The Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications will get a head start on a new year at its year-end event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara.

Cindy Faith Swain has been named the 2011 Member of the Year by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications.

Cindy Faith Swain has been named the 2011 Member of the Year by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications.

The event is built around the brand theme in recognition of this year’s Member of the Year, Cindy Faith Swain, owner of PlanABrand, a full-service branding, marketing and social media company.

Swain will be honored for her dedication to advancing the goals of AWC-SB and professional leadership in the field of communications. She will give a brief presentation, “Tips on Being Brandtastic.”

“I am honored to accept this award,” said Swain, a well-seasoned executive with more than 20 years of worldwide licensing and business development experience, including 12 years with Warner Bros. “AWC-SB has been a great place to meet wonderful women who teach me and bring color to my life in Santa Barbara.”

In keeping with the event theme, tables and gift baskets will be denoted by women’s brands. Representative brand names will include Lynda Wyman, who is expected to attend the event on behalf of her local company, Lynda.com, as well as Oprah Winfrey, Coco Chanel, Martha Stewart, Jane Fonda, Mary Kay and Rachael Ray.

Tickets for chances to win women’s brand gift baskets will be sold at the event, and proceeds will be used to support AWC-SB activities.

Women in Communications will also recognize its 2011 nonprofit honoree, the Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County, a fiscal partner of the Santa Barbara Foundation, for its support of local nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2007, the fund has awarded nearly $500,000 to 20 organizations serving women, children and families.

“How fantastic that we share similar goals of empowering and enriching the lives of women in our community,” said Jennifer Mills, chair of the north county Women’s Fund, upon learning of the AWC-SB award.

Tickets may be purchased at the door. Admission includes refreshments. There will be a no-host bar.

AWC-SB supports personal, social, business and organizational transformation through communication. It is an affiliate of the national Association for Women in Communications, which represents communications disciplines including print and broadcast journalism, television and radio production, film, advertising, public relations, marketing, graphic design, multimedia design and photography. Click here for more information.

— Karen O’Hara is the program chair for the Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara Chapter.