Board Structure

The Board is responsible for the governance and management of the club. It comprises Directors and Chairs of Standing Committees.

CWA Board Structure

Find out more about the Board responsibilities in the CWA Bylaws.

Meet Our Board

Virginia Maloney, President

I am a high school, special education math teacher in Arlington County and I absolutely love my job. I got into fly fishing during the pandemic and have been “hooked” since.  I love the active nature of casting and the peacefulness of walking the rivers. Big dreams of fishing in Montana and out west in a camper traveling to different rivers!

Casey Peltier, Secretary

My husband and I took up fly fishing in 2004, and shortly thereafter, I discovered CWA. The mission of opening the sport of fly fishing to women really appealed to me, and I have been active in the club for many years as board Secretary, teaching at clinics, and leading outings to Montana. This new board will open up new opportunities and I look forward very much to being part of the fun.

Sharon Millaway, Treasurer

I am the Director of Finance for a manufacturing company located close to BWI. I’ve worked in both public and corporate accounting since 2000 and received my CPA license in 2010. In 2019 I told my daughter that I was interested in fly fishing, and she had heard about CWA. I attended a CWA event that spring, equipment was provided, and all the women just casually walked hip deep into the water. I knew I found my people. I caught a fish that day too! Loved it!

Shannon Stafford

Shannon Stafford, Membership Chair

I am the head of tax in the finance department for a large asset manager here in DC. While I always loved to fish as a kid, I didn’t take up fly fishing until the pandemic and spent most of the year on Martha’s Vineyard, where we have a seasonal home. I walked into our local outfitters, which is actually owned and operated by a woman, and asked if she would teach me to fly fish since I was looking for new hobbies. I have spent most of my time learning saltwater fly fishing, but have really enjoyed learning about our waters here in the mid Atlantic. In addition to fishing, I also picked up painting and is working on combining these two hobbies into retirement. While I am a relatively new member to CWA, I realize angling is more about the community than the actual fish and is looking forward to getting more involved and meeting and learning from everyone. When not in Martha’s Vineyard, Shannon and her husband (and their three grown sons) live in Vienna Virginia.

Denise Swensen, Outings Committee Chair

Denise began fly fishing in 2015 after taking an Orvis 101 course at the encouragement of a friend. Fly fishing easily melded with her interests in hiking, camping and traveling and it has become her passion.
In “real life”, Denise is a pediatric physical therapist who has been working in the public school system for the past 36 years, providing services to children with disabilities and their families. Her specialty is the birth to 5 population. Fulfilling a life-long dream to teach and give back to the profession, she recently secured a position as an adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at South College in Knoxville TN.
She joined CWA in 2016 after looking for a women’s group in the area and enjoys traveling with many new fishing “buddies”. She has traveled all over the US (and Scotland) in search of native, wild trout which are lovingly admired and then gently released back to their home.

Vanessa Avanzini, Programs & Special Events Committee Chair

Vanessa Avanzini is a new angler, who was introduced to Fly Fishing during a Casting for Recovery Retreat. There, she fell in love with the beauty of nature and the thrill of catching a fish while being surrounded with a strong, supportive environment of women anglers. When she’s not fly fishing, Vanessa works as a Digital Product Manager where she is known for building a high performing, motivated team and creating a fun team culture. In her free time, she is pursuing a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence and likes traveling, reading, painting, golfing and volunteering with her local Kiwanis Club in Leesburg, VA where she lives with her husband and two cats, Ron (Weasley) and Harry (Potter).

Deb Fagan, Environmental & Education Committee Chair

I’ve been a member of the Chesapeake Women Anglers for many years and I am happy to continue to Chair the Environmental and Education Committee.  My goals are to keep our members informed about environmental issues that impact our waterways and to partner with other local environmental and fishing groups with projects and activities. I plan to work with our Programs and Special Events Committee Chair to bring an educational component to our events and to offer volunteer opportunities to our members.  For example; an upcoming activity is the creation of The Maryland Fly Fishing Trail.  I am currently our contact for this project and will be working with Randy Dwyer of PPTU, the MD Office of Tourism, and other fishing groups as they seek help to explore, photograph, and map fishing areas throughout the state.  Fly fishing Volunteers will be needed…..Look for more information in our Newsletter and on our Website.

I welcome your suggestions for programs and activities CWA members might want to hear about.  Please let me know if you want to join me on this Committee.