Executive Committee

Cheyenne Knopf Williams
Cheyenne Knopf Williams
PRESIDENT

Cheyenne Knopf Williams is the Marketing Manager and part owner of OnLineBinding. This position entails managing the process of publishing books—from cover design, interior layout, printing, binding, and distribution. Assist authors with creating a business plan to market their books. Ensure customer satisfaction through the publishing process and with the end product. Back end duties include providing overall marketing for companies publishing services through conferences, trade shows, book signings, and print & online advertising. Additional duties include website building and management, budgeting, purchasing, and special projects.

Vic DiGenti
Vic DiGenti
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

After a career in broadcasting and in the special events arena in which he produced the Jacksonville Jazz Festival for eight years, Vic DiGenti turned to his first love—writing. His three award-winning Windrusher novels were traditionally published before he made the leap into the hard-boiled mystery/suspense field. Using the pen name Parker Francis, Vic wrote three novels in the Quint Mitchell Mystery series, and the short story collection Ghostly Whispers, Secret Voices. Lately, he’s worked as a ghostwriter and biographer, having recently penned biographies for two WW II veterans, one of which, We Were Amateur Soldiers, won an RPLA. Vic serves as FWA’s Regional Director for NE Florida, the group leader of the Ponte Vedra Writers, and Faculty Chair for the 2017 Annual Florida Writers Conference.

larry kokko
Larry Kokko
VICE PRESIDENT OF ADMINISTRATION & MEMBERSHIP

Larry Kokko holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from National University and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and criminal justice from Saint Leo University, so naturally he writes dark fiction. Scriptor Publishing e-published Tales from a Disturbed Mind, a collection of four of his short stories, as well as his e-book Blood Alley. Larry serves as the Florida Writers Association as a group leader, regional director, and vice president of administration and membership.

VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE

Cynthia Knopf

chrissy jackson
Chrissy Jackson
DIRECTOR EMERITA

At the age of three, Chrissy Jackson received a little red plastic-covered rocker and two books for Christmas. That was the beginning of her love affair with words. She joined Florida Writers Association in 2004, was elected vice president in 2005, and became president in 2009. In 2007, she co-founded Florida Writers Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization created to fight illiteracy across the state.

Board Members

shannon bell
Shannon Bell

Shannon Bell has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. While she typically enjoys writing about creatures that go bump in the night and has The Mortal One, an Amazon bestselling vampire romance series, she also enjoys helping writers. She writes nonfiction marketing books to help writers market their work. She resides in Riverview, Florida with her husband and daughter and is always looking for a new excuse to travel.

bria burton
Bria Burton

Bria Burton joined FWA in 2008. In 2010, she began leading a critique group that she still leads today. In 2011, she won a First Place RPLA for her epic fantasy manuscript. Recently, she was asked to take over for the WGL in St. Pete. She has nearly a dozen short fiction pieces published, four of which appeared in FWA Collections. Her collection of humorous pet stories, Lance & Ringo Tails, was a self-publishing endeavor in 2013 that has helped her become more equipped as an indie publisher. These skills have been utilized with her involvement in the Alvarium Experiment, a group of authors reinventing the short fiction experience.

MJ Carlson
MJ Carlson

M.J. Carlson is an American science fiction author. His short stories, “Paradox Effect,” “A Simple Breach of Etiquette,” and “Promises in a Reflecting Pool” received an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest 2012, 2013, AND 2014. His early novel, The Alien Who Fell and short story “Wish Upon a Star” were finalists in the 2010 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award competition. He currently moderates the Space Coast Fiction Writers in Cocoa—right down the road from where Major Anthony Nelson used to live with that nice girl, Genie. M.J. lives in Brevard County, Florida with Sparkle, his Wise Reader and muse.

Chris Coward
Chris Coward

Chris Coward is a past president of FWA, chairperson for the 2015 Royal Palm Literary Awards competition, and leader of the Oxford Writers critique group. She has ghostwritten for presidential appointees and CEOs, headed corporate marketing departments, edited national magazines, and taught college English. She has an MA in English (concentration in professional writing and editing) from George Mason University and a BA in philosophy from the College of William and Mary.

Anne Dalton
Anne Dalton

Anne Dalton, Esquire, is general counsel for and proud member of FWA. As an attorney, she has been helping creatives with their legal concerns for 38 years and is licensed in Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. Her experience includes stints as senior attorney for Radio City Music Hall in New York City and legal and business affairs counsel for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Network News Division and ABC NewsMagazine “20/20.” She received an Outstanding Individual Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and a CLIO Award for her services to ABC.

Su Gerheim
Su Gerheim

Su Gerheim graduated from the book learning world in 1964. Her thirty-three years in the job market taught her the real world has little to do with book learning. After using up all her cold days, Su moved from Minnesota to Florida, retiring in 2003 to become the caregiver for her husband. Today, Su enjoys writing poetry and children’s books. Dabbling in many projects to become the master of nothing, she also enjoys seeing how well she can turn things into chaos. She and her sister, Winnie, are having a ball messing up website building. Visit us for the fun of it at winsupublishing.com

john hope
John Hope

John Hope is an award-winning short story, children’s book, and middle grade fiction writer. His work appears in science fiction/fantasy anthologies and multiple collections of the best of the Florida Writers Association (FWA). He co-leads a FWA writer’s critique group in Lake Mary, Florida. He has over fifteen years of experience as a software engineer, developing software for and managing multimillion dollar projects for various software simulators and traffic management tools for intelligent transportation systems. Mr. Hope is the race director for the annual ZOE 5k and 1 mile, promoting healthy living for families and kids. A native Floridian, he loves to travel with his wife and two rambunctious kids and enjoys running.

Alison Nissen
Alison Nissen

After graduating from Norwich University with an MA in Literature, Alison Nissen taught composition and literature at Central Texas College, University of Phoenix, and Houston Community College, online, in classrooms, and even in a shipping container at USMC Base Camp Pendleton. While maintaining the neatest of messy offices, Alison is the managing partner of 3 Dog Tales Productions, a ghostwriting company, and chairs Lakeland Writers, a Florida Writers Association chapter. She was the runner-up for the 2014 US Department of Interior’s National Park Service Big Cypress poetry contest. Her works can be found in the poetry anthology Looking Life in the Eye and Stories for All Seasons, the Florida Writers Association blog, MDA/ALS Magazine, and Tales from the Laundry Room at alison.nissen.com.

eugene orlando
Eugene Orlando

Eugene Orlando is CEO and chief acquisitions editor of e-book publisher Scriptor Publishing Co., Inc. He is a Lifetime Member of the Florida Writers Association and serves on the board of directors and as a regional director. Eugene has e-published, under several pseudonyms, many novels, anthologies, and books on writing.

Mary Lois Sanders
Mary Lois Sanders

Mary Lois Sanders holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Church Music and Vocal Performance. A former teacher, minister of music, and author of academic articles, she entered the secular markets with nonfiction articles in such periodicals as Cobblestone and Calliopes and short stories in Boy’s Life and several anthologies. A winner of several RPLAs, she has published a historical novel and a middle-grade novel and co-written four chapter books. She is a member of SCBWI and Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) as well as owner of Court Jester Publications and publisher/managing editor of Creative Writer’s Notebook, a monthly newsletter for writers

elaine senecal
Elaine Senecal

Elaine Senecal graduated from Fisher College in Boston, Massachusetts, with a degree in business science management. Her volunteer experience comprised five years as executive director for a technical group, and she spent two years on the Middlesex Conservation Commission. She has many publishing credits to her name and is a past secretary for the Florida Writers Association.

tom swartz
Tom Swartz

Tom Swartz (Tom Thomas is his pen name) grew up in New York and graduated from Syracuse University. During his professional career he invested in commercial real estate and has owned several businesses from fast food companies to newspapers. He is a musician and an artist so his books often involve those subjects. He finds that many books are out of print or, because the copyright no longer is applicable, are only available in dirty volumes or publications that are damaged. Publishing these works in crisp and clean editions gives him pleasure.

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