AWC-SB – The First Ten Years

The Association for Women in Communications is a national organization that helps women develop and deepen the communication skills they need to succeed in a variety of fields. Our local chapter includes authors, journalists and broadcasters, entrepreneurs, designers and marketers, corporate communicators, coaches and public relations experts. AWC-SB offers professional communicators and businesswomen an opportunity to network with colleagues who understand the challenges of contemporary communication.

Background: In 2006 communications consultant Lois Phillips, Publisher Mindy Bingham, and Producer Deborah Hutchison founded the Santa Barbara chapter of the Association for Women in Communications . They saw a need for a dynamic, local organization that cut across sectors to bring together professional communicators, solopreneurs, scholars and corporate communicators as well as communications majors at local colleges and universities. They affiliated with the Association for Women in Communications, a national organization that has been empowering women for over 100 years. They wanted to provide opportunities for professional communicators to encourage each other, be inspired by successful role models, and learn skills and multi-media strategies through a range of professional development opportunities.

Professional Development: Today AWC-SB is the only AWC chapter in the State of California. Our membership includes women at different stages of their careers and with different backgrounds and skill sets. Regular networking meetings allow women to deepen their professional friendships, often leading to collaborative opportunities.

Monthly meetings feature speakers and panel discussions designed to help communicators stay at the top of their game. A few of the topics from recent meetings include "How to Handle Online Criticism", "Becoming an Influencer", "Building Your Brand", "To Pod or Not to Pod", "From Crisis to Calm with Effective Communication" and "Managing Information Overload".

AWC-SB has also sponsored public screenings of movies like Citizen McCaw and Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroine as well as receptions for prominent local communicators like Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power. During the summer, we choose books relevant to communicators and discuss them over Books for Breakfast.

Special Events: The annual Women of Achievement Awards honors inspirational local communicators who have made a difference in the Santa Barbara community. Women who have been honored include:

  • 2017 Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara & Patty DeDominic, Founder International Women’s Festival
  • 2016 Lois Caps, Congresswoman & Dr. Lois Phillips, Communications Consultant and Founder AWC-SB
  • 2015 Sigrid Wright, Earth Day Festival & Marilyn Tam, author The Happiness Choice
  • 2014 Nancy Leffert, President Antioch University & Marianne Partridge, Editor in Chief, Santa Barbara Independent
  • 2013 Kathleen Sharp, author of Blood Medicine & Marsha Bailey, Founder and CEO of Women Economic Ventures
  • 2012 Perie Longo, Poet & Paula Lopez, television journalist
  • 2011 Linda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com & Starshine Roshell, syndicated columnist
  • 2010 Sarah Miller McCune, publisher Sage Communications & Marcia Meier, author
  • 2009 Catherine Remak, radio host & Ann Louise Bardach, journalist
  • 2008 Producer Deborah Hutchinson and reporters at the Santa Barbara News Press including Jane Hulse, Melinda Burns, Dawn Hobbs, Melissa Evans, Anna Davison,
AWC-SB also hosts an annual holiday party at which we recognize a Member-of-the-Year and support a Nonprofit of the Year. A few of the local organizations which have benefited from our generosity include: Girls, Inc, Friendship Center, Storyteller Children’s Center, Domestic Violence Solutions and Santa Barbara Women’s Fund

The organization has also celebrated local communicators with the Founder’s Award. Recent recipients include Anna Laura Jansma, (communications liaison at UCSB), Kate Carter (founder of Life Chronicles) and Becca Claasen (spokesperson for Citizens Climate Lobby).

Radio Interviews to Promote AWC-SB and the Women of Achievement Awards

"In The Public Interest": host Jim Siriani interviews Women of Achievement honoree Patty DeDominic and AWC-SB President Lisa Angle. Originally aired on AM 990 KTMS, 99.9 KTYD FM, K-LITE 101.7 FM, KFYZ FM 94.5 May 27-28.


"Arts & Antiques Radio Show": host Elizabeth Stewart interviews Women of Achievement honoree Helene Schneider, AWC-SB President Lisa Angle, and AWC-SB President Elect Carolyn Jabs. Originally aired on KZSB AM 1290 May 26-29.

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Thirteen Ways to Make the Most of Your AWC-SB Membership

  1. Attend meetings. Our monthly meetings feature panelists and speakers who can take you to the next level as a communicator. Members attend program meetings for free, and special events such as our Holiday Party at a discount.
  2. Submit your business for inclusion on Our Professional Services Directory to let other members know about your special areas of expertise
  3. Join a committee. We can always use help with Membership, Marketing, Programming and the Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon. Meetings are fun and a great way to get to know your fellow AWC-SB members.
  4. Make use of the job board. AWC is a national organization with a job board that lists opportunities all over the country. Check it out if you’re looking for a change or just want to know what’s happening in your field. Members get a discount when posting a job opening.
  5. Sign up for a free Webinar.  The Know to Grow Webinars cover timely topics ranging from making better use of LinkedIn to Growing Your Leadership Brand.
  6. Make a suggestion for a meeting. Is there an area where you could use a little Professional development?  Or do you have professional skills you can share with other members? Make a suggestion for a panel or a presentation and we’ll work it into the schedule.
  7. Find (or become) a mentor. Our members are top-notch professionals willing to share their expertise. If you’re looking for advice or have advice to offer, we’ll help you make a connection.
  8. Get Discounts. On hotel rooms, office supplies and ...... Go to womcom.org to learn more.
  9. Be inspired. Our annual Women of Achievement Awards luncheon honors women who have used their powers of communication to strengthen our community. Members save tickets. Mark your calendar for Friday, June 8, 2018.
  10. Get a great photo. A professional photographer covers AWC-SB meetings. You’re welcome to share event photos on your social media.
  11. Compete for awards. Members get a discount on entrees for the AWC Clarion Awards, a national award which recognizes excellence in over 100 communication categories ranging from books to websites.
  12. Network and collaborate. AWC-SB members often discover new clients and find referrals at meetings.
  13. Unwind.  AWC-SB meetings include a glass of wine and an opportunity to socialize. You work hard as a communicator so you deserve to relax with those who appreciate what you do.