From natural disasters to a pandemic, the six women recently honored by the Association for Women in Communications Santa Barbara chapter have deftly helped their community through their communication skills.
AWC-SB recognized Van Do-Reynoso and Jackie Ruiz with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, Mona Miyasato and Terri Nisich with the County Executive Office, Suzanne Grimmesey in County Behavioral Wellness and Gina DePinto, the former county communications manager, with its 14th annual Women of Achievement Award last month.
More than 140 people attended the ceremony at the historic Cabrillo Pavilion on April 29 to recognize the six women.
“These six exceptional communicators have guided our community through fires, the Montecito debris flow and, most recently, the pandemic,” said Lisa Osborn, AWC-SB board president and KCSB FM news and public affairs director. “We wanted to acknowledge their tireless efforts to spread the information needed to keep people in our community safe and healthy under very difficult circumstances.”
This was the first time AWC-SB honored six women at once with the award.
The event was emceed by Paula Lopez, an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, former KEYT-TV anchor and 2012 recipient of the Women of Achievement honor.
Perie Longo, the Santa Barbara poet laureate emerita, wrote and recited a poem for the honorees.
“It was clear to all who heard the honorees talk at the event that they work as a team, they depend on each other and support each other,” Lauren Bianchi Klemann, an AWC-SB board member and 2022 event chair, said. “Through their relationship, we heard how each of the honorees showed up every day despite facing their own doubts and adversities during back-to-back crisis events to create a sense of normalcy for the community in some of our darkest moments.”
“Personal and organizational resiliency lies within our ability to connect and communicate in an open way that reveals our whole selves — be it about race, gender or other challenging topics,” Ms. Miyasato, the county executive officer, said. “I am deeply honored to be recognized this year by AWC-SB along with my county colleagues as we strive to engage, empower and create a better future for and with our community.”
Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, the founder of Women Connect4Good, Inc., was the presenting sponsor of the 2022 awards.
More about AWC-SB and its Women of Achievement Award can be found at www.awcsb.org.