Getting to Know Your 2017 Board Members
It’s been an educational, insightful, and fun year here at RWA San Diego. But now that 2016 is coming to an end, it’s time to welcome our new Board of Directors. Check out the profiles below to get to know the RWASD leadership for 2017!
|Tami Vahalik, President
Tami writes contemporary romance with a kick and a twist that includes the sports world. Her stories are inspired by her time on the field as a certified athletic trainer. In other words she takes care of boo boos and owies that can and can’t be seen, then writes about them. It’s all fair game. Each story she writes has at least one real life incident. Can you figure out the reality from the fantasy? You might be surprised.
|Rick Ochocki, President-Elect
Rick is a novelist and storyteller focused on romantic suspense. He is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), RWA-San Diego, the Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA), and San Diego Writers, Ink. He’s also a staff member for the Southern California Writers’ Conference. His award-winning flash fiction was included in the e-book Fiction 101: The Anthology produced by San Diego CityBEAT.
|C.J. Corbin, Secretary
C.J. writes sizzling contemporary romances which leaves you breathless… this, in turn, feeds her hopeless addiction… Coach bags. Currently, she is working on her newest Destiny Series novel. She is excited and proud to be serving on the RWASD board because this chapter is an important place for her to be. Friends call her Chris and if you want to thrill her, ask about her purse.
|Tessa McFionn, Treasurer
Tessa is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theater, dance and music. A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp.
|Christy Jeffries, Vice President, Programs
Christy graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in Criminology and received her Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law. But drafting court documents and working in law enforcement was merely an apprenticeship for her current career in the dynamic field of mommyhood and romance writing. Christy lives in Southern California with her patient husband, two energetic sons, and one sassy grandmother.
|Kristin Rockaway, Communications Director
Kristin is a native New Yorker who spends her days writing contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Her debut novel, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, will be released this June. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation. RWA is an important part of her life, and she’s thrilled to be able to serve on the board for a second year to give back to the organization that has given so much to her. She’ll also be serving as Webmistress for our beautiful new website!
|Laura Connors, Hospitality Director
Laura has been a member of RWASD since 2012 and is grateful for this organization. She has acted as the hospitality chair for a year and a half and is about to take over membership responsibilities. An ADD writer, she has 15 books in progress in such categories as Historical Fiction, YA, fantasy, paranormal and contemporary. Her completed manuscript, Sea of Fate has placed third in multiple contests and second in FF&P’s On The Far Side. She has always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until she met the amazing people at RWA that she found the courage to try. Some of her best friends belong to RWASD and she can’t imagine her life without it.
|Cynthia Diamond, Outreach Director
Starting her adult life as a theater nerd, Cynthia earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Costume Design and worked as a designer for many years. But her first love since childhood was telling stories. After some encouragement from a couple of authors, she decided to go down the rabbit hole and write paranormal romance. When not telling tales about hot dragons and werewolves with tight behinds, Cynthia is an SCA geek and an amateur artist. She loves costume dramas, horror films, zombies, steampunk, pirates, historical costumes, RPG games, Indiana Jones, bright colors, and LUSH. Cynthia resides in sunny San Diego, California with her husband Max, two cats of varying intelligence, and a ton of goldfish.