RWA Board of Directors

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Dee Davis

Dee Davis, President

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

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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HelenKay Dimon

HelenKay Dimon, President-Elect

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

HelenKay Dimon is a former trial attorney turned full-time romance author. She has sold over fifty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including Avon, Penguin Random House, Kensington and Harlequin. Her nationally best-selling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and twice been excerpted in Cosmo. HelenKay 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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Rene Ryan

Renee Ryan, Secretary

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

Two-time winner of the published Daphne Award, Renee Ryan left her job teaching high school to pursue her dream of writing romance fiction. She credits her ongoing publishing success to her longtime membership in RWA. With over twenty books published, and more scheduled for 2018, she's written in several subgenres including historical romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. A former chapter president and an active volunteer at the local and national level, Renee currently serves as Secretary for the RWA Board of Directors and was the recipient of the 2014 RWA Service Award.

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Donna MacMeans

Donna MacMeans, Treasurer

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

A CPA with a small tax practice, Donna MacMeans, received a 2013 RWA Service Award in recognition of her work with chapter treasurers. She established a loop where treasurers could communicate prior to myRWA. She’s a member of the Finance Committee, a think tank where the national budget is vetted. A COFW chapter President for two years and Chapter Treasurer for eight years, she also belongs to PAN, PASIC, NEORWA, and Celtic Hearts chapters. She received the 2014 PRO Mentor of the Year award for her passion with aspiring authors. She’s published six novels with Berkley and indie-pubbed one.

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Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

Kelley Armstrong is the author of the Cainsville modern gothic series and Rockton romantic thrillers. Past works include the Otherworld urban fantasy series, the Darkest Powers & Darkness Rising paranormal romance YA trilogies, the Age of Legends YA trilogy, and the Nadia Stafford trilogy. Armstrong lives in Ontario, Canada, with her family.

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Jamie Beck

Jamie Beck, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

National best-selling author Jamie Beck's realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She's a 2017 Booksellers Best Award finalist whose work has also been a 2016 Woman's World Book Club pick and hit's "Top Romance Novels of 2015" list. Critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work "smart," "uplifting," and "entertaining." In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

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Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of eleven historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a big brown dog.

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Avery Flynn

Avery Flynn, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

USA Today best-selling author Avery Flynn has published more than twenty romance novels. She has held committee and/or board leadership positions with the Washington Romance Writers chapter (WRW) and the Kiss of Death chapter (KOD). In addition, she volunteers with RWA, WRW, KOD, the Virginia Romance Writers chapter and the Maryland Romance Writers chapter. Also, she teaches writing workshops on topics from world building and voice to marketing and professional jealousy. Avery believes in happily ever afters, strong heroines, the power of coffee, and that romance is a genre for everyone.

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Winnie Griggs

Winnie Griggs, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

Winnie is an award-winning, multi-published author who joined RWA in 1995 and has a career sales record of 23 romance titles and counting.  As an active member of her local chapter, she has served five terms as president and has held every board position in her chapter and nearly every volunteer position, including conference chair and awards chair.

On the national level, she has served as Conference Worshop Chair, and as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee and the Chapter Recognition Committee.

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Carolyn Jewel

Carolyn Jewel, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

Carolyn Jewel is an award-winning author of historical and paranormal romance who has written for publishers such as St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Berkley Books, and Grand Central Forever. She has been a RITA finalist in the Historical and Paranormal categories.

In a past day job, she was a web developer. She is currently a Microsoft SQL Server DBA and Data Architect. She leads a team of offshore DBAs for a company with a presence in North America, Europe, and now expanding into Asia.

She has written 25 novels, novellas, and short stories, and has self-published backlist as well as front list.

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Shirley Jump

Shirley Jump, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

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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Courtney Milan

Courtney Milan, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

Courtney Milan is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of historical romance. She has finaled in the RITA® as both a traditionally published and a self-published author. Her books have appeared on the ALA's Genre Reading List, Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010, and the RT Reviewers' Choice Awards. In prior lives, she's been a theoretical chemist and a lawyer.

She lives in Denver with her husband, a dog, a cat, and a houseful of books.

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 Adrienne Trent

Adrienne Mishel, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

A member of RWA since 2010, Adrienne Mishel served as RWA Chapter Advisor. She has served as chapter president for her local chapter and has held various positions within CIMRWA and FF&P Special Interest online chapters. She has also served on several national committees and task forces. A PRO member and avid reader, Adrienne turned her love for things that go bump in the night into steamy paranormal romance novels. She’s working hard to get “the call” and is currently querying.

Adrienne lives in North Carolina with her husband, kid number three, and two 100-pound lap dogs.

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Priscilla Kissinger

Priscilla Oliveras, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

Priscilla Oliveras is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist who writes sweet, contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Her debut release, His Perfect Partner, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, while the second in the series, Her Perfect Affair, earned another starred review from PW as well. As a long-time RWA member, Priscilla has served in multiple board roles for several chapters and most recently completed a term as RWA National PRO Advisor. Since earning an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she serves as English adjunct faculty at her local college and teaches an online course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. Priscilla is a sports fan, a beach lover, a half-marathon runner and a consummate traveler who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

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Farrah Rochon

Farrah Rochon, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

USA Today best-selling author Farrah Rochon hails from a tiny town in South Louisiana. The author of more than twenty-five novels and novellas, she has garnered rave reviews for her Holmes Brothers and Moments in Maplesville series. A two-time RITA finalist, Farrah has also been nominated for the RT BOOKReviews Reviewer's Choice Award and in 2015 won the Emma Award for Author of the Year. She is addicted to all things Disney, and spends way too much money on chocolate, traveling and seeing Broadway shows.

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Damon Suede

Damon Suede, Director-at-Large

Term expiration: 10/31/2018

Damon has earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been a full-time writer for print, stage, and screen for over two decades. He has won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year.

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Advisors to the Board

Donna Alward

Donna Alward, PAN Advisor

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

Donna Alward is an award-winning author of over forty romances. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, nearly grown daughters, a senior dog, and two crazy cats. She writes for St. Martin’s Press and self publishes, was a 2012 RITA® finalist, and was the PAN Steering Committee chair.

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Priscilla Kissinger

Denny S. Bryce, PRO Advisor

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

Denny is two-time Golden Heart® finalist and winner in 2014. A RWA PRO since 2013, she writes historical fiction and romantic suspense. She also is a contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog.

Denny is a member of RWA chapters WRW, MRW, and STARS and special-interest chapters KOD and CIMRA. She has served most recently as co-chair of the 2017 MRW online auction, chair of the MRW stage at the 2016 Baltimore Book Festival and judge coordinator for WRW’s 2016 Marlene contest.

Denny also ran her own event marketing firm, managing conferences, retreats, and other special events.

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 Mellanie Szereto

Mellanie Szereto, Chapter Advisor

Term expiration: 10/31/2019

Mellanie Szereto has been a member of RWA since 2009 and is the author of nearly twenty-five romances, both traditionally and self-published. In addition to various committee responsibilities, she has five years of board service as president, vice president, and director-at-large in Indiana RWA. She was a chapter president, served on RWA’s Chapter Leadership Development Ad Hoc Committee, and maintained the chapter website. She received the IRWA Chapter Service Award in 2013 and was a 2016 recipient of the RWA Service Award. Mellanie is a PAN member of IRWA, Contemporary Romance Writers, and FF&P chapters.

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