Lynda Weinman and Starshine Roshell
This year’s Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara chapter's (AWC-SB) annual Women of Achievement Award luncheon drew a packed room to hear the secrets of the two honorees' respective successes. Lynda Weinman, of the multi-million-dollar Carpinteria-based online educational service lynda.com, and award-winning columnist Starshine Roshell received their awards at a June 1 luncheon at the MarMonte Hotel before a crowd of more than 150 people.
Weinman is co-founder one of the largest online education companies in the world. Started in 1997 and ranked the 12th-fastest growing company in education by Inc. magazine last year, lynda.com has international recognition as a top resource for online learning with more than 60 million hits a year to its website.
“We’re just scratching the surface of what we can do,” Weinman said. Her online service is used by USC, UCLA, MIT, Harvard, Yale and other universities to teach a range of computer skills as well as business and other topics in short, interactive lessons.
“Our service costs less than it takes to buy a single book,” she said.
Last month, she won the National Association of Women Business Owners, Santa Barbara chapter, or NAWBO-SB first Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award for publishing, communications and media.
In one of the top-10 South Coast commercial property sales of the year, lynda.com announced last June that it has purchased the 57,474-square-foot former Salvation Army buildings at 6410 Cindy Lane for $6 million.
The company has some 200 employees and plans to hire 70 more soon, she said.
Lynda.com produces CD- and DVD-based products. Much of its revenue is generated from online subscriptions, which allow members to access its library of more than 53,000 educational videos 24 hours a day from computers or iPhones. The site has been online for 15 years, and has expanded during the past three years, despite the bad economy. The privately held company has grown more than 40 percent in revenue in that time.
Although detailed plans for the property were not immediately announced, the company probably will remodel the office building for use as offices to capitalize on the ocean views and update the warehouse building for a live-action recording studio for its online training videos, lynda.com officials said.
The other 2011 Women of Achievement Award winner, syndicated columnist Roshell, is the author of two books, “Keep Your Skirt On” and ‘Wife on the Edge,” which are collections of her columns about life as a wife and mother of two children Roshell’s column appears in the Independent weekly and won a first-place award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. She teaches creative nonfiction writing at SBCC and UCSB Extension.
Roshell said she was named after the song, “Good Morning Star Shine” in the 1960s musical “Hair,” in which her father had a role. She admitted she did not think the song was a very good one.
Roshell said she is asked to speak as an author, but still sees herself as a journalist. She said she likes the response she gets to her columns from people who live in her community.
Wednesday’s luncheon was attended by a host of South Coast celebrities, including: Santa Barbara County supervisors Janet Wolf and Salud Cabajal; former News-Press editor Jerry Roberts; KEYT-TV anchor Paula Lopez; Women’s Economic Ventures founder Marsha Bailey; NAWBO-SB President Maeda Palius and Executive Director Cathy Feldman; NAWBO-SB co-founder Patty DeDominic; Sharon Siegal from Rep. Lois Capp’s office; Independent Publisher Marianne Partridge; and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.
The Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications is for communication professionals in the region to provide access to role models and leaders in the communication fields, as well as exposure to current trends and related research and technologies to members. For more information about the association, visit www.awcsb.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.