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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, May 30, 2012

2012 Women of Achievement Awards Honor Paula Lopez and Perie Longo

The Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara Chapter, (AWC-SB) will be honoring two women who have touched many lives with their excellence in communication at its annual Women of Achievement Awards.


From Breaking News to Awakening the Muse is the theme for the 2012 Women of Achievement Awards, honoring award-winning anchorwoman Paula Lopez and poetry therapist and former poet laureate Perie Longo. The honorees will be recognized at a celebratory luncheon on Wednesday, June 6, 11:30 am-1:30 pm, at the Hyatt Hotel, 1111 East Cabrillo Blvd., in Santa Barbara.

AWC president Dr. Lynn Jones said, “These women exemplify two completely different types of communication yet each put such passion into their work and this is what comes across so clearly – whether it’s a hard news story or iambic pentameter. Their contribution to the community via the communications field while establishing a high standard of excellence as well as a track record of reaching out to mentor others as a role model was what made Lopez and Longo among the best choices for AWC to honor them.” Jones continued, “We hope this luncheon event will promote awareness of AWC-SB and the communication field as a career choice for women. We want to form a positive message that gets out in to the community and is heard, and helps attract new members to the organization.”

Both honorees have been feted with awards in the past but when contacted by AWC-SB Perie Longo stated “At first I thought they had the wrong woman in a city bursting with “women of achievement,” but it is heart warming to know doing what we love for its own sake makes a difference to others. For me, the award honors the importance of “the word” in our lives, whatever our method of communication.” Award winning TV news anchor Paula Lopez was equally awed by the honor saying, “I am deeply honored to be recognized by an organization dedicated to empowering women in my field. The organization, Women in Communications, encourages and inspires us to look beyond ourselves to benefit the community we serve. After twenty-seven years in a field that is rapidly changing this support is more important than ever.”

Paula Lopez, co-anchor of KEY NEWS at 11 pm, began her television career in 1985 as an intern in the Channel 3 News Department before heading to KCAL Channel 9 in Los Angeles in 1990. In 1993, 9 NEWS at NOON, anchored by Paula, was awarded the prestigious Los Angeles Area Emmy Award.

One of her most challenging duties was anchoring live continuous coverage of the devastating 1992 Los Angeles riots. Paula anchored live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O. J. Simpson murder trial, and award-winning live continuous coverage of the Southland Floods and the firestorms of 1993. In 1994 Paula was honored by the Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program with its “Striving for Excellence” Award.

After returning home to KEYT in 1996, Paula earned a Golden Mike Award for Best News Reporting from the Radio & TV News Association of Southern California, as well as a Best News Reporting Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Northern California. Paula is a ninth generation Santa Barbaran, and a direct descendant of Lt. Pablo Cota, one of the founding officers of the Royal Presidio in Santa Barbara.

Perie Longo moved to Santa Barbara in 1969. She taught Speech and Communication, first at City College and then for ten years at Brooks Institute. She found she enjoyed helping others find their voices. About that time she attended the SB Writers Conference where she won two writing awards and began teaching there and through California-Poets-in-the-Schools (Grades K-12) with which she continues teaching to this day. Inspired with the ability of children to “find their voices” through writing poetry and fearlessness at expressing their deepest feelings through poetry led her to pursue her education as a marriage and family therapist and to receive her PhD in counseling psychology. She joined the National Association for Poetry Therapy and in 1999 received its Outstanding Achievement Award and in 2004 its Outstanding Service Award. She served as its president from 2005-07.

Perie has led poetry therapy groups at Sanctuary Psychiatric Centers and Hospice of Santa Barbara. During this time she published three books of her poetry, the latest being With Nothing behind but Sky: a journey through grief about her husband’s leukemia, his ultimate death, and her healing process. Her work has been published in more than fifty literary journals and anthologies. She is Poet Laureate Emerita of Santa Barbara (07-09).

Tickets for the event are $50 if purchased online at www.awcsb.org before Saturday, June 2 or $60 at the door. For information about sponsorship opportunities contact Dr. Lynn K. Jones at Lynn@LynnKJones.com or (805) 448-7681. Proceeds from the event benefit AWC-SB’s programs and services.

The Women of Achievement Awards was established by AWC-SB in 2007 to acknowledge Santa Barbara area women who represent the highest standards of excellence in the communications fields. Past recipients are Lynda Weinman, Starshine Roshell, Marcia Meier, Sarah Miller McCune, Catherine Remak and Ann Louise Bardach, Deborah Hutchinson, Jane Hulse, Melinda Burns, Dawn Hobbs, Melisssa Evans, Anna Davison, and Phyllis de Picciotto.

AWC-SB would like to thank the sponsors who have helped make this event possible: Lynda.com, KEYT-TV, Fielding Institute, Antioch University, Cox Communications, Montecito Bank & Trust, Think Thin and Pacific Coast Business Times.

The Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications provides exposure to current trends and related research and technologies to its members. For more information about the association, visit www.awcsb.org or e-mail awcsb@hotmail.com.

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