Jennifer Zacharias, principal of JZPR and a local philanthropist, will chair the 12th annual Santa Barbara Go Red for Women Luncheon.

The 2015 Go Red for Women event will begin with a Health Expo at 10:30 a.m., followed by the luncheon and program at noon Friday, Feb. 27 at the Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara.

María Simón, national spokeswoman for the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazón campaign, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Santa Barbara Go Red for Women Luncheon. Shirin Rajaee, anchor and reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3, will serve as emcee.

The 2015 campaign marks the 12th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Go Red For Women Luncheon. The Go Red Luncheon for Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by Union Bank.

Zacharias is the founder and principal at JZPR, a Santa Barbara-based public relations firm specializing in lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality brands, as well as nonprofits. Prior to launching her firm, she spent five years as director of public relations for SurfMedia Communications. Before that, she spent five years at CNN’s Larry King Live on the show’s production team.

Before CNN, Zacharias lived in France, where she worked as a translator and press attaché for Canal+, France’s premier national cable network. She is very involved in the local nonprofit community. In addition, to her work with Habitat for Humanity and the Junior League of Santa Barbara, she is a member of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red, and sits on their “Go Red For Women Luncheon” committee.

Simón has been a group fitness instructor for over 10 years. She started her career teaching kickboxing and cardio salsa for LA Fitness and has taught for Equinox, Bodies in Motion and Total Woman, and now has her own High Intensity Fitness Program. She has appeared as a trainer on the weight-loss TV program Dale Con Ganas, from the creator of The Biggest Loser, and is a resident fitness expert for Primera Edición on Univision. She has also been featured in People en Español and on, among other media outlets.

Simón travels throughout the country as a motivational speaker on women’s health and is a national sSpokeswoman for the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazón campaign.

Rajaee joined KEYT NewsChannel 3 in August 2011. She anchors NewsChannel 3 This Morning with her co-anchor Joe Buttitta, as well as produces daily reports for the afternoon newscasts. Rajaee spent nearly four years as an assignment editor for the CNN Los Angeles bureau. She also assisted with producing shows on both CNN and Headline News including Larry King Live, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell and Showbiz Tonight.

The annual Go Red For Women campaign raises awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and encourages them to take preventive measures to reduce their risk. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life. On a national level, the Go Red for Women movement has resulted in 650,000 women’s lives being saved over the last 10 years.

The Go Red for Women Luncheon Executive Team is responsible for the success of the event and is made up of area business and community leaders. This year’s Executive Team includes Rebecca Benard, Laura Capps, Elizabeth Crandall, David Edelman, Jill Fonte, Janet Garufis, Justin Haagen, Mary Lynn Harms Romo, Angela Berard, Kira McDonald, Eileen Mielko, Tiana Riskowski, Dawn Sproul, Nora Tobin, Beth Vos and Healey Young.

Ticket and sponsorship information are available. For more information, click here or contact Sarah Stretz at 805.963.8862 or

— Tamara White is the marketing director for the American Heart Association.