June 2017 Board Election
Writers' League of Texas Board of Directors Slate of Candidates

Below are full bios for the candidates on the ballot for the June 2017 Board Election, including information on when the new terms will expire. All current WLT members will be eligible to vote in person at the June 15, 2017 Third Thursday meeting in Austin, TX, OR via absentee ballot (emailed to all current members on May 4, 2017). Votes must be received by June 15, 2017. If you are a member and have questions about this process or about board service, please contact us at member@writersleague.org or call 512-499-8914.


Chip Dameron is the author of seven collections of poems and a travel book. His poems, as well as his essays on contemporary writers, have appeared in numerous literary magazines and journals around the country and abroad. A two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, he lives and writes in Brownsville, Texas. If confirmed, Chip Dameron's term will expire on December 31, 2018.

Anna Marie Dempsey is a partner in the Corporate and Securities section of Thompson & Knight LLP. She regularly advises clients on public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, private equity fund formation, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, corporate governance, and compliance with securities laws, exchange rules, the Investment Company Act, and the Investment Advisers Act. Anna Marie received her J.D. and her B.S.B. in Accounting and Business Administration, with highest distinction, from the University of Kansas. If confirmed, Anna Marie Dempsey's term will expire on December 31, 2019.

Marc Hess lives, works and raises his family in Fredericksburg, TX. Raised in Hawai’i, and educated in the northeast, Marc has held publisher-level roles with iconic titles such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Yankee magazine (yes, that is a lower case “m” in magazine), Aloha and Alaska Magazine (yes, that is a cap “M” in this case.) He has also served as editor of such obscure titles as Schutzhund USA and Gardening South Texas. As founding publisher of The Insider’s Guide to the Texas Hills, Marc leads a talented editorial team that dug into the soul of this recently discovered region and contributed to the early development of the tourist industry here. As publications morphed into websites Marc morphed into a techie and now works with Hill Country Telephone Coop where he gets paid to figure out how to bring optical fiber networks into small towns out in rural Texas. If confirmed, Marc Hess's term will expire on December 31, 2019.

Joseph Pluta has published 21 books, over 70 short stories, and more than 60 articles in academic journals. He has served on the faculties of 8 universities and has been Editor of a magazine, host of a radio show, director of a University Honors Program, and consultant to both foreign governments and U. S. businesses. Joe grew up in New Buffalo, Michigan and still enjoys traveling throughout the state and Canada. He lives in Austin, Texas. If confirmed, Joseph Pluta's term will expire on December 31, 2019.

Terry Sherrell is a native Texan with a BLA. in English and a CMBA from the McCombs School of Business. In her lifelong personal and professional crusade for literature she encourages and promotes authors and publishers in Texas. As an Account Manager at OneTouchPoint, she specializes in books and publication. Terry is a member of the Writers' League of Texas, Story Circle Network, New College Writers and the Travis County Archaeological Society. She is advisor to St. Edward’s journals, Austin Community College’s Rio Review, Festival Hill’s Poetry at Round Top and the Library of Congress Center for the Book, among others. If confirmed, Terry Sherrell's term will expire on December 31, 2019.

Rodney Sprott of Austin graduated from the University of Texas with a BS in communications. He recently retired from Maximus where he served as Director. His debut novel Boonesboro is completed and seeking representation. Mr. Sprott is a long term member of WLT who has attended many workshops and served in volunteer positions. Now that he has free time he wishes to give back to the organization that supports him in his creative endeavors. If confirmed, Rodney Sprott's term will expire on December 31, 2019.

Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz
is a poet, photographer and punster who landed in Austin 25 years ago by way of Michigan, Colorado, Virginia and Washington, D.C. During her tenure as an award-winning creative director at GSD&M Advertising, she led national campaigns for brands such as Zales, John Deere, Texas Tourism and Hallmark. Her creative work has won industry acclaim from the Cannes Lions, Addys, Clios, and the Communication Arts Advertising Annual. In 2016, she published Haiku Austin, a book of poetry and photography that pays tribute to the Texas capital through witty, 17-syllable poems and vivid pictures. She's currently working on two new titles in her haiku series, Hill Country Haiku and Haiku 'Hooville, a tribute to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she earned a B.A. in English at UVA. In 2003, Carlotta won the O. Henry Pun Off World Championship, much to the delight or chagrin of her two daughters. She is also a fervent Instagrammer -- follow her at @HaikuAustin and @lottapalooza. If confirmed, Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz's term will expire on December 31, 2019.

Gina Panza Woodruff
is a movie/TV fanatic and road trip enthusiast. She is a creative multipotentialite in her free time and by day a Marketing Consultant specializing in the high-tech industry. A 1993 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, she received a BFA in Communications Art and Design with a minor in Photography. Gina started her career as a graphic designer for an embossed hologram manufacturing company and went on to work in dot com and product marketing but found her passion in corporate social responsibility. While working with her own clients she continues to partner with larger agencies on projects for Fortune 500 companies including Lenovo, AMD and HP. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas but raised in three different countries, she is happy to call Austin home. Gina participated in her first NaNoWriMo ("50k words in 30 days" challenge) in 2009 and continues to take part each November with the support of her husband and their three boys. She has been a member of the Writers' League since 2011 and is working on her first novel, “Fertile Ground." If confirmed, Gina Panza Woodruff's term will expire on December 31, 2018.