April Ancinas is a novice writer who appreciates the tenacity it takes to finish a writing project. Long before attending the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshop as a student, she worked for IBM for twenty years in sales, marketing and management. She earned her BS in logistics management and an MBA from Michigan State University. Today, you’ll find her either on the tennis court, training for her next Triathlon or attending writing classes at Richard Hugo House. She supports several non-profit organizations, including KEXP, PAWS, Rainer Scholars and Hugo House. She lives in Seattle Washington with her husband René.
Eddy Ancinas is a non-fiction writer specializing in travel and ski history. Her first book, Tales form Two Valleys – Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows was published in March, 2013, by the History Press. Eddy’s articles on travel in Argentina, Chile and Peru have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, LA Times, Atlantic Monthly, as well as six editions of Fodor’s Argentina Guide. Her story of a cattle round up in Elko, Nevada won the 2010 Nevada Magazine Writers’ Contest. Skiing Heritage Magazine has published two of her biographies on noted ski personalities. Eddy attended the Community of Writers in 1976 and 1984. She serves on the board of the Squaw Valley Olympic Museum and Ski Heritage Foundation and the Lake Tahoe Ski Club Foundation. She is a founding member of the the Board of Directors of the Community of Writers and has served for almost 50 years.
RENÉ ANCINAS is President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Blakely Companies. Prior to joining Port Blakely Companies, Mr. Ancinas was founding member and first President of the Eddy Family Council, where he led afive-year effort to establish a sustainable family business governance structure. Mr. Ancinas spent several years with Kodak EasyShare Gallery (formerly Ofoto.com) as Senior Technical Program Manager. He serves on the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) Board of Directors, Seattle Chamber of Commerce Community Development Roundtable, and belongs to YPO (Young Presidents Organization). A professionally trained classical clarinetist, Mr. Ancinas received a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1988, and Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1990. He earned an Executive MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business in 2009.
Reagan Arthur grew up in Los Angeles, and moved to New York in 1989 to work in publishing. After more than 10 years at St. Martin’s Press and Picador, she moved to Little, Brown, where she is now Publisher. Writers she has edited include Megan Abbott, Sherman Alexie, Kate Atkinson, Joshua Ferris, Elin Hilderbrand, Ian Rankin, George Pelecanos, Tina Fey, Nina Stibbe, and Doree Shafrir. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her family.
RUTH BLANK is consulting for nonprofits after recently retiring from the Sacramento Region Community Foundation where she served as CEO for eight years. Prior to working for the Foundation, Ruth spent 25 years in senior leadership positions in cable television operations. Ruth also owned and operated a restaurant and gift shop in the San Joaquin Delta.
Jan Buscho is an award-winning graphic designer and fine artist. She was Marketing Director for Theatre on the Square in San Francisco and worked in marketing and communications for several educational institutions. Jan is an active member of several arts organizations in Marin. Currently, she is devoting her time to painting, focusing on landscapes of Marin and on compositions inspired by her garden. She is finding success in her with her art and has been chosen to participate in many juried shows. She has served on the Board for almost 30 years, and is currently serving in the position of Secretary of the Board.
Michael Carlisle, a founder of InkWell Management, has been involved with the Community of Writers for many years. His fiction and nonfiction client list includes prize-winning as well as debut authors. A former director of the Association of Author’s Representatives, a not-for-profit organization of independent literary and dramatic agents, Michael is an active member of PEN. He directs the Nonfiction Program of the Community of Writers and serves on the Board of Directors. http://inkwellmanagement.com/staff/michael-v.-carlisle
Alex Espinoza earned his MFA in Fiction from UC Irvine. He’s the author of the novels Still Water Saints and The Five Acts of Diego León, both from Random House. His newest book is Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime (Unnamed Press, June 2019). He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, and NPR’s All Things Considered. The recipient of a fellowship in prose from the NEA and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, he lives and teaches in Los Angeles and is completing a new novel. www.alexespinoza.com
Photo Credit: Tracy Hall
Nancy Cushing Evans is CEO of the Castle Ridge Management Company; Trustee of the Naval War College Foundation and Trustee of the Preservation Society of Newport County. For many years she was the Chairman and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Corporation.
Diana Fuller is a freelance curator, producer, editor and arts advocate who consults with filmmakers and visual artists to develop and promote their work. She edited/co-authored a book on women artists, Art/Women/ California 1950-2000: Parallels and Intersections, published by University of California Press. She also curated the traveling exhibition based on the book. She was the special projects producer/curator for the Norwegian government, creating six exhibitions, numerous concerts and a play. For thirty years, she owned and directed one of the foremost art galleries in the West, in tandem with partners Hansen, Fuller, Goldeen and finally Gross. She has also acted as an arts advisor to individuals and estates. Fuller has served on the Boards of arts institutions in the area and her present affiliations include, President of the Board of the Roxie Theater, and San Francisco Recology’s Artists in Residence Program. She produced the documentary film, Racing to Zero, directed by Christopher Beaver, which premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2014. Her new film, Once Was Water will be making the rounds of film festivals in 2019. She is also the president of the board of the Roxie Theatre, a non-profit community arthouse in San Francisco. She is a founding Board Member of the Community of Writers where she has directed the Screenwriting Program—founded by Tom Rickman and Gill Dennis—for many years.
Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark, published by Counterpoint in 2016. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is an associate professor of English at the University of Southern California. www.danajohnsonauthor.com
Photo credit: Brett Hall Jones
Michelle Latiolais is a Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine. She is the author of the novel Even Now which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published in 2008 by Bellevue Literary Press. She has published writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster, Women On The Edge: Writing From Los Angeles and Woof! Writers on Dogs. Her stories and essays have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Antioch Review, Western Humanities Review, Santa Monica Review, Iowa Review and the Northwest Review. Widow, a collection of stories, involutions and essays, was published in 2011 by Bellevue Literary Press. Recent work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Santa Monica Review, Juked and The Kenyon Review. Her last book, She was published in 2016 by W.W. Norton & Company.
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones
Edwina Leggett was owner and founder of Califia Books in San Francisco. She has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood, Town School for Boys, Edgewood Home, San Francisco Friends of the Public Library and Small Press Distribution.
Lester Graves Lennon was born and raised in New Rochelle, NY. He is a poet and investment banker who, over 36 years in public finance, has participated in the issuance of more than $200 billion of municipal debt. His clients include the State of California, the City of Los Angeles, and New York City. His first book of poetry, The Upward Curve of Earth and Heavens, is found in more than 70 public and university libraries including U.C. Berkeley, Yale, Harvard and Oxford. His second book, My Father Was a Poet, was published in the spring of 2013. Mr. Lennon sits on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Poet Laureate Task Force, is a member of the boards of directors of Red Hen Press and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and sits on the advisory boards of the West Chester University Poetry Center and the English Department of the University of Wisconsin where he received his BA in English. He lives with his wife and daughter on the eastern edge of the Los Angeles megalopolis.
CARLIN NAIFY has extensive nonprofit board experience. She is a Board Member of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation and is the Past Chair of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. She served on the Board of the Crocker Art Museum Association for eight years where she served as Chair of Collections and Acquisitions from 2009-2011 and as Secretary from 2010-2011. She served on the Sacramento Public Library Foundation Board for many years and was President for two of them. In other capacities she has also served as President of the Crocker Art Museum Docent Council, President of the National Charity League and Chair of a Sacramento City Unified School District Leadership Council.
Jim Naify, PhD, is the owner of a 76 year old bookstore in Sacramento, Beers Books. He, and his wife Carlin, are principles in their real estate holding company Naify Enterprises. Jim is a retired academic who continues his teaching passion as an adjunct professor of philosophy at Sacramento City College. He also serves on other local and statewide non-profit boards. Jim Naify is an accomplished amateur woodworker and an energetic world traveler. He serves as President of the Board of Directors.
Jason Roberts is the author of A Sense of the World (Harper), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and Guardian First Book Award, and the forthcoming Every Living Thing. He is the inaugural winner of the Van Zorn Prize for fiction, and editor of 642 Stories To Write and 642 First and Last Lines. [NF] www.jasonroberts.net
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones
Photo Credit: Abigayle Tarsches
Julia Flynn Siler is the author of The House of Mondavi (Penguin’s Gotham Books) and Lost Kingdom (Grove/Atlantic), both bestsellers. She was a London-based staff writer for the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek magazine and her work has also appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Oxford Dictionary of Food and Wine. A 2016-2017 recipient of an NEH Public Scholar Fellowship and the Mayborn Fellowship in Biography, she is at work on her third book, Daughters of Joy, forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf. She is a member of the board of the San Francisco-based Litquake Foundation and is a two-term member of the Council of Friends of U.C. Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. www.juliaflynnsiler.com
Photo credit: Abigayle Tarsches
Christopher Sindt is Professor of English, Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies and Dean of the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College of California. He is the former director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships for his poetry, including the James D. Phelan award and fellowships at the Macdowell Colony and the Blue Mountain Center. He is the author of two collections of poetry, The Land of Give and Take, and most recently, The Bodies. Sindt has served on the Advisory Board of WritersCorps, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools.
Photo courtesy of Saint Mary’s College
Born in the U.S to immigrant parents from China, Amy Tan rejected her mother’s expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist. She chose to write fiction instead. Her novels are The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning, and The Valley of Amazement, all New York Times bestsellers. She is the author of two memoirs, The Opposite of Fate and Where the Past Begins, and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat. Tan served as co-producer and co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club and was creative consultant for Sagwa, the Emmy-nominated PBS television series for children. She wrote the libretto for the opera based on her novel, The Bonesetter’s Daughter. With music composed by Stewart Wallace, the opera had its world premiere in 2008 at the San Francisco Opera. The 30th edition of The Joy Luck Club with a new forward by Amy Tan is expected to be released in Spring of 2019.
Photo Credit: Julian Johnson
Nancy Teichert is a graduate of Indiana University, and has worked as a news reporter and investigative journalist for her entire career. She worked for various newspapers, including the Denver Post, before joining the Sacramento Bee in 1985, where she worked as a special projects reporter until her retirement in 2006. Her articles in the Bee focused on societal problems including awardwinning series on hunger in California, methamphetamine drug use, child abuse, and inadequate mental health care. Since retirement she has completed a book on a ship wreck for a local historical organization and a history book for A. Teichert & Son on its 125th anniversary. She has participated in a creative nonfiction writers workshop for the past two years. An avid reader and supporter of arts groups, she serves as secretary of the board for the KVIE public television station with a major focus on fundraising. In 2013, she was given the Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University.
Cora Yang has had life-long dreams of being a writer. However, being a good Chinese daughter, she went to law school instead, and practiced law for more years than she cares to admit, focusing on corporate acquisitions and technology. One day a few years ago, she realized her brain was turning to sawdust. She quit practicing law and is now CEO of a technology company in San Francisco. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.