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.
Salutes the outstanding personal and professional achievements of an AWC Detroit Chapter member who has risen to prominence in the communications field.
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
Patricia Anstett Kiska, newspaper journalist, medical writer and author
Margery Krevsky, president and CEO, Production Plus – The Talent Shop
Karen Stewart Spica, media relations manager, Chrysler Corporation
Amy McCombs, president and general manager, KRON-TV (previously vice president and general manager, WDIV-TV4)
Scott McGehee, managing editor, Detroit Free Press
Barbara Everitt Bryant, group vice president, Market Opinion Research
Ruth Carlton, women’s news editor, The Detroit News
Jean Pearson, science writer, The Detroit News
Marion Corwell, public relations executive, Ford Motor Company
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)
Fran Harris, women’s editor and publicity director, WWJ Radio and TV
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.”
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.
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.