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    RWA Board of Directors

    Terry McLaughlin  

    Terry McLaughlin, President

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Award-winning Harlequin author Terry McLaughlin has enjoyed the benefits of membership in RWA for over 10 years and has appreciated the opportunity to serve at the national level as a Region Six Director. She is a member of several online and West Coast chapters, where she volunteered as Web mistress, contest coordinator, vice-president, and president.

    A Golden Heart and RITA finalist, Terry holds an MA in English. During her years as a teacher and school administrator, she taught a wide variety of subjects in classes ranging from kindergarten to adult ed, including writing courses at the university level.

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    Cindy Kirk  

    Cindy Kirk, President-Elect

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Cindy Kirk joined RWA in 1996. Since 1999 she has sold a total of 37 books (to Avon and Harlequin). She has written everything from inspirational romance to sexy contemporary romance.

    She is co-founder of Nebraska Romance Writers and was the group’s first President. She also served two terms as president of Romance Authors of the Heartland. She began her national board service by volunteering at the annual conference then by serving on several committees. Cindy was elected to the RWA Board of Directors in 2007, serving four years as Region 2 Director and two years as PAN Liaison.

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    Sharon Sobel

    Sharon Sobel, Secretary

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    Committed to RWA and its Chapters for 20 years, Sharon Sobel offers diverse experience in service to RWA members. She worked closely with RWA leaders during two terms as Chapter Liaison (2007–2011), navigating organizational and industry changes. Twice president of The Beau Monde, Treasurer of CoLoNY, and an active volunteer, Sharon has a rich history of management and the art of diplomacy.

    With ten books published by five houses, she represents balanced professional perspectives and strong advocacy for authors’ rights.

    As an English professor, Sharon chaired the Connecticut Writers’ Conference. As an active community member, she finds inspiration for everything she write.

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    Diane Kelly  

    Diane Kelly, Treasurer

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Diane Kelly is the Golden-Heart winning author of the humorous Death and Taxes series published by St. Martin’s Press. Diane is a licensed attorney and CPA, with two decades experience in taxation and business. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas accounting program and attended the University of Texas School of Law. Diane has worked for the international accounting firm KPMG, as well as serving a stint in the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

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    Victoria Alexander

    Victoria Alexander, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    Number one New York Times best-selling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she turned to writing fiction full time. She's still shocked it worked out. Since her first published book in 1995, she's written 30 novels and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide. She's a two time RITA finalist and was the 2008 RWA keynote speaker (San Francisco) and 2012 RITA emcee (Anaheim). She lives in Omaha with a husband she kills off in every book, and two bearded collies in a house under endless renovation. She laughs a great deal—she has to.

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    Claudia Dain

    Claudia Dain, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Claudia Welch is a long-time member of RWA and an active member of her local RWA chapter, HCRW. She has served as the RWA conference PAN workshop coordinator for two years, served on the board of her local chapter, given workshops at the national conference and at regional conferences, has written articles for RWR and taught classes at RWA University. As Claudia Dain she is a two-time RITA finalist. She recently debuted in Women’s Fiction as Claudia Welch. She is both traditionally and indie published. Claudia lives in North Carolina.

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    Dee Davis  

    Dee Davis, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Dee Davis has a masters degree in public administration. Prior to writing, she served as the director of two associations, wrote award-winning PSAs, did television and radio commercials, starred in the Seven Year Itch, taught college classes, and lobbied both the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress.

    Her first novel was published in 2000. She's won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt and two RT Reviewers Choice Awards. She is the author of 21 books. Dee also teaches writing for NYU's continuing education department.

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    Alyssa Day  

    Alyssa Day, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    New York Times best-selling author Alyssa Day has been an RWA member since just after 9/11, when she realized life was too short to let anything stop her from her dream of writing. She also writes romantic comedies as Alesia Holliday and young adult romance as Lucy Connors, and her books have won many awards, including the prestigious RITA. Her Navy family moves have taken her to several RWA chapters, where she has frequently served as board member and conference chair. A recovering trial lawyer, Alyssa has published 23 books.

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    Janelle Denison  

    Janelle Denison, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    Janelle Denison has been a member of RWA since 1990 and is currently serving on the RWA board as Director at Large. She has served RWA on a chapter level as president, treasurer, and contest coordinator. A USA Today and New York Times best-selling author, Janelle has published over 50 novels with traditional print publishers (Harlequin, Berkley, NAL, Kensington, and St. Martin’s Press), and is also self-published in e-book format. She is a RITA finalist, a two time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and a recipient of Romantic Times lifetime achievement award.

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    HelenKay Dimon

    HelenKay Dimon, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    HelenKay Dimon is a former trial attorney turned full-time romance author. She has sold over 35 novels, novellas and shorts to numerous publishers, including Kensington, Harlequin, Berkley, Samhain and Carina Press. Her nationally best-selling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and twice been named "Red-Hot Reads" and excerpted in Cosmo. HelenKay has served in numerous board positions in her local RWA chapter (San Diego), including president and vice president of programs. She was named the RWA PRO Mentor of the Year in 2010.

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    Lori Handeland  

    Lori Handeland, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Lori Handeland has written over 50 novels, novellas and short stories for Dorchester, Kensington, Harlequin, St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster and Penguin-Putnam, under her own name and her pseudonym Lori Austin.
    She is a New York Times, USA Today, Waldenbooks and Bookscan best-selling author and the recipient of many industry awards, including two RITA® Awards.

    Lori has been an RWA member since 1989. She was an active member of her local Wisconsin chapter, WisRWA, serving in many board positions. She has served on RWA’s RITA/GH Committee and the Leadership Development Committee and looks forward to continuing as a volunteer in any capacity that will advance the goals of RWA.

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    Leslie Kelly

    Leslie Kelly, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    Four-time RWA RITA Award nominee Leslie Kelly is a New York Times best-selling author who writes contemporary romances and dark thrillers, some published under the pseudonym Leslie Parrish. Published both conventionally and independently, Leslie was one of the founding members of the Florida-STAR chapter. She served as the group's first full-term president, newsletter editor, contest coordinator, conference coordinator, and PAN liaison. Elected to the RWA Board three years ago, she has been proud to serve the organization at a national level.

    Leslie lives with her husband and their daughters in western Maryland.

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    Julie Kenner

    Julie Kenner, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    RWA Honor Roll member Julie Kenner is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling author with over 40 books to her credit. As an author, former litigation attorney, and former homeschooling mom, Julie brings a wide range of experience to the Board, as she has handled crises touching on everything from volatile depositions, messy copy edits, and a reluctance to memorize irregular Latin verbs. She has been a member of RWA for over a decade and has served on the board of her local chapter. Her full bio is available at her website,

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    Gerri Russell  

    Gerri Russell, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Gerri Russell has done it all when it comes to writing; she’s worked as a broadcast journalist, newspaper reporter, magazine columnist, technical writer and editor, instructional designer, which all finally led her to follow her heart’s desire of being a romance novelist. Gerri is the award-winning author of six novels and one novella. She is best known for her adventurous and emotionally intense novels set in 13th and 14th century Scottish Highlands. Her most notable series to date is that of the Brotherhood of the Scottish Templars. A two-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award and winner of the American Title II competition sponsored by Dorchester Publishing and RT BOOKreviews Magazine, she lives in Bellevue, Washington, with her husband and children.

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    Karin Tabke  

    Karin Tabke, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Karin Tabke (aka Karin Harlow) is not just a national best-selling and award-winning author, she is an active member of RWA. She has served on two chapter boards: two years as president of the San Francisco Area chapter; as a charter member of the Black Diamonds Chapter, she served as treasurer and vice president as well as PAN liaison. Karin's most exciting RWA recognition came in 2008 when she was awarded RWA's PRO Mentor of the Year Award.

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    Jodi Thomas

    Jodi Thomas, Director-at-Large

    Term expiration: 10/31/2014

    Jodi Thomas is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling novelist who has written 36 books and 11 anthologies. She is also a 5-time RITA award winner, the coveted recognition from the Romance Writers of America that earned her a place in their Hall of Fame. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A & M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer-In-Residence. Jodi inspires and encourages writers to have courage and "put feet to your dreams."

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    Shirley Jump

    Shirley Jump, PAN Liaison

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Shirley Jump has written more than 50 novels for Berkley, Harlequin, Entangled and Kensington books. A former chapter president and frequent speaker both in the United States and abroad, Shirley’s diverse career has spanned two decades. She has won numerous awards, including the HOLT Medallion, the Booksellers Best Award and Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence. In addition, she’s been nominated multiple times for the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. The first book in her upcoming series with Berkley, The Sweetheart Bargain, recently received a Top Pick from Romantic Times.

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    Pamela Moran  

    Pamela Moran, PRO Liaison

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    Pamela Moran, a long time member of RWA, has served on the chapter level as president, newsletter editor, workshop coordinator and contest coordinator. She’s had short fiction published in Woman’s World, had a monthly column in a regional business journal and has received the Editor’s Choice Award at SDSU Writers Conference. Having been a business owner for more than 30 years, Pam is well aware of the challenges facing writers in today’s changing market from both a business and a writer’s perspective.

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    Nikki Enlow  

    Nikki Enlow, Chapter Liaison

    Term expiration: 10/31/2015

    A 2011 recipient of the prestigious RWA Service Award, Nikki Enlow has been an RWA member since 2004. She has served in numerous positions on both the chapter and national levels, including two terms as chapter president and two years as Chaplink Advisor. Due to her experiences in local and online chapter leadership, Nikki is familiar with the unique challenges chapters face and uses that knowledge daily in her current role as Chapter Liaison.

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