The Emrys Foundation Board of Directors

2016 - 2017

President: Vera Gómez

Vice President Carol Young Gallagher

Secretary: Kylie Felker

Treasurer: Mary Davis Williams

Past President: Anna Katherine Freeland

Board Members:  Jan Bailey, Traci Lynn Barr, Roxanne Walker Cordonier, Michael Crowley, Jane Rush Davenport, Anna Katherine Freeland, Carol Young Gallagher, Vera Gómez, Kylie Felker, Jeanne Howard, Jane McCutcheon, Arthur McMaster, Caroline Perlman, Judith Romano, Janet Sumner, Saana Tykkä and Mary Davis Williams.

Jan Bailey
Jan Bailey is a recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship in Poetry and the author of three poetry collections. Along with member Alice Patterson, she formed the Emrys Reading Room Series and served for a number of years as Poetry Editor of the Emrys Journal. She was Instructor in Creative Writing at the Greenville Fine Arts Center and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

Traci Barr was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated from Indiana University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in English and history. In 2005, Traci graduated with honors from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. She had career of over 25 years in publishing, brand strategy and marketing that took her to New England, Philadelphia, New York City and the Bay Area. She is a now a chef, writer, advocate and educator in Greenville.

Traci has previously served as an officer on the board of directors of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In 2013, she was recognized by NAMI South Carolina as its Recovery Member of the Year.  She raised more money than any other individual in South Carolina each year she participated in the NAMI Greenville Walk.

In addition to being a voice for the mentally ill, Traci is a passionate supporter of social justice for all people. She serves on the boards of Speaking Down Barriers and Upstate Pride, two organizations that confront racism; bias regarding gender and sexuality; and the intersectionality of oppression.

Currently, her goal is to prove how we are all connected. As a chef and a writer, she mostly tries to do that with food — and stories.

Roxanne Walker Cordonier 
Roxanne Walker Cordonier is a wife, mother, community volunteer, political activist, blogger and aspiring poet. She was an award winning radio personality and political opinion columnist. 

Roxanne was born and raised on a farm in western Michigan. Her love affair with books and reading began as a child. She attended Western Kentucky University and graduated from University of South Carolina Upstate.

She is the co-founder of the SC Ovarian Cancer Foundation and Hands on Greenville. When she and her husband Alan aren't traveling the world, they live with their dog Allie in the Pebble Creek community in Taylors.  

Michael Crowley                                                                                                                                                                                             Michael Crowley is a native of Charleston. Michael and his wife, Elizabeth, have lived in Greenville for over thirty years. While practicing medicine he served several terms as a Medical Staff officer for the Greenville Health System and a board member and board chairman of Camperdown Academy. After retiring, he joined the volunteer faculty of USC School of Medicine Greenville. With retirement he started writing poetry and short stories. Emrys has provided a conduit to a community of writers who provide both criticism and inspiration.

Jane Rush Davenport
Jane Rush Davenport, a Greenville native who lived away for decades and moved back several years ago, has always loved literature.  She earned a BA and MA in English at the University of South Carolina, taught high school English in her twenties, and aspired to write creatively, but has just begun to make a serious effort to do so.  

During her 30’s, Jane lived in New York, first working with a foreign relations magazine, then shifting to finance (MBA from NYU, writing/editing work in a brokerage firm’s research department).   In 1989, she moved to Atlanta, where she worked for an investment firm as a securities analyst and editor of its various publications.

Jane has found Emrys-sponsored creative nonfiction classes particularly helpful, and  finds Emrys’s“Hearing Helen” project – the many-voiced celebration of an artist who began working prolifically at age 65 –  heartening, given her goal, at age 66, to write more and, with grace, better.  


Kylie Kotowski Felker

Kylie is the Chief Operating Officer for Foster Victor Wealth Advisors where she focuses on providing progressive solutions for the growing financial services firm. Kylie grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Greenville to attend Furman University. Kylie met and married her husband Justin in Greenville, and the couple is proud to call the city home. When she isn’t out and about enjoying vibrant Main Street, Kylie enjoys eating, reading and giving back to the community.




Anna Katherine Freeland

Anna Katherine has grown up in Greenville. She is running coach for Fleet Feet in Greenville, working with runners training for all distances. She also loves to run long distances, especially in faraway places. She also enjoys reading, writing poetry and essay. She enjoys facilitating a writing workshop for The Writers Block Project with Carol at Perry Correctional and volunteering at her boys’ school.





Carol Young Gallagher

Carol Young Gallagher is a longtime Emrys member, Board member and past president of the Board.  She grew up in Anderson, attended Agnes Scott College, where she majored in English and received her Masters degree in Education at Wheelock College in Boston, MA. She worked at the Children’s Program at Marshall I. Pickens Hospital for eighteen years, retiring as Director of that program, when her son was born.  Also trained in Family Mediation and teaching Peer Mediation, she continued to consult part-time after she retired from the hospital system. Carol spent two years making pottery between receiving her Masters degree and moving to Greenville and holds onto the possibility that she will return to that hobby in the future.  A longtime attendee of Sue Inman’s writing workshops, she enjoys writing.  For the last four years she has devoted time to The Writers Block Project with Anna Katherine Freeland, facilitating creative writing workshops at Perry Correctional Institution, where they published a book, and more recently at Leath. She is married to Brooks Gallagher and, In addition to their son, they have two other adult children and five grandchildren.

Vera Gómez

Vera Gómez is a firm believer in the power of words. She is a workshop facilitator, performance poet, and a teaching poet through Greenville's SmartArts' program. Vera is also a founding member of the first Greenville Poetry Slam team that won Southeast Regionals in 1998 and competed as the first, all-woman team at Nationals in 1997 and 1998.

Her collection of poems, Barrio Voices, was published by Stepping Stone Press in 2008. Her poetry has appeared in Yemassee; KaKaLak: Anthology of Carolina Poets; Millennial Sampler/South Carolina Poetry Anthology; Ties That Bind and Quintet. An upcoming essay will be released in October of 2015 in State of the Heart: Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, Volume II. Her website is

Jeanne Howard

Jeanne is a federal prosecutor with the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Greenville where she prosecutes primarily violent crimes and drug organizations. She is a graduate of Furman University and USC School of Law. Jeanne is involved in numerous civic and professional organizations having served on the boards of the Mental Health Association of Greenville, Downtown Symphony Club, Furman University Alumni Board and Federal Bar Association. She is currently a member of the executive committee of the Greenville County Bar Association, Greenville Women Giving and the Junior League of Greenville. Jeanne is also a previous board member and treasurer of Emrys. Jeanne loves to travel and is always ready for a new adventure. 



Jane McCutcheon

A native Greenvillian, who was raised around the real estate business, her mother was one of the city’s early women pioneers in the field, Jane entered the business after graduating from The University of Georgia. Jane has watched the amazing growth in our community and can help you appreciate 

Jane enjoys a wide variety of interests and is active in many local organizations involving the arts, theater, music, history, gardening, and sports! She is often found biking the Swamp Rabbit trail with a group of friends or training for some upcoming athletic challenge.




Arthur McMaster

Arthur McMaster has two published poetry chapbooks. His poems have appeared in Poetry East, Rattle, Southwest Review, North American Review, the Dos Passos Review, and Subtropics, among several others. He has one Pushcart nomination. Arthur is an editor for Poets’ Quarterly, where he has recently interviewed Mark Jarman and Jane Hirschfield, among others. He holds academic degrees from Indiana University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Florida (MFA). Arthur has taught creative writing (poetry and fiction) and American literature at USC Upstate and at Converse College. He also teaches in the OLLI program, at Furman. His memoir, Need to Know, is subtitled: Journey of an American Intelligence Officer from to College Professor and Poet.  His website is:



Judith Romano

Judith Romano is a grants writer and administrator in the fields of community development, economic development and higher education. She is currently Director of Grants & Research Administration at Furman University, where she assists faculty with research grants and is responsible for institutional grants. Judith was a longtime grants project manager with the SC Appalachian Council of Governments, where she wrote and administered community and economic development grants for local governments in Upstate South Carolina.

Judith is married to Dana Jones and has two children. She is a former English major.   




Janet Sumner

Janet is a native of Greenville who graduated from Rhodes College with a BA in English.  She started her professional life as a copywriter, working for Henderson Advertising, (the now) Brains on Fire, and the Peace Center, where she sever as VP of Marketing.  Janet is currently co-chair of Greenville Women Giving and has served on numbers local boards.  She is married to Steve Sumner.

Saana Tykkä                                                                                                                                                                                                       Saana Tykkä, originally from Finland, and having first tried Austria, England, Scotland and Belgium, now lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She shares her life with her husband and their Dachshund. When not reading, writing or exercising, she speculates on the plot of the new Star Wars movie. She is also an experienced stakeholder engagement, education and sustainability professional.

She speaks English, Finnish and Spanish.

Mary Davis Williams