MWSA Board of Directors
Dwight Jon Zimmerman is a best-selling and award-winning author, radio show host, and television and movie producer. A member of the Military Writers Society of America since 2008, he is currently the organization’s president. Prior to that he served as a board member (2006-2008). He has written more than a dozen books and 300 articles on military history. He began his career at Marvel Comics, and has written stories about most of its famous characters.
His latest works include the graphic biography Steve McQueen: Full-Throttle Cool (July 2015) and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Photographic Card Deck: 100 Treasures from the World’s Largest Collection of Aircraft and Spacecraft (September 2015). In 2012, Zimmerman coauthored the New York Times best-selling book, Lincoln’s Last Days, a young adult adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s bestselling Killing Lincoln.
Zimmerman is the coauthor, with John D. Gresham, of Uncommon Valor: The Medal of Honor and the Six Warriors Who Earned It in Afghanistan and Iraq, which received the MWSA Founder’s Award in 2010.
Zimmerman was the co-executive producer of the Military Channel miniseries, First Command, based on his book of the same name. It won the 2005 Aurora Platinum Best of Show Award for Historical Programming.
Zimmerman has lectured at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Naval War College, and has appeared on the Fox News programs, DEFCON-3 and America’s News HQ. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Joëlle. They have two adult children
Vice PresidentRead Bio
Award winning author Bob Doerr grew up in a military family, graduated from the Air Force Academy, and had a career of his own in the Air Force. Bob specialized in criminal investigations and counterintelligence gaining significant insight to the worlds of crime, espionage, and terrorism. His work brought him into close coordination with the security agencies of many countries and filled his mind with the fascinating plots and characters found in his books today. His education credits include a Masters in International Relations from Creighton University. A full time author with ten published books, Bob was selected by the Military Writers Society of America as its Author of the Year for 2013. The Eric Hoffer Awards awarded No One Else to Kill its 2013 first runner up to the grand prize for commercial fiction. Two of his other books were finalists for the Eric Hoffer Award in earlier contests. Loose Ends Kill won the 2011 Silver medal for Fiction/mystery by the Military Writers Society of America. Another Colorado Kill received the same Silver medal in 2012 and the silver medal for general fiction at the Branson Stars and Flags national book contest in 2012. Bob released an international thriller titled The Attack in May 2014, and more recently, Caffeine Can Kill, his sixth book in the Jim West mystery series. Bob has also written two novellas for middle grade readers in the Enchanted Coin series: The Enchanted Coin and The Rescue of Vincent. Bob lives in Garden Ridge, Texas, with Leigh, his wife of 42 years, and Cinco, their ornery cat.
Joe S. Epley
Joe Epley has worn many hats -- public relations executive, Green Beret, television journalist, change agent, adventurer, and novelist. Although supposedly retired now, he remains active in community affairs and writing and speaking about the American Revolutionary War.
His novel about the battle of Kings Mountain, “A Passel of Hate,” received a Silver Medal from the MWSA.
A world traveler, Joe was the global chair of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s largest consortium of independent PR firms, and national president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He also chaired PRSA’s College of Fellows. His skills and leadership earned him numerous professional honors including PRSA’s prestigious Gold Anvil for lifetime achievements. He also was honored by the Russian Public Relations Association for helping introduce the profession to Russia during the waning days of the Soviet Union.
He is a member of the Halls of Fame at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and the Defense Information School. His successes also earned him North Carolina’s prestigious “Order of the Long Leaf Pine,” the state’s highest award for noteworthy achievements by its citizens.
After an active duty tour in the Army in the late 1950’s, Joe became a television news reporter and editor before establishing Epley Associates/Public Relations in Charlotte, NC in 1968. He maintained a dual career in the National Guard and Army Reserve, retiring as a Master Sergeant after 22 years service, more than half that time in Special Forces units.
He sold his firm in 2005 and retired to the Tryon, NC area.
Kathleen M Rodgers
Board MemberRead Bio
Texas based author Kathleen M. Rodgers is a former frequent contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. Her work has appeared in anthologies published by McGraw-Hill, University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books, Health Communications, Inc., AMG Publishers, Press 53, and Military Writers Society of America. In 2014, Kathleen was named a Distinguished Alumna from Tarrant County College/NE Campus. Three of her aviation poems were featured in a new exhibit at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, NY.
She is the author of the award-winning novel, The Final Salute, featured in USA Today and Military Times. Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, won a 2015 Gold Medal for literary fiction from Military Writers Society of America and Readers’ Favorite awarded her a Bronze Medal for women’s fiction in the 2015 International Book Awards. The novel has been featured in Stars & Stripes and “The Author’s Corner” on Public Radio.
Farrell J. Chiles
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Farrell J. Chiles is a Vietnam Veteran and a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer. He served for a combined 38 years on active duty and in the Army Reserve.
He is the author of over 15 articles on African American warrant officers and another dozen articles on the military from World War II to the present; about the Buffalo Soldiers and the Red Ball Express; about Army Aviators to Korean War Veterans; about survivors of the Bataan Death March; and the Tuskegee Airmen.
Farrell Chiles is the author of “As BIG As It Gets” that chronicles his record five consecutive years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Blacks In Government (BIG) and “African American Warrant Officers…In Service to Our Country”.
His articles have appeared in the last three years of the Military Writers Society of America’s annual anthology and in quarterly issues of Dispatches.
Farrell has served on the board of directors of the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation and the United States Army Warrant Officers Association. He has received the Don Hess Life Time Achievement Award and the CW4 Mike Novasel Outstanding Warrant Officer of the Year Award. He is also the recipient of the Greater Los Angeles Federal Executive Board’s Distinguished Public Service Career Award.
He resides in Phillips Ranch, CA.
Board MemberRead Bio
Valerie Ormond retired as a Navy Captain intelligence officer and was one of the first women to serve on combat aircraft carriers. In her final assignments, she directed efforts of a 500-person organization supporting global operations, coordinated executive level briefing and writing support to the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense, and managed policy and programs for 23,000 naval intelligence personnel.
In 2014, she participated in Syracuse University’s Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program and founded Veteran Writing Services, LLC. Her business provides professional writing and consulting services, and clients have included large and small businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals.
Valerie’s two novels, “Believing In Horses” and “Believing In Horses, Too,” both won Gold Medals from the Military Writers Society of America. Numerous books and magazines feature her non-fiction stories. A member of Women Veteran Speakers, she also speaks to audiences sharing lessons learned.
Her education includes a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; a Master of Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College; and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Mass Communication from Towson University. She belongs to numerous military and veterans’ organizations, is on the Board of Directors for the Military Writers Society of America, and serves as Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council, a trade organization representing 30,000 people in the horse industry.
Valerie lives with her husband, Jaime Navarro, in Bowie, Md., where they enjoy the company of their wonderful families and friends, their three horses, and four dogs.
Board MemberRead Bio
Jim is a retired Navy pilot who lives in New Mexico with his Danish artist/writer wife and five cats.
Rev. Bill McDonald
Bill was born in 1946 in San Francisco California. He is an author, award winning poet, artist, actor, international motivational speaker, former radio show host, advisor and consultant to films and documentaries, interfaith minister, advocate for veterans, yoga meditation teacher, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, a member of several non-profit organizations for PTSD veterans and suicide prevention, and he is spiritual advisor and confident to many from all walks of life.
He is also the founder of The American Authors Association (AAA). He is a member of The American Legion Post 233, The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #500, Amvets, The Military Order of The Purple Heart and works with other veteran organizations as a chaplain when needed.
During the Vietnam War he was a crew-chief/door-gunner on a UH-1 Huey Helicopter with the famed “Tomahawks” - The 128th Assault Helicopter Company. His tour-of-duty was from October 1966 to October 1967. He was awarded many ribbons and medals including: The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Bronze Star Medal, The Purple Heart, and 14 Air Medals. He was wounded when his helicopter was shot down in April of 1967. He was also blown up by a rocket and injured in July of 1967
His autobiography “A Spiritual Warrior’s Journey” first published in 2003 tells of his life experiences not only in the war but also embraces his formative years and the decades after he got back from the war. His next two books were poetry and prose. “Sacred Eye: Poetry in Search of the Divine” won him a $25,000 publisher’s prize as the best poetry book of 2004. His book of war poetry “Purple Hearts: Poetry of the Vietnam War” won public acclaims and honors as well....Read More About Bill »
Previous PresidentRead Bio
Author, Speaker, Storyteller Book Designer, Graphic Designer, Ghostwriter
WINDSHIFT is A WINNER of Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Noble (Not Nobel) PRIZE for 2014
SILVER MEDAL 2013 Global eBook Awards in Historical Literature: 1940-NOW for "Windshift"
SILVER MEDAL 2013 Branson Stars and Flags in Historical Fiction: War Specific for "Windshift"
Military Writers Society of America 2013 SILVER MEDAL for an Audio Book for "USERNAME"
FINALIST 2013 MILITARY WRITERS SOCIETY OF AMERICA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR!
GOLD MEDAL Military Writers Society of America Historical Fiction 2006 for "In the Shadow of Suribachi"
Windshift - Hard Cover, Trade Paperback, Kindle, iBook
USERNAME - Trade Paperback, Kindle, Audio Book
Chance - Trade paperback, Kindle
In the Shadow of Suribachi (GOLD MEDAL for Historical Fiction MWSA 2006) - Hard Cover, Trade Paperback, Kindle
For Shrieking Out Loud - Hard Cover, Trade Paperback, Kindle
Losing Patience - Trade Paperback, Kindle, iBook
Coauthor of Sunchon Tunnel Massacre Survivors - Gold Medal History from Branson Stars and Flags
Coauthor of Fun Days in South Padre Island
Coauthor of Fun Days in Pittsburgh
Military Writers Society of America
Talencea Corporation (http://www.talencea.com) is a Search Firm automating the recruiting process using Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing.