Board of Directors

Executive Committee


Rick Bettencourt is an award-winning author and an Amazon bestselling novelist. His works include Summerwind Magick, Building Us, Tim on Broadway, and Marketing Beef. Additionally, Rick conducts business and data analysis, speaks on marketing, writes technical documentation, and manages software projects to help businesses grow profitably. He lives in the Sarasota area with his husband and dog. 

Executive Vice President

arielle haugheePreviously an elementary teacher, Arielle Haughee (Hoy) is a five-time RPLA-winning author and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She is an editor, writing coach, publishing consultant, speaker, and contest judge. She is the author of The Complete Revision Workbook for Writers, Falling Into You, the children’s books Grumbler and Joyride as well as the editor for the How I Met My Other anthology series. She loves dogs, babies, and chocolate. When she isn't writing or editing, she loves diving into a good fantasy romance.

Vice President of Administration & Membership

mary ann de stefanoMary Ann de Stefano is editor of The Florida Writer and publishes MAD’s Monday Muse. An independent editor with 30+ years’ experience, she works one-to-one with writers who are developing books, organizes writing workshops, and designs author websites. Mary Ann does business at MAD about Words, named as a play on her initials and love for writing. She is mad about helping authors achieve their writing goals and nurturing creative and community spirit. Website:

Vice President of Finance
chrissy jacksonAt 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.
Director Emerita

anne daltonAnne Dalton, Esquire, has provided business and personal legal services to writers and other creatives in all phases of their creative development for 43 years. She proudly serves as General Counsel to the Florida Writers Association and is an FWA Lifetime Member. Anne is licensed in Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania, and her credentials can be viewed at


michael farrellMichael Farrell was drawn into the world of writing by his childhood dreams and the stories in his head that he wishes to bring to life. He loves Psychology, fantasy worlds, and stories about the wonders of life. He is a black belt in tae kwon do and has practiced the art for ten years. He also has a background in tumbling. Michael joined the Florida Writers Association in 2019.


paul iasevoliPaul Iasevoli holds a Master’s in Latin-American Literature. His writing has appeared in various journals including Cathexis, High Shelf Press, Cleaning Up Glitter, and Deep South Magazine where he was winner of Honorable Mention in their 2018 Race in Place short story competition. His LGBTQ+ novella, Winter Blossoms, published by Beaten Track Publishing, was nominated for the 2018 Lambda award for best M/M romance. He is a member of the Bradenton Writers Group and the Selby Poets Society.

mark newhouseMark H. Newhouse, FWA Youth Chairperson, is a multiple Collections and RPLA winner for children’s mysteries: Welcome to Monstrovia; The Case of the Disastrous Dragon; The Case of the Crazy Chickenscratches and more. NY State Reading Association Elementary/Secondary Teacher of the Year 1989, he was an adjunct professor at SUNY Old Westbury; served on Newsday’s educational advisory board, was founding president of Writers League, and leads Writers 4 Kids. Memberships include The Authors Guild, SCBWI, and IBPA. Born in Germany to Holocaust survivors, he enjoys working with youth and is an anti-bullying advocate.

alison nissenAlison Nissen is the co-founder of Revel Coach, an inspiration platform for women, a professor at Southeastern University, and writers’ coach. She is the author of the 2016 RPLA Unpublished Memoir of the Year Resolve, Courage, Hope, and host of FWA's The Florida Podcast and Webinars. Follow her Tales from the Laundry Room at

william oppermanAfter thirty-five years in Boston, William Opperman has contentedly retired to Central Florida with his husband Scot. Besides the two children and a grandchild, he delights in movies, operas (especially Wagner), and the Oxford comma. He is an editor and writer, an awed admirer of the Chicago Manual of Style, the principal of Keep the Voice Editing, and the author of a television miniseries script based on Thornton Wilder's magnificent novel The Eighth Day. He is currently working on a memoir, a mystery set in Mount Dora, and a gay romance

Elaine Senecal is a former executive committee board of director member as secretary for four years. Six years ago, she co-created the FWA website and continues to support website experiences for our membership. She has volunteered at our annual conferences where needed. Elaine has a business science degree and programming certificates that fulfill her day job as an integration data analyst and application instruction writer. In her downtime, she flirts with hubby, talks to the puppies, stares at the clouds, and writes cozy mysteries as Elaine Braman. Sometime in the future, she hopes to find the time to publish the third book in the series.

herb sennettHerb Sennett is a retired speech and theater arts professor. He is the author of three self-published novels and two published academic books. He is currently working on a biography of one of Palm Beach County’s best-known religious leaders scheduled for release in 2021.