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Nominees for the SDWEG 2023 Board (shown In Alphabetical Order)

These are your nominees for the 2023 San Diego Writers and Editors Guild board. Members will receive an invitation to vote via email on Monday, October 17. The email will contain a link to the secure voting portal on the website. Please ensure that you have whitelisted all emails coming from the domain sdwritersguild.org to ensure you do not miss your invitation.



John Gormally
Israel Hernandez

Reina Menasche

Penny Paugh

Bob Riffenburgh
Allison Tester



John Gormally

John Gormally writes under two names. As John Gormally, freelance writer and blogger, his topics are cybersecurity, hacking, ransomware, blockchain, and digital transformation content. His LinkedIn newsletter on similar topics appears weekly. Prior to writing full-time, he was a global technology engineer and sales professional for the last 25 years.

Under his pen name, Patrick Greenwood, he writes fiction and is currently under contract with Austin Macauley USA. His first novel is due out this year. He has two novels in development. He hosts a weekly podcast for authors, bloggers, and influencers.

He’s all in for opportunities to help others learn to write with passion and find their story.



Israel Hernandez

Israel is a former Marine who served five years as an Intelligence Specialist - deploying once in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, and honorably discharged as a Sergeant in 2016. After serving, Israel attended San Diego State University earning a BS in Health Communication, and National University where he earned a MA in Human Behavior. After graduating, Israel spent nearly 5 years managing homes for adults with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses - matching clients with home providers, providing case management services, and serving as a Non-Violent Crisis Intervention lead instructor. Currently, Israel serves as the Associate Director for Advocacy and Community Engagement in San Diego for AARP.
Israel's love for writing developed early in his youth, when he would write short stories on blank 8x11 plain paper and fold them into 'books'. This love of writing matured to poetry, journaling, songwriting, and most currently - screenplays. Themes in Israel's writing are those that are both important and interesting to him; espionage, caregiving, mental illness/mental health, the human experience, existentialism, and the pursuit of meaning in life.



Reina Menasche

Reina describes herself as a lifelong scribbler and author of three novels: The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake (2021), Silent Bird (2013), and Twice Begun (2012). She loves to cross fiction genres and enjoys blogging. Her work been honored by organizations such as the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, the San Diego Book and Writing Awards, and the Southern California Writers Conference. Her upcoming children’s picture book, The House That Sneezed, will be released in 2023. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Reina brings psychological themes to all that she does, including workshops on character development and analysis offered at the Southern California Writers’ Conference. She has also hosted the “Bookshelf” radio show for East County Magazine and has served on their board. She would like to serve on the board of SDWEG to continue to give back to the local writing community, striving to enrich events and interactive activities for writers of all levels. Her website can be found at reinamenasche.com.



Penny Paugh

As a writer, Penny has published extensively in nonfiction journals and newsletters. She has also written over ten software training manuals. Since retiring, in 2012, she has been active in fiction critique groups, classes and workshops. Her story, “Thrift Store Luck,” was published in SDWEG’s 2021 Power of Ten Anthology. She currently is working on a middle-grade fantasy novel.

For other nonprofits, she has recruited and managed volunteers. In her last position, she managed over sixty volunteers who produced a website, newsletters in multiple languages, proposal writing, and other marketing materials for a nonprofit that collected weather data.

Penny would like to continue on the Board and is willing to serve again as President to realize her goals of increasing the Guild’s membership, raising the quality of our workshops, and providing our members more opportunities to meet agents and editors.

Bob Riffenburgh

Currently, Bob Riffenburg is a Board Member and Vice President. He says he is not anxious for the additional work it entails, but the Guild has been good to him and he wants to give back a bit to all the lovely people in SDWEG. If the Guild members want him to, he will continue to serve.
Bio: Bob is a retired scientist after a career that included work in universities, business, government, Navy, and NATO. He has published 162 scientific papers and four editions of medical textbook. Currently, he is trying to make a go of a final career as a fiction writer.


Allison Tester

Allison Tester is  a four year member of the Guild and current marketing team member. She has always loved to write (shout out to her English degree) and is so grateful for the Guild and the community of others also working to develop their skills. Allison learns something in every workshop! She's looking forward to continuing to support the Guild and hopes to do so as a member of the board. Thanks!



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