The Matrix Awards

The Matrix Awards annually honor exceptional women and exemplary work in the field of communications across various disciplines. Nominations are accepted December – January.

Click here for nomination form

The Headliner

Salutes the outstanding personal and professional achievements of an AWC Detroit Chapter member who has risen to prominence in the communications field.

Kay Lardie

Flourance Cox

Isabella Holt

Finnie Melba Marlett

1952 – Fran Harris

1953 – Mary Humphrey

1954 – Marguerite Gahagen

1955 – Harriette Arnow

1956 – Marie Margaret Winthrop

1957 – Jean Pearson

1958 – Vera Henry

1959 – Vera Brown

1960 – Ruth D’Arcy

1961 – Jean Sharley Taylor

1962 – Elizabeth Lynch

1963 – Kay Savage

1964 – Yvonne Petrie

1965 – Eleanor Breitmeyer

1966 – Laurena Pringle

1967 – Julie Candler

1968 – Ruth Carlton

1969 – Marion Ryan

1970 – Charlotte Hyams Dublin

1971 – Peggy Cameron King

1972 – Mae Derdarian

1973 – Dorothy Jurney

1974 – Vivian Oates (Fiscus)

1975 – Marion Corwell

1976 – Barbara Bryant

1977 – Glenna “Nickie” McWhirter

1978 – Sylvia Espenschade

1979 – Patricia Montgomery

1980 – Mary Ball

1981 – Beverly Beltaire

1982 – Scott McGehee

1983 – Ruth Cain

1984 – Patricia Anstett

1985 – Eleanor Straub Wright

1986 – Jennifer Moore

1987 – Jeanne Gerristen Paluzzi

1988 – Amy McComb

1989 – Mary Lou Butcher

1990 – Shirlee Rose Iden

1991 – Eileen Wunderlich

1992 – Wendy Robins

1993 – Gloria Olman

1994 – Sandy Burgess

1995 – Christine Bricker D’Angela

1996 – Maureen McDonald

1997 – Helene O’Haver

1998 – Susan Schwandt

1999 – Lynn C. Anderson

2000 – Darlene House

2001 – Alexis Bourkoulas

2002 – Karen Howard Brown

2003 – Helen Stojic (Nilson)

2004 – Kathryn Brennan

2005 – Sue Voyles

2006 – Kim Walsh

2007 – Naomi Mendelson Siegel

2008 – Adrienne Lenhoff

2009 – Mary Kramer

2010 – Anne Doyle

2011 – Betty DeRamus

2012 – Marilyn Barnett

2013 – Desiree Cooper

2014 – Lillie Guyer

2015 – Marilyn Trent

2016 – Karen Stewart Spica

2017 – Joanne Gerstner

2017
Patricia Anstett Kiska, newspaper journalist, medical writer and author

2013
Margery Krevsky, president and CEO, Production Plus – The Talent Shop

1994
Karen Stewart Spica, media relations manager, Chrysler Corporation

1988
Amy McCombs, president and general manager, KRON-TV (previously vice president and general manager, WDIV-TV4)

1985
Scott McGehee, managing editor, Detroit Free Press

1980
Barbara Everitt Bryant, group vice president, Market Opinion Research

1970
Ruth Carlton, women’s news editor, The Detroit News
Jean Pearson, science writer, The Detroit News

1969
Marion Corwell, public relations executive, Ford Motor Company

1956
Dorothy Jurney, women’s editor, The Miami Herald (moved to Detroit Free Press in 1959 to become women’s editor, named assistant managing editor in 1973)

1952
Fran Harris, women’s editor and publicity director, WWJ Radio and TV

The Vanguard

Honors an individual or organization for innovatively employing a communications medium. See previous winners.

2017 – Bridge Magazine, and its investigative reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey, for publishing the first comprehensive book about the Flint water crisis, “Poison on Tap.”

2016 – Alexis Wiley, Detroit Mayor Duggan’s chief of staff, for an innovative and collaborative communications campaign to promote retail businesses in Detroit’s neighborhoods.

2015 – Emily Hay, founder/CEO of Hay There Social Media, for co-creating “Saving Face for Parents and Schools,” to help parents and educators coach tweens to be smart digital citizens.

2014 – Susan Mosey, executive director of Midtown Detroit, Inc., for her communications effort to rebrand the formerly down-and-out Cass Corridor.

2013 – Shawne Duperon, media coach and film producer, for Project: Forgive, a documentary from the perspective of the forgiver and the forgiven in a fatal drunk driver accident.

2012 – Danielle Cantin, marketing director at American House Senior Living Communities, for creating a multi-platform media campaign to celebrate residents and recognize employees.

2011 – Mary Ann Demo, publisher of Natural Awakenings Magazine and local food sourcing advocate, for her work expanding and promoting farmers markets in metro Detroit.

2010 (Organization) – Detroit Regional News Hub for improving the image of Detroit through media outreach, social media campaigns and community collaboration.

2010 (Individual) – Michelle Darwish, entrepreneurship editor at Crain’s Detroit Business, for developing MakeItHere.com.

2009 – Henry Ford Health System for leading-edge website features and other innovative communications to reach its diverse consumer base.

2008 – Chrysler LLC Electronic Media Communications Department for its Voices of Chrysler public web blog and its media-only Firehouse.bizblog to converse with journalists.

2007 – Model D e-zine published by Issue Media Group to cover growth and investment in Detroit and the people leading the city’s revitalization efforts.

2006 – Cynthia Price, General Motors women diversity sales and marketing manager, for creating gm.com/women to empower women with information about the car purchase and service process.

2005 – Brenda Naomi Rosenberg, interfaith peace advocate and founder of the Pathways to
Peace Foundation, for her performing arts production, “The Children of Abraham Project.”

The Diamond

Recognizes communications and programs that improve the image and well-being of women in society. This advocacy award is given to an individual or organization for portraying women positively in the media or providing advancement opportunity to women in the workplace.

2017 – Patricia Anstett, author and journalist, for her medical reporting on women’s health and her recently published book, Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You.

2016 – Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of “The Empowerment Plan,” for developing a social enterprise to employ previously homeless women to sew sleeping bag coats for those still living on the street.

2015 – Keith Famie, visionist and filmmaker, for producing Embrace of Aging, a 13-episode documentary detailing what getting older signifies to women around the world.

2014 – Lori Blaker, TTi Global CEO, for women’s advocacy and her role in launching the Metro Detroit Chapter of US National Committee for UN Women.

2013 – Molly McDonald, founder of The Pink Fund, for starting a nonprofit organization to assist women battling breast cancer with short-term funds for living expenses during their treatment.

2012 – Zonta International/Denise Quarles, District 15 governor, for the district’s effort to raise the awareness of human trafficking by supplying posters to highway rest stops.

2011 – StyleLine Magazine, published by Detroit Media Partnership and edited by Karen Buscemi, for celebrating all facets of metro Detroit style and the local fashion industry.

2010 – Women’s Caring Program/Carol Walters, founder, for providing financial assistance to low-income working parents for licensed day care.

2009 – Productions Plus CEO Margery Krevsky for documenting the transition of auto show models into knowledgeable product information specialists in her book, Sirens of Chrome.

2008 – Ann Thomas, News/Talk 760 WJR executive producer, for producing and hosting the “Women Who Lead” WJR.com series.

2007 – Corp! Publishing for portraying women prominently in the business media, including annual cover stories saluting the achievements of women leaders.

2006 – Fara Warner, author and reporter, for her book, “The Power of the Purse – How Smart Businesses Are Adapting to the World’s Most Important Consumers-Women.”

2005 – NAWBO/EXCEL’s GirlBiz for educating teenage girls about financial independence and responsibility through one-day workshops.

The President’s Award

The President’s Award recognizes a chapter member who, through example and accomplishment, provided outstanding volunteer service to the chapter during the past year.

Previous Winners

2017 – Carol Gillis
2016 – Allison LaRose
2015 – Laura Oliveto

2017 Matrix Awards

On May 18, the Association for Women in Communications Detroit Chapter celebrated the outstanding achievements of three women in communications by presenting them with the prestigious Matrix Award. We had a great time celebrating these talented women and their achievements.