The theme Giving Voice: Leadership, Education, Community sets the mood for this year’s Women of Achievement Awards. The Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara Chapter began the awards in 2007 to honor local women who excel in the field of communications.
This year the nomination committee selected two communicators with proven track records of leadership in our community. Marianne Partridge is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Santa Barbara Independent, a unique voice for independent writers, critics and involved citizens. Nancy Leffert is president of Antioch University Santa Barbara, an institution that nurtures students to become leaders who live lives of meaning and purpose.
“There has to be social change for women to achieve,” Leffert said.
In high school, a counselor told her she should forget about college; apparently he didn’t consider higher education appropriate for girls. She didn’t listen. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Now Leffert is a nationally known scholar of child and adolescent development.
Partridge’s family expected girls to go to college. Girls could become nurses, not doctors, or teachers in elementary or high school, not college professors. After graduating from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. She held a myriad of jobs — including nanny, waitress and social worker — before she settled on journalism. When she began her career as a secretary at the original Saturday Evening Post, somebody told her women weren’t cut out for the job of editor. She didn’t listen. She has worked as editor of the Village Voice, executive editor of Look Magazine and senior editor of Rolling Stone.
These two women who found their voices by not listening will speak at the Women of Achievement luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 4 at the Montecito Country Club. Click here to purchase tickets online before May 28 for $55 for AWC-SB members, $65 for nonmembers. Any remaining tickets will be $75 at the door. The event has sold out the last three years.
Mary Olson, general manager at KCLU Radio, will serve as emcee for the second year in a row.
“Attending the Women of Achievement event is like getting a big shot filled with insight, humor, inspiration, joy and resilience,” Olson said. “Plus, this shot is better because it doesn’t hurt!”
For many, a favorite part of the luncheon for the last two years has been the poems read by AWC-SB Poet Laureate Perie Longo. A past Women of Achievement Award recipient, Longo will again craft poems for the honorees. Other past winners of the award include Marsha Bailey, Paula Lopez, Lynda Weinman, Starshine Roshell, Catherine Remak and Melinda Burns.
Last year AWC-SB added another honor to the event, the Founders Award presented by AWC-SB founding president Lois Phillips Ph.D. This year, Kate Carter, president of LifeChronicles, will receive the Founders Award. LifeChronicles gives voice to loved one over the age of 65, someone so special their families long to preserve them on video.
— Lisa Angle of Ninety Degrees Media represents the Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara Chapter.