 5:30-7:30 pm at TV Santa Barbara. This year we plan to screen LUTAH - A Passion for Architecture: A Life in Design, which premiered at SBIFF in 2014. The film tells the story of a determined young woman in the early twentieth century who wins a college scholarship intended for a boy, rises to the top of a profession dominated by men, and designs many of the most original buildings in Santa Barbara. A Q&A with filmmakers follows the screening.

Wednesday, January 10, 5:30 pm
TV Santa Barbara
329 S Salinas St,
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20
Wine and Snacks Included

LUTAH explores the life of a versatile architect who left an impressive legacy. Initially eclipsed by her male contemporaries in the early 20th century, Lutah Maria Riggs (1896-1984) navigated her way through the male-centric world of architecture and brought a freshness to the established architectural styles of Southern California. Riggs blazed a trail for women, relying on the courage of her convictions and a hint of eccentricity. She pursued her passions and created a life of independence, an exceptional choice for a woman at that time. She was the first woman in California to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Never before seen photographs and journal entries from Riggs’s personal collection, and candid interviews, this documentary reveals a side of Lutah Maria Riggs that has gone unnoticed. With stunning tours of some of Santa Barbara's most iconic structures and rare footage of private homes.

Wed, Dec 6: AWC-SB Annual Holiday Party

This year AWC-SB puts a twist on our Annual Holiday Party celebration which happens on Wednesday, December 6, 6 to 8 pm at Au Bon Climat tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara. As in previous years we will honor an AWC-SB Member. For a new spin we’ll incorporate the Lois Phillips Founders Award into the festivities.

Annual Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 6
6-8 pm
Au Bon Climat
813 Anacapa St.
Downtown Santa Barbara
Street parking available
AWC-SB Members $25; Nonmembers $35

AWC-SB co-founder Lois Phillips chose to honor Guille Gil-Reynoso for the Founders Award, one of the masterminds behind our  Volunteer Organization of the Year, the Santa Barbara Latina Leaders Network (SBLLN). An advocate of Women’s issues, Guille co-founded SBLLN, a network dedicated to providing leadership training, personal development, and relationship building resources to both established and emerging leaders in Santa Barbara. This organization aligns well with AWC-SB which inspires members to assume leadership roles and collaborate with others to shape a better future for themselves and their communities. Over the coming months AWC-SB and SBLLN will explore ways the two groups can partner to further their goals. At past Holiday Parties AWC-SB honored volunteer organizations, this year we want to follow up throughout the year and to encourage our members to get involved.

“I believe in collaborative, creative, and compassionate work,” Guille said. “I also value the opportunity to serve our local community.”

Guille Gil-Reynoso, Community Investment Officer at the Santa Barbara Foundation, focuses on the Health and Human Services sector and supports the foundation’s Nonprofit Excellence Program. She serves on the Capacity Building Committee, which analyzes current nonprofit resources, needs, and opportunities. Previously, she worked as a landscape architectural designer for Wallace, Roberts & Todd and Girven Associates. Guille then expanded into the nonprofit sector where she worked for TVSB (then known as Santa Barbara Channels), assisting organizations in putting culture, arts, and educational programs on television. Guille holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo and an Associate of Arts degree in multimedia arts from SBCC. Guille is an alumna of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) Executive Leadership Program, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Program, and the Center for Creative Leadership. She is also an alumna of Antioch’s Women in Leadership Certificate Program.

The 2017 AWC-SB Member of Year honor goes to Lisa Osborn, an AWC-SB board member who jumped in the find sponsors for our recent Women of Achievement Awards. She serves as Co-Chair for the upcoming award-winning Women of Achievement event. Lisa, a longtime radio broadcaster and entrepreneur, currently serves as the news and public affairs director at KCSB 91.9 FM, the radio station at UCSB. Her business produces on-hold messages, narration services, and a health and wellness podcast. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, Lisa spent most of her career working in radio news in Los Angeles. She also hosted on classic hits music network, airing on 100 plus radio stations across the USA.

Time on Your Side – Key Time Management Tips Podcast

Here's some highlights compiled by AWC-SB member Lisa Braithwaite

  • "You have the same hours in the day as Beyonce."
  • First question to the panel: "Do you let the word 'busy' into your vocabulary?" Whoa!
  • Diana Pereira: Work-life balance implies struggle between competing priorities - one side opposing the other. She prefers the term "work-life harmony."
  • Learn some reflexology points for both stress relief and energizing.
  • Don't want to work on vacation? Go to a place where there's no Wi-Fi.
  • Co-working spaces: No competition, more productive (inspiration seeing everyone else working on their projects), happier. Being plugged into a community.
  • "If you really need me, send me an all-caps text." Re: working while on vacation.
  • "Choices are boundaries."

Wed, Nov 1: I Have Something to Say! Now What?

Want to publish a book but afraid nobody will read it? Join AWC-SB for “I Have Something to Say! Now What?”, a panel for those in search of an audience, on Wednesday, November 1, 5:30-7:30 pm at workzones in Paseo Nuevo. This program will offer discussions for people at all stages of the process, from a kernel of an idea to a product already on the market. Whether you’re indie published, traditionally published, write a blog, or produce a podcast, our expert panelists will guide you up the mountain to increased readers and listeners.

Wednesday, November 1, 5:30-7:30 pm
Paseo Nuevo
351 Paseo Nuevo 2nd floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20
Wine & Refreshments included


Zhena Muzyka is an award-winning social entrepreneur, teacher, author, executive coach, public speaker, and the publisher of Enliven Books, a new Mind-Body-Spirit imprint from Atria/Simon and Schuster. Her critically acclaimed book, Life by the Cup, chronicles her experience growing a multimillion-dollar fair trade tea company, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea. Celebrated for her products and work in conscious business practices, Zhena has been on the Inc. 5000 list for several years, has been named a Country Living Women Entrepreneur Honoree, a Top Woman in Business by Pacific Business Times, 20 most inspiring women in Coco Eco Magazine, and has received Enterprising Women’s Enterprising Women of the Year Award, and the Natural Products Expo Socially Responsible Business award, among others. She has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Inc., Entrepreneur, and on Bloomberg, FOX NEWS, Lou Dobbs, and others for her unique point of view on mission driven business success, women in business, and spirituality.

Gail M. Kearns began her publishing career in 1995 after working over 20 years in the motion picture industry. Currently, she is president of To Press and Beyond, a full-service book shepherding agency that guides projects from inception to completion, providing a wide range of services including ghostwriting, copywriting, writing for the web, and implementing innovative plans for marketing and PR. Gail calls herself a Book Sherpa to underscore the fact that with all the complexities involved in the trek to producing a successful book, every author needs help climbing the publishing mountain. Most recently, she co-authored a gourmet cookbook titled The Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cookbook published by Mise en Press. Books of all genres shepherded by To Press & Beyond have garnered such awards as the prestigious IPPY, the Benjamin Franklin Award, Foreword’s BOTYA, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, USA Best Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, and Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. She and her team have over 30 years of combined experience in the book trade and a skilled understanding of the indie publishing landscape.

Kathleen Kaiser’s career spans over 40 years, from rock and roll in the 60s and 70s to the digital/internet revolution of the late 80s and 90s. She has been a marketing professional for Fortune 100 companies, small startups, and conferences/tradeshows around the world. In 1993 she opened Kathleen Kaiser & Associates which now focuses on arts nonprofit communities and publicity for authors. Her work includes past president and season producer of the Ojai Shakespeare Festival, past president of the Ventura County Writers Club, marketing for the Ojai Studio Artists, Ojai Art Walk, and other community organizations. She produced of the 805 Writers’ Conference for seven years. Named Publicist of the Year in 2016 by the Book Publicists of Southern California for her contributions to the literary community, Kathleen maintains a small list of clients that allows her to continue her volunteerism. She serves as president of the national organization Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network (SPAWN), and board member of the Ojai Film Festival and Independent Writer of Southern California.

Wed, Oct 4: Time on Your Side – Key Time Management Tips from Santa Barbara’s Top Communicators

You’ve filled your schedule with work, continuing education, hobbies, family, friends and more. How do you juggle all those activities without experiencing a meltdown? When is it okay to say ‘no’? Join AWC-SB to learn practical strategies for using your time more effectively on Wednesday, October 4, 5:30-7:30 pm at workzones in Paseo Nuevo. A panel of busy professionals will share their approaches to balancing their calendars in order to make their lives run smoother.

Wednesday, October 4, 5:30-7:30 pm
Paseo Nuevo
351 Paseo Nuevo 2nd floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20
Wine & Refreshments included


Diana Pereira is a co-founder and visionary for the Impact Hub Santa Barbara and founder of Balance Financial Management, a full service back-office and business management consulting firm. Over the past 20 years, Diana has been involved in multiple startups and investment management companies. She also serves as Board Treasurer of the nonprofit, Wilderness Youth Project. She received her B.S. in Business Economics from UCSB, her Juris Doctorate at the Santa Barbara College of Law, and is a member of the State Bar of California. Diana has a strong passion toward building social enterprises dedicated to realizing positive impact within our communities.

In 1999, Alice Ryan formed A Company, a boutique agency specializing in public relations for premiere luxury brands. Alice began her career in London representing brands such as Jimmy Choo, La Perla, TopShop, and Celine. Upon moving to New York she took the position of Director of Public Relations for Oscar de la Renta. From Conde Nast to Ralph Lauren, Ryan has led an accomplished career working with the best of the best. Recently the HL Group acquired her firm and Ryan made the move west where she now lives in Montecito with her husband and three kids, while continuing to focus on unique, individual clients, special events and brand consultation.

Martha Swanson is the Director of Marketing and Communications at MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. She is responsible for managing the reputation and brand of the museum through its various marketing and communication channels as well as onsite. Martha was the second full-time employee at MOXI, hired in November 2015 in advance of its February 2017 opening. Prior to joining the MOXI team, she worked as the Communications Coordinator for the Office of President at California Lutheran University for two years. Previously, Martha worked in Corporate Communications for more than six years at Los Angeles-based KB Home. Originally from Chicago, Martha holds a B.S. in Communication Studies and Psychology from Northwestern University. She now lives in Oxnard with her husband, Erik, and their Labrador retriever, Otto.

Michelle Ebbin is a renowned expert in natural wellness and touch therapy. She is committed to increasing awareness of the healing power of touch and teaching touch therapy and other natural techniques to help relieve stress, soothe the body and mind, and improve overall wellbeing. Michelle founded Basic Knead in 1994 and has authored four books on massage therapy, produced an award-winning massage DVD series for Gaiam/Living Arts, and created best-selling massage products. Her latest book The Touch Remedy: Hands-On Solutions to De-Stress Your Life (HarperElixer) received the publishing industry’s top Gold “Living Now Book Award” for 2016. Michelle appears regularly in the media, including The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, Home & Family, and The View, to discuss the benefits of natural wellness and touch, teach touch therapy techniques, and encourage everyone to bring more touch into their daily life.


Wed, Sept 6: All About Networking

“Networking is not about just connecting people. It's about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.” - Michele Jennae

This quote embodies one key component of AWC’s purpose. Join us for an opportunity to connect with other people on Wednesday, September 6 at workzones in Paseo Nuevo. This event will provide facilitated networking in small groups with discussion topics. Come prepared with your elevator pitch and to tell others what you can do for them and what they can do for you. We will rotate tables so you will get a chance to talk to all the other attendees.

Wednesday, September 6, 5:30-7:30 pm
Paseo Nuevo
351 Paseo Nuevo 2nd floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
AWC-SB Members Free; Nonmembers $20
Refreshments included

"Many believe effective networking is done face-to-face, building a rapport with someone by looking at them in the eye, leading to a solid connection and foundational trust." - Raymond Arroyo


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.




Wed, July 19: Books for Breakfast – Feminist Fight Club

AWC-SB’s popular summer reading program continues on Wednesday, July 19 at Eladio’s by the beach. For July our discussion will revolve around Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett. Please join us and support this lovely venue by treating yourself to breakfast (Please bring cash).

Wednesday, July 19, 7:30-9 am
28 W. Cabrillo Blvd
90-minute free street parking kicks in at 9 am

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2016 BY: Chicago Tribune, Refinery 29, Forbes, Bust, CEO Reads

It was a fight club—but without the fighting and without the men. Every month, the women would huddle in a friend’s apartment to share sexist job frustrations and trade tips on how best to tackle them. Once upon a time, you might have called it a consciousness-raising group. But the problems of today’s working world are more subtle, less pronounced, harder to identify—and harder to prove—than those of our foremothers. These women weren’t just there to vent. They needed battle tactics. And so the Feminist Fight Club was born.

In Feminist Fight Club, acclaimed journalist Jessica Bennett blends the personal stories of her real-life fight club with research, statistics, and no-bullsh*t advice for how to combat today’s sexism (and come out the other side). Part manual, part manifesto, Bennett offers a new vocabulary for the sexist archetypes women encounter every day—such as the Manterrupter, who talks over female colleagues in meetings; or the Bropropriator, who appropriates their ideas—as well as the self-sabotaging behavior women sometimes exhibit themselves. With original illustrations and fascinating historical research as well as a straightforward assessment of the gender gap that continues to plague the American workforce, Feminist Fight Club offers practical strategies, stealthy hacks, and much-needed camaraderie for women battling their way through the modern workplace.

Wed, Aug 16: Books for Breakfast – How to Be a Bawse

AWC-SB’s popular summer reading program continues on Wednesday, August 16 at Eladio’s by the beach. For July our discussion will revolve around How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh . Please join us and support this lovely venue by treating yourself to breakfast (Please bring cash).

Wednesday, August 16, 7:30-9 am
28 W. Cabrillo Blvd
90-minute free street parking kicks in at 9 am

From actress, comedian and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman) comes the definitive guide to being a BAWSE - a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they've fought through it all and made it out the other side. Told in her hilarious, bold voice that's inspired over 9 million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success. Warning: This book does NOT include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, and cute quotes. That's because success, happiness and everything else you want in life needs to be fought for - not wished for. In Lilly's world, there are no escalators. Only stairs.

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.