The Emrys Foundation Board of Directors
2017 - 2018
President: Arthur McMaster
Vice President: Carol Young Gallagher
Vice President: Traci Barr
Secretary: Saan Tykka
Treasurer: Kylie Felker
Past President: Vera Gómez
Board Members: Jan Bailey, Traci Barr, Roxanne Walker Cordonier, Michael Crowley, Kaity Etchison, Kylie Felker, Carol Young Gallagher, Vera Gómez, Arthur McMaster, Patrick Mullen, Jerry Salley, and Saana Tykkä.
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 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 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.
Kylie Kotowski Felker 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.
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 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 www.veragomez.com.
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: http://arthurmcmaster.com.
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.