Deb Sutton wrote her first book while in high school and promptly experienced her first rejection. Her school librarian, Mr. D, told her—kindly—that it lacked originality. This motivated her to not only learn the craft but to expand her horizons. She is a self-published author of the novel, Broken Sidewalks, and has several entries in the Well Versed 2015 Anthology. Her screenplay of Broken Sidewalks won Honorable Mention in the 80th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Deb is a veteran of the Air Force and has a degree in psychology from Truman University and an MSW from the University of Missouri. She’s currently a social worker for the Children’s Division and is involved in her local United Methodist Church.
Vice President–Alice Reese
Alice Anna Reese has a Ph.D. in animal science and has promoted self-sufficiency in food production in Mali, Indonesia, and Mexico. She taught elementary school in Prince Edward Island, Canada (heaven) and L.A. City schools (hell). She attended acting school in Hollywood and supported herself by making clothes for commercials. She and her late husband, Garst, helped found a writing and publishing cooperative in P.E.I. Over a ten-year period the twelve members wrote and published twelve books. Alas, no one was interested in marketing, so the books never made it off the island. Today Alice is cheerfully retired and happily writing children’s books in vibrant Columbia.
Charles was born 13 days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor sweeping America into WWII. His early years witnessed rationing and scarcity as America put everything it had into the war effort. His family, though they didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing, were more fortunate than most because they were farmers and enjoyed plenty of good food (and it shows on him to this day). Charles attended a one room country school where one teacher taught grades one through eight and walked a mile and a half to get there (up hill both ways) as there were no buses. Charles, like his mentor, Mark Twain, has done a little of everything throughout his life. He’s traveled to more than two dozen countries and for many years traveled the U.S. extensively as a Management Systems Engineer (consultant). He now enjoys life on his little farm as he reinvents himself to become a writer.
Administrative Assistant-Marsha Posz
Marsha Posz is a former college English instructor turned librarian. She writes poetry, song lyrics, short fiction, short nonfiction, and is working on completing her first romance novel. She obtained her BA in English literature at Truman State University and her MA in English Literature at Western Illinois University. She began writing at the age of 8 with her first work being a delicate poem about a snowman. Her teachers were delighted in her newfound interest and encouraged her to continue writing. She began entering essay contests and placing in them in 8th grade and began publishing poetry in high school. She continued writing in college and began songwriting in her early 20s while in a gothic rock band. She took a hiatus from writing to attend grad school and teach undergraduate composition classes to freshmen and sophomores. She resumed writing in 2012 and has been published in Well Versed.
Brooklyn native Joe Polacco attended PS 200, PS 101, and Bensonhurst JHS, completing his public education at Stuyvesant HS in lower Manhattan. His BS (Cornell, 1966) and PhD (Duke 1971) emphasized Biochemistry, Chemistry and Genetics. After being an Assistant Professor at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, he entered plant science as a postdoctoral fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratories before becoming a staff geneticist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1979 he joined the Biochemistry Department of the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has taught undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and introduced biotech outreach courses for non-science majors. Polacco, twice a Senior Fulbright Fellow, has extensive international research and teaching experience in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain. In his field he has written, collectively, more than 100 reviews, opinion pieces, book chapters and peer-reviewed research articles, in addition to co-editing two major monographs. On the literary side, he has published bilingual poetry (Spanish and English). “Vina, A Brooklyn Memoir” is his first full-length non-scientific book.
Membership Chair-Anne Gifford
Anne has been a writer for years in academic research and curriculum as well as sharing her experiences as an ICU nurse and interfaith hospital chaplain. She’s published in Physician magazine, Fort Worth Star Telegram, and Thanks for the Memories – an Anthology. Her doctoral dissertation on “Family Reunification and Reentry” is the basis of her current work and writing under a US Dept. of Justice grant in the TX prison system. Now semi-retired, Anne is working on two novels; often deciding which one to tackle depending on the mood or character she is in when she sits down.
Mentorship Manager-Susan Koenig
Susan Koenig has planned training events for research support personnel for ten years as part of the compliance program at the University of Missouri, School of Medicine. This involved listening to professionals and helping them connect with experts in their fields.
Member at Large-Frank Montagnino
Frank Montagnino is a retired ad man blown out of New Orleans and into Columbia by Hurricane Katrina. He has two hobbies – golf and writing stories, both of which indicate latent mental problems. Other than hundreds of ads, brochures, and contributions to Trib Talk he has never had anything published. He has, however won a couple of flash fiction events which is apropos because he clearly doesn’t have much of value to say. (P.S. He has been mistaken for George Clooney on occasion.
Member at Large-Lori Younker
Lori has enjoyed writing ever since her 7th grade teacher introduced her to the world of poetry. For two decades, Lori wrote curriculum and short plays for school settings . These days she is expanding her skills into the world of fiction and memoir, producing a short story collection Mongolian Interior which captures her cross-cultural experiences. Many of her stories been published and are contest winners in Missouri anthologies. Lori has used her Masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language in the Graduate School of Missouri University (2010-2014) and currently as an instructor of ELLs in the public schools of Mexico, MO where she teaches children her first love: to read and write.