The honorees will be recognized by the association’s Santa Barbara Chapter (AWC-SB) June 6 at a celebratory lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Hotel (www.santabarbara.hyatt.com), 1111 East Cabrillo Blvd.
“The honorees exemplify two completely different types of communication, yet each put such passion into their work. This is what comes across so clearly – whether it’s a hard news story or iambic pentameter,” said Lynn Jones, AWC-SB president. “Their contributions to the community, high standards of excellence in the field of communications and their willingness to mentor other women make them ideal candidates for our award.”
In addition to recognizing Lopez and Longo, Jones said the annual luncheon is intended to promote awareness of AWC-SB and the communication field as a career choice for women.
Both honorees expressed their appreciation for the recognition.
“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” Longo said.
“To get an award like this from my peers in the communications industry means so much,” Lopez added. “Positive feedback like this is what feeds my passion.”
Lopez, co-anchor of KEY NEWS at 11 p.m., began her television career in 1985 as an intern in the Channel 3 News Department before moving to KCAL Channel 9 in Los Angeles in 1990. In 1993, she was the anchor of 9 NEWS at NOON when it received the prestigious Los Angeles Area Emmy Award.
Lopez anchored live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O. J. Simpson murder trial and award-winning live continuous coverage of Southland floods and firestorms of 1993. One of her most challenging duties was anchoring live continuous coverage of the devastating Los Angeles riots. In 1994 she was honored by the Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program with its Striving for Excellence Award.
After returning to KEYT in 1996, she earned a Golden Mike Award for Best News Reporting from the Radio & TV News Association of Southern California and a Best News Reporting Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Northern California.
A ninth-generation Santa Barbaran, Lopez is a direct descendant of Lt. Pablo Cota, one of the founding officers of the Royal Presidio in Santa Barbara.
Longo moved to Santa Barbara in 1969. She served as Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara from 2007 to 2009.
Longo taught speech and communication, first at City College and then for 10 years at Brooks Institute. She found she enjoyed helping others find their voices. About that time she attended the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, where she won two writing awards. She taught at the Writers Conference and became associated with California-Poets-in-the-Schools (Grades K-12), where she continues to teach. The ability of children to express their deepest feelings through poetry inspired her to pursue her education as a marriage and family therapist and receive her Ph.D. in counseling psychology. Longo 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.
While leading poetry therapy groups at Sanctuary Psychiatric Centers and Hospice of Santa Barbara, she published three books of her poetry, including With Nothing behind but Sky: a journey through grief about her husband’s leukemia, his death and her healing process. Her work has been published in more than 50 literary journals and anthologies.
Event sponsors include Lynda.com, KEYT-TV, Fielding Institute, Antioch University, Cox Communications, Montecito Bank & Trust, Think Thin and Pacific Coast Business Times.
Tickets are $50 if purchased online at www.awcsb.org before June 2 or $60 at the door. For information about sponsorship opportunities contact Dr. Lynn K. Jones, president of AWC-SB at Lynn@LynnKJones.com or (805) 448-7681. Proceeds from the event benefit AWC-SB’s programs and services.
The Women of Achievement Award was established by AWC-SB in 2007 to acknowledge local 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.