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

Staff & Interns


CamdexterAdministrative Assistant: Cameron H. Dexter grew up in Easton, NH and attended Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, VT graduating with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, concentration in Photography. Cameron has worked for newspapers, magazines, and as a professional photographer. In 2010 she won Second Place in The Unbound Press Literary Competition for “First Chapter of an Unpublished Book” for her story about the violent deaths of a police officer and young man during a roadside shoot-out two miles from her childhood home.

Cameron appreciates both the challenges and benefits of communication across all mediums in our evolving technological landscape. She believes creative expression is a gift possessed by everyone-waiting to be explored.

She is working on her first novel, and enjoys refinishing and selling furniture at her studio in downtown Santa Barbara.

Staff Photographer: Rachel (“r.s.thurston”) Thurston worked for many years throughout the American West as a river guide and Outward Bound Instructor before landing in Santa Barbara nearly 13 years ago. She’s been working as a freelance writer, and travel, events, and portrait photographer ever since. A blogger and writer for most of that time,Rachel ("r.s.thurston") Thurston photographer her writing and photography have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Women’s Adventure Magazine, Santa Barbara Magazine, as well as the best-selling Travel Humor Anthology Series by Travelers Tales. After earning an honors master’s degree in Writing from USC, Rachel went on to collaborate with award-winning photographer Chuck Place on the book The Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Passionate about music and performance, she is also the lead singer of the popular retro rock n’ roll band King Bee. An avid user of social media, she loves connecting communities of people around the world and locally through their shared passion for the arts and inspirational living. She is thrilled to be a part of the AWC Team! You can view more of her work at


RachelCansler_smlNewsletter & Editorial Assistant: Rachel Cansler will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communication and a minor in Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June of 2014. She currently works as a student researcher at both the Koegel Autism Center and Dr. Brenda Major’s Self & Social Identity Lab. She previously assisted UCSB faculty member, Dr. Tamara Afifi, with her research on Communication in friendships and worked as the Marketing and Publicity Intern for CMND-Z Art Apparel. Committed to fulfilling her passions in Social Psychology and holistic mental health, Rachel intends on attending graduate school to earn a doctorate’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Rachel has been a part of the AWC-SB team since her Freshman year at UCSB and is grateful to have this chance to meet and work with all of AWC-SB’s inspiring women members.

Osaro AlthouseOsaro Althouse graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before starting her studies at UCSB, Osaro lived in Los Angeles and Germany. She has worked as a Social Media Marketing Strategist and is currently a Public Relations Intern for a PR Agency in Los Angeles. Osaro is eager to combine her passion for public relations and marketing with her interest in women’s empowerment. If you don’t find her reading an engaging book, you’ll discover her writing articles on her blogs.

AWC-SB It’s Mine! Right?? Attorneys Mike Velthoen Jim McDermott Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP intellectual property

March 6: It’s Mine! Right??? A Presentation About Intellectual Property

Communicators find protecting their intellectual property in a digitized world a challenge.

To shed light on these trials AWC-SB will sponsor a presentation It’s Mine! Right??  Attorneys Mike Velthoen and Jim McDermott of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP will discuss the intellectual property issues of copyrights and trademarks and how to protect your work from getting stolen.

Wednesday, March 6 , 5:30- 7:30
Antioch University Santa Barbara, Community Hall, 602 Anacapa Street
Free to AWC Member, $20 for Nonmembers

The presentation will cover:

  • What is a copyright?
  • What works are copyrightable?
  • If I make something for “Big Company,” who owns it?
  • Who really owns your website?
  • What are trade secrets, and why do they matter?
  • How do trademarks work? How do I protect them?
  • How does copyright work with social media (reposting blogs on Facebook or Tweeting)?

Michael A. Velthoen is the managing partner of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP. He maintains a diverse practice in all aspects of business litigation, with an emphasis on trade secret disputes, intellectual property and employment law. Among is accomplishments Michael helped resolve a complicated copyright/partnership claim on behalf of the developer of a popular computer software program. The Pacific Coast Business Times recently named him as a leading business attorney in the Tri-County region.

James Q. McDermott is an AV-rated attorney whose practice is primarily devoted to civil litigation with an emphasis on employment and business disputes. Jim received his law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1997. As a law student, he served as an extern to the Honorable Spencer Williams in the Federal District Court in San Jose where he conducted research relating to an encryption software patent dispute. Jim has extensive experience with the American Arbitration Association involving employment and commercial arbitrations.