|President *||Amber Wheeler Bacon|
|Vice President/Events & Education*||Dr. Kasie Whitener|
|1st Vice President *||Mike Lee|
|Treasurer *||Steve Gordy|
|Secretary *||Mike Lee|
|Director – Co-Editor, Publications – Catfish Stew, The Petigru Review, Quill-B||Sue Cryer|
|Director – Co-Editor, Publications – Catfish Stew, The Petigru Review||Jayne Bowers|
|Director – Board Development||Roger Jones|
|Director – Chapter Liaison/Membership||Ann Williams|
|Director – Publicity/Social Media||Mary Sturgill|
|Past President, Ex-officio||Carol-Ann Rudy|
|* Member of Executive Board|
|Contract Resources / Advisors:|
|Scott Bacon – Web Support Contractor|
|Lynn Winkler – Accounting|
|Patrick McMillan, Ph.D. – Board Development Advisor|
|Sean Scapellato – Legal, Board Development|
PRESIDENT: AMBER WHEELER BACON
Amber Wheeler Bacon is a writer, teacher and literacy specialist. She currently works as an instructional coach at Coastal Montessori Charter School, a public Montessori school in Georgetown County, and as an English instructor at Coastal Carolina University. In 2018, she earned an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Epiphany, Ruminate, Post Road, New Ohio Review, Crazyhorse and Witness. Her writing can also be seen online at Ploughshares, CRAFT and New South. She was awarded the 2018 Breakout 8 Writers Prize by Epiphany and The Author’s Guild. She grew up in the Atlanta area, and now lives on the South Carolina coast.
VICE PRESIDENT/EVENTS & EDUCATION: DR. KASIE WHITENER
Dr. Kasie Whitener is a member of the South Carolina Council on Humanities Speaker’s Bureau and a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina. Her most recent literary conference credentials include faculty posts at Winter Wheat Literary Festival at Bowling Green State University in 2017 and the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s 2018 Lowcountry Book Club Convention. She leads Write On SC, a radio program and podcast dedicated to showcasing South Carolina authors. Dr. Whitener has published short fiction in literary journals like The Petigru Review, Spry, and Kairos, and won the Carrie McCray Award for Short Fiction in 2016 with “Cover Up.” As managing partner of Clemson Road Consulting, Dr. Whitener has directed projects in software implementation, change management, and process discovery and design. She leads 1 Million Cups Columbia, a Kaufman Foundation program promoting entrepreneurship, and co-founded the Women’s Business Center of South Carolina. Dr. Whitener is a passionate entrepreneur in which capacity she hosts Start Something, Columbia! a radio broadcast and podcast sponsored by the WBC of SC.
Mike is a retired business executive who helps people and organizations develop effectively. His professional background involved business corporate and operating roles including the HR/People and Organization Development functions. In addition to serving on volunteer boards Mike is an avid reader and a writer.
Mike is a graduate of Sir George Williams University (Concordia), Montreal, Canada. He is inspired by positive people who try to improve their lives and the lives of others.
Steve is a retired industrial trainer, training manager, and technical writer. Now he’s embarked on a new career as a college instructor and a creative writer. He’s active in SCWA, which he strongly encourages you to join if you haven’t. He is also a member of the North Carolina Writers Network, the Georgia Writers Association, and the Florida Writers Association.
Steve’s work has been published in Catfish Stew, Savannah Anthology 2015 and The Petigru Review. He’s also written several books, including his new novel Faith, Hope, and Dr. Vangelis!
Sue Cryer is a former Newspaper Correspondent and contributor for the The State Newspaper (SC), The Newburyport Daily News (MA), The Chatham Courier (NY), and The Register Star (Hudson, NY). She currently resides in Chapin, South Carolina where she does Freelance Writing, runs her home business (Sue’s Home Solutions), serves as member and blog writer to the South Carolina Writers Association Board of Directors, and has raised her family. She also served on local PTO and HOA boards in addition to volunteering with the Chapin High School Band Boosters, and church based Grief Group Counseling, Domestic Abuse Assistance, and Bereavement events.
A semi-retired educator, Jayne’s work has appeared in The Petigru Review, the Main Street Rag, the Ensign, and Guideposts. She’s the author of Musings of a Missionary Mom, Eve’s Sisters, and Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond. First place winner in the 2016 Carrie McCray Nonfiction Award, Jayne is also an editor and designer of the Camden Chapter’s two anthologies, Serving Up Memory and What I Wish I Could Tell You.
Roger Jones is founder and CEO of one of South Carolina’s largest independent real estate development and management firms. He and his wife founded a private family foundation that sponsors two education efforts directed toward underserved students called Raise Up and Music for Life. He also founded a Charleston literacy organization that eventually merged with a west coast literacy effort to form a national literacy association called Reading Partners. He has served on numerous non-profit boards including The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
He was recently published in Writers Digest and his first fiction novel is in final revisions. He has studied writing with authors and editors Anne Brewer, Nina Bruhns, CJ Lyons and Mary Alice Monroe.
Ann Williams is passionate about the literary arts. Being a literary artist that published her own work, she is aware of many in our community that take on this task. Being an independent publisher of one’s own work does not mean going it alone. Sharing knowledge is the cornerstone of the Indie spirit that Ann is imbued with. Publishing using Professional Industry Standards should be the goal of all literary artists. The setting of realistic goals and having fact-based expectations is of great importance.
Mary Sturgill is an award-winning journalist who is an anchor/reporter for News 19 WLTX in Columbia, SC. As a journalist she’s lived all over the country covering stories on every topic. Originally from North Carolina, she graduated from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a degree in English literature. She attended graduate school at Arizona State University to receive her masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communications at the Walter Cronkite School. Whether it’s with her blogs, her talks, or the stories she tells everyday, her motivation is; to shed light, to empower and to make a difference.
Ann Chaney, now retired, is a nomad. In the last 36 years, she and her husband have moved eleven times. Her professional career included serving on active duty in the US Army for seven years and working 35 years in Human Resources and university administration. The first of her family to attend college and the first woman in her family to serve in the military.
Upon retiring in 2010, Ann began her writing journey by completing a collection of essays of her childhood memories before venturing into the world of romance. Today, Ann writes historical romance novels set in Regency England in the early 19th century. A member of Romance Writers of America, Lowcountry RWA in Charleston, Heart of Carolina RWA in Cary, NC and RWA’s The Beau Monde, an online chapter, Ann has learned her craft from the ground up.
The 2016 winner in the Historical Unpublished category of RWA’s Kiss of Death Chapter’s Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery & Suspense for her first book, Dangerous Pursuit, Ann has written an additional two manuscripts. She will be self-publishing all three in 2019.
Dana Ridenour is a retired FBI agent. She is the author of two FBI undercover novels: Behind The Mask and Beyond The Cabin.
Ridenour graduated from Meade County High School in 1984, then attended the University of Kentucky. After two years at the University of Kentucky, she changed her major to Police Administration and transferred to Eastern Kentucky University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1989. Ridenour earned her Juris Doctor in 1992 from Chase College of Law.
Over the years, Ridenour has been employed in a wide variety of jobs including first mate on a tour boat (her favorite job), lawyer, and Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ridenour entered on duty with the FBI in November of 1995 and retired in April of 2016 after over twenty years of service. Ridenour was assigned to four different FBI Field Divisions and had the opportunity to work a wide variety of cases to include multi faceted narcotics investigations, domestic sex trafficking of minors, and violent crime. Over the years, Ridenour was a proud member of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team where she and her team traveled to New York City in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. The highlight of Ridenour’s career came in 2003 when she attended and passed the FBI’s prestigious undercover school, thus allowing her to work as an undercover FBI agent. This undercover certification opened the door for Ridenour to work a series of long term, deep cover cases focusing on domestic terrorism. Ridenour had the rare experience of working a long term undercover investigation with her husband who was also an FBI agent.
Ridenour attributes her law enforcement career to her father and her love of books to her mother. Her mother instilled a love of reading from a young age. It was her mother who also encouraged her to keep a journal while working as a Special Agent with the thought that one day a novel would materialize from the experiences. Ridenour’s writing is a reflection of her career and life experiences. Although she enjoys a wide variety of genres, her literary influences are her favorite southern writers such as Pat Conroy, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Anne Rivers Siddons. Ridenour’s favorite novel is Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides which she has read many times.
An award winning author, Ridenour lives in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina with her wonderful husband. She is currently writing her fourth novel.
Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Carol-Ann served as president of SCWA from 2017-2018, bringing the experience of serving on three non-profit boards.. She was formerly the writer for The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald Newspaper-In-Education chapter. Following that, she created a series of thirty-nine Character Education stories for middle-grade students with supporting materials featured in a number of newspapers across the country. She was also a Technical Writer for three national corporations as well as a columnist for two online newspapers. Currently, she is submitting a Middle-Grade and a New Adult novel to two agents upon request. Her work has been published in two issues of The Petigru Review. In addition, she is an artist focusing on illustrating one of her children’s manuscripts.
BOARD DEVELOPMENT ADVISOR: PATRICK MCMILLAN, Ph.D.
Patrick is the Emmy Award-winning host, co-creator and writer of the popular ETV nature program Expeditions with Patrick McMillan. For over 20 years, Patrick has worked as a professional naturalist, biologist and educator. His range of experience has concentrated on botany, though he is also well-respected through his work in ichthyology, herpetology and mammalogy. Patrick is a professional naturalist, the Glenn and Heather Hilliard Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Clemson University, where he is also a faculty member in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, the director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden, the Bob Campbell Geology Museum and the Clemson Experimental Forest and an honorary member of the Clemson University Class of 1939.
Patrick received his BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his PhD in Biological Sciences from Clemson University. His research has been featured in both National Wildlife and South Carolina Wildlife magazines, as well as in numerous articles in The State, the Greenville News and other local and regional newspapers. He is a contributor to the book Life at the Water’s Edge, which won the 2005 Renewable Natural Resources Foundation’s Outstanding Achievement Award and has been selected to receive one of 10 South Carolina Notable State Document Awards for 2005.
Patrick’s intense interest in natural history began at a very young age. He attributes his memorization of thousands of scientific names to his grandmother, who would read him Animal Kingdom and wildflower books as a young child, including the Latin names—quite a contrast to Dr. Seuss! He spent his early childhood in the Fakahatchee Strand and Big Cypress Swamp with his father and grandfather. From there, his research has taken him around the world in pursuit of new species of plants, and his areas of expertise are in sedge and Begonia taxonomy, natural community ecology and conservation biology.