Woman of Distinction Award 2019

Tanis Hammond

Tanis has the terrible disease called “Itchy Feet,” and is always up for new adventures. Tanis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography. She crossed the Antarctic circle on the Research Vessel, Polar Duke, while working on a 2-month project in Antarctica for UCSB.

Tanis and her husband Seth have three grown children, Tegan, Channing, and Colin. When they were still young, Tanis set her first Bonneville Salt Flats speed record. The year was 1987. Seth had been racing cars at Bonneville since the mid-1970s. More than 10 years after she started tagging along, it was time for Tanis to get behind the wheel. Tanis set her first land speed record with a speed of 252 mph. She broke this record her first time competing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Land speed records have been set on the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah since 1914. Tanis was only the second woman to go over 200 miles per hour on the salt. She followed in the tire tracks of her friend Marcia (Holley) Vesco, who cracked “the 200 club” in 1978.

Tanis currently holds 7 land speed records, 4 of those speed records clocked in at over 300mph. Over 30 years, Tanis moved the speedometer from 251 miles per hour to her current record of 314 miles per hour.

Tanis is also an accomplished commercial helicopter pilot. With her husband of 52 years, Seth, they completed a helicopter trip across the US to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada and back. They now have flown over or landed in, every state in the Continental US, including the inhospitable and remote Nome, Alaska.

Tanis has traveled to northern Alaska and has stood on the southern tip of the African continent.

Tanis drives with her hands strapped to the steering wheel (to prevent loss of appendages during an accident) and in a fire-repellant suit. Going over 200 miles an hour is no joke, especially because she never hits the brakes. A parachute deploys and slows the car down after the 5-mile-mark, which is the end of the time-trial run. It takes a mile and a half to slow the car to a stop.

Tanis’ daughter Tegan, is a stunt driver in Hollywood, working on Magnum PI and other car chase scene forward, television shows and movies.

Tanis has driven some of these amazing speeds as a grandmother. She has encouraged education, adventure and giving back to her children. Tanis has broken ground and inspired many women with her record-breaking love of cars and speed. She gives motivational talks to women and encourages a no-boundaries attitude in life.

Tanis is truly what expresses the definition of the Santa Barbara Associates, Woman of Distinction

Woman of Distinction Committee

Calla Gold
Robin Cederlof
Nikki Ayers

Santa Barbara Associates Woman of Distinction 2019