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.

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President’s Letter – April/May

Can you believe it’s almost May already? We’ve had a spring full of fabulous presentations. I hope you’ve enjoyed the diversity of speakers and topics so far this year. I know I have!

I’m excited about the upcoming panel in May. Our topic is “Women in Radio and Podcasting”. The presenters are a diverse group with many years of experience among them. Please join us on Wednesday, May 6 for what promises to be an excellent discussion on the role of radio and podcasting in the field of communications.

I’m delighted to announce we have two new board members who will co-chair the membership committee: Carolyn Jabs and Jennifer Blaise Kramer. Be sure to say hello and thank you to them when you see them at our May meeting. I’d also like to thank Sandy Delos who’s not only joined the board as our programs chair but has stepped up to help with our Women of Achievement event as well.

We still have a couple of spots open on the board for women interested in helping AWC to grow locally. We’re also working to establish several committees for membership, hospitality and events. If you’re interested in joining a committee or learning more about what the Board of Directors does, please email me at I’d be happy to buy you a cup of coffee and share more.

Finally, I want to remind you now is the best time to reserve your seat at this year’s Women of Achievement luncheon. Take advantage of the early bird price of $50 for members before May 1. The board had breakfast recently with our two honorees, Marilyn Tam and Sigrid Wright. They really impressed me with their stories and their rich history in the field of communications. I look forward to learning more about them at this year’s event. Click here to buy your ticket.

See you there!

Minette Riordan, Ph.D.
AWC President

February President’s Message

Happy New Year!

I’m proud to serve as AWC-SB President for 2015. Let me share what the Board of Directors has worked on for the past couple of months. In part, the purpose of AWC-SB is to:

  • Create a supportive environment for women to share experiences and exchange information and opportunities for success in their work as professional communicators.
  • Provide access to role models and leaders in the communication fields, explore current trends, and learn related technologies.
  • Provide educational seminars and access to professional development in the Santa Barbara region to help members stay abreast of trends and shifts in the global economy, occupations, and communications fields.

Our monthly programs play an important role in our purpose. We’ve planned an exciting agenda for the next few months. We begin on February 3 with "Leadership & Diversity". Please note we meet on Tuesday evenings for February and March due to room availability at Antioch University. Other upcoming topics include "Women in Public Affairs" and "Women in Radio & Podcasting". I look forward to seeing all of you at our events in 2015.

In order for AWC to continue to grow and thrive in Santa Barbara, we need your help. We’re looking to fill several board positions as well as committee positions. All members are invited to attend our monthly board meeting. I encourage you to join us to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and see if participation might benefit to you. Our next meeting is Friday, February 10, 12 noon-1 pm. Please email me at if you’re interested.

Some positions we seek to fill include:

  • Co-chair Membership: someone who is detail-oriented, who can help with membership applications, new member follow up, updating our directory, etc..
  • Membership Committee members: work with the board and the Membership Co-Chairs to help us grow AWC-SB membership.
  • Hospitality Committee members and Chair: set up refreshments at meetings, help at registration table and make new guests feel welcome.
  • Event Committee members: help with annual June Women of Achievement Awards banquet.
  • Programs Committee members: brainstorm ideas for programs, help plan future AWC-SB events.

AWC-SB is a volunteer organization and it takes a village to create a thriving membership. Please consider joining us and donating your time and talents to AWC-SB.

- Dr. Minette Riordan

August President’s Message

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high
~ Porgy and Bess

I hope that some of the “livin’ is easy” mindset has been with you this summer! If not, there are still some good summer days left.  To capture the summer spirit, we at AWC-SB hope you will join us by doing some summer reading with us and also connecting with your communications comrades.

AWC-SB kicked off the summer with our always fabulous Women of Achievement event, Money Matters: Journalism, Justice and Empowerment, at the Montecito Country Club. Please read Rachel Cansler's review of the event. Whether you heard the poem that day or not, you will for sure want to read (or reread) AWC-SB’s Poet Laureate Perie Longo’s piece "The Matters of Making a Difference".  And don’t miss Rachel Thurston’s fun slide show. If you attended the luncheon I think you will find a picture of yourself. Let us know what your favorite pic is! Mine was the beautiful back-of-the-head-shot of Janet Garufis.

This summer AWC-SB launched Books for Breakfast. I heard reports that the lively breakfast discussion of Lean In at State & Fig stimulated those who attended. Don’t miss our second Books for Breakfast discussion on Friday, August 16 when we will discus Mary Pipher’s The Green Boat. Read about the book and sign up.

So many people enjoyed our networking event at the Casa Blanca Restaurant & Cantina that we decided to do it again. Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 7 and stop by Casa Blanca to celebrate summer with us.

The AWC-SB program committee is already working on planning the programs for the year.  Please note that our programs will be changing from the first Wednesday of the month to the first Monday of the month. For September, since the first Monday is Labor Day, the program meeting will be Monday, September 9. Our programs will continue to be held at our Antioch home in the Community Hall from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Hope to see you soon. Here’s to some fish jumpin’ summer days!



Wed, April 3: Come network with us!

Please join Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara Chapter members and friends at an informal, FREE networking event.

Wednesday, April 3, 5:30-7:30 pm
Casa Blanca Restaurant
& Cantina
330 State St  Santa Barbara

Come socialize and schmooze with your AWC-SB colleagues, and don’t forget your business cards. Bring your friends, too, and introduce them to the opportunities offered by AWC-SB.

No Host Bar & Appetizers
Happy Hour Prices!

We hope to see you there!


perie longo awc-sb poet laureate photo by r. s. thurston photography

The Matters Of Making a Difference

(AWC-SB  Women of Achievement Awards, 2013)

for Marsha Bailey and Kathleen Sharp

If you want to make a difference in life, go for the gold
or awards, you probably won’t make it past the front porch.
Too many leaves need sweeping after near hurricane winds,

so you take up ballet, like Kathleen, begin to bend your
body in extraordinary ways, arabesque like a doe, land
like a swan and glide in the rippled lake of your making.

Tap dancing shoes not allowed, like Marsha you choose
swimming, built strong as a plow like her ancestors, and
noted how her father’s pine seedlings grew lofty, in time.

One minute you’re stretching past clouds, the next
digging roots into earth where water seeps with the truth.
When insulted for being a woman, told your job is to type

and file and you’re out to change your fate, you take matters
into your own hands—as artist, weave threads from here
and there into passion for equality like any suffragette:

so doing, forge a path for women to follow. Or you spin
stories as that dancer, dazzle with verbal seduction,
influence others to do what is right, bring to light

that blood money is wrong—it kills—and heard,
turn greed on its ear. Along comes the wind again
singing there, there like me you can run with any animal,

wolf or mouse and one afternoon find yourself
dressed up in a dream you never dreamed, before the sea,
the forest that didn’t burn, the history of womankind

applauding you for leading the pack, Marsha and
Kathleen, for having our backs, for showing whatever path
we choose or how we move, it makes all the difference.

by Perie Longo
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita
June 5, 2013