Luz Reyes-Martin and Barbara Ben-Horin to receive AWC-SB awards
Luz Reyes-Martin and Barbara Ben-Horin will be honored by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications at the 13th annual Women of Achievement Awards presented by Women Connect4Good.
They will receive their awards via Zoom at noon April 30.
Starshine Roshell, award-winning journalist and previous Women of Achievement recipient, will emcee the free event. To receive a link to attend and a PDF program, register in advance at awcsb.org.
Ms. Reyes-Martin is executive director of public affairs and communications at Santa Barbara City College. Ms. Ben-Horin is the former CEO of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara.
A communications professional, advocate, mother and feminist, Ms. Reyes-Martin has expertise in communications, public affairs, marketing and land-use planning. She is a member of the Goleta Union School District board and president of the Santa Barbara Women’s Committee, a nonpartisan organization that endorses candidates who support a feminist agenda, including action opposing discrimination based on gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, age or ability.
“In my roles as school board member, public information officer and president of a political action committee, I think constantly about how to communicate effectively with different audiences,” said Ms. Reyes-Martin. “The essential ingredients are always authenticity, honesty, integrity and respect. At its best, communication bridges the gaps that divide us, connects with audiences with empathy and makes constructive collaboration possible. As a woman of color, mother, leader and feminist, I use my voice to uplift marginalized communities, empower a new generation of communicators and pursue a society that is fully equitable and just for all women.”
Ms. Ben-Horin’s professional commitment to communication intersects with her passion for advocacy and social justice. She has served in leadership positions for a number of organizations in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and New York, including the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Domestic Violence Solutions, Santa Barbara County Office of Education, the Anti-Defamation League and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Most recently, she served as chief executive officer at Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, which holds a vision of empowered girls in an equitable society.
“In both my personal and professional life, I have been committed to the concept of fair and just relations which require mutual respect, civility and supportive language,” said Ms. Ben-Horin. “The past year has made it even more clear that all of us hold the power to make a difference in the world both by taking action when something is not just and by using words to convey kindness, support, courage and empowerment.”
The annual Women of Achievement luncheon is a signature event for the AWC-SB.
“Like many other organizations in our community, we were disappointed when COVID forced us to postpone the luncheon last spring,” said Lisa Osborn, president. “What we learned over the past year is that good communicators are resilient. If anything, it’s even more important to honor women who have used their gifts to encourage others.”
Funds raised through the luncheon are used to underwrite networking and professional development programs for members of AWC-SB.
The local chapter is part of the national organization of the Association for Women in Communications, which has been encouraging women to develop their skills as communicators for more than 100 years.
The Santa Barbara chapter sponsors monthly meetings in which women at all stages of their careers stay current with important developments in the technology, practice, psychology and ethics of communications. Members are also encouraged to assume leadership roles in the organization, their careers and their communities.
“We truly appreciate the sponsors who stuck with us even though we had to reschedule and restructure the event,” said Ms. Osborn, adding that the AWC-SB has continued to have monthly meetings which are open to the public and free to members.
“We have had meetings on everything from crisis communications to self-care.”