Roger Williams, Board President
Roger Williams is a South Carolina licensed master social worker, a licensed residential care administrator and holds a RID Certificate of Transliteration and a SCAD/NAD IAP level 5 Interpreting Certificate. He is currently working on his PhD in social work at USC. Mr. Williams is the Director of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a certified sign language interpreter, a licensed social worker and an advocate for the deaf. He serves on the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors special work group on deafness, and is one of the only two representatives from the United States for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership Task Force on Deafness. In addition to Mr. Williams’ work at SCDMH, he has a private practice specializing in consulting and training as it relates to the needs of deaf adults in the mental health system. He also interprets in a wide array of settings, including national conferences, forensic and court settings, and emergency rooms. He and his wife, Sherry Williams, are the parents of six children, four of whom are adopted and deaf.
Kelli Gowder, Treasurer
Kelli Gowder was born and raised in Columbia and currently residing in Lexington, SC. A 2000 graduate of Columbia College with a degree in Accounting, Ms. Gowder has spent the last 16 years in various accounting positions, including hospital accounting and nonprofit accounting. She is currently a payroll manager with the University of South Carolina. Ms. Gowder became involved with Beginnings in the spring of 2014, assisting with the financial information. She feels that Beginnings is doing extremely vital work to help educate families with deaf and hard of hearing kids.
Meredith Holcomb received a B.A. in Psychology & Communication Studies in 2001 and an Au.D., Doctorate of Audiology in 2006 from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Meredith Holcomb, AuD, CCC-A is the Clinical Director of the MUSC Cochlear Implant Program and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology. Dr. Holcomb completed a graduate externship year at MUSC from 2005-2006 before joining as a faculty member. She specializes in cochlear implants but she also diagnoses hearing loss in infants and children. She determines candidacy for pediatric and adult cochlear implant patients, as well as programs and troubleshoots CI equipment following surgery. She also manages pediatric hearing aid caseloads and performs electrophysiological testing on children. Dr. Holcomb served on the Audiology Advisory Board for Advanced Bionics Corporation, Med El Corporation, and Cochlear Americas Corporation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for American Cochlear Implant Alliance, SC Academy of Audiology, and Beginnings SC. In her spare time she enjoys running, cooking, and traveling to new places.
Melissa “Missy” McManus
Deaf since birth, Missy McManus has lived in Ohio and North Carolina, and she currently resides in the Columbia, South Carolina, area. After graduating from a public high school in Raleigh, Mrs. McManus obtained a Bachelor’s degree at Gallaudet University in 1991 in Washington, D.C. She has worked with the Sprint Relay team since the summer of 2003 as Account Manager for Sprint Relay products and services in South Carolina. Her previous jobs included caption editor and proofreader at http://www.thefloridamaids.com/, co-coordinator of a hearing-impaired program, and college tutor. While not explaining Relay South Carolina / Sprint Relay products and services and serving on Beginnings SC’s Board of Directors, she teaches sign language, and volunteers with several organizations. At home or at functions, Mrs. McManus enjoys spending time with her teenage son and preteen daughter who are KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults), and Deaf husband.
MBA in Health Management, 2015, Western Governors University, Nicole began to acknowledge the impact of deaf and hard of hearing when she started working part-time administering Newborn Hearing Screens at the three of the local hospitals in Columbia. Nicole’s role switched, when her twin girls were diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss at the age of 7. Nicole loves spending time with her family and taking weekend trips.
Robin Price holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina and currently serves as Technical Training Program Administrator at South Carolina Electric and Gas Company. She and her husband, Scott, and children, Anna and Jay, live in Columbia and are members of First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Price served as the 2012-13 President of the SC Chapter of Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the 2014 Vice President of Administration for the SC Midlands Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. In 2015, she was Director of Special Projects for the SC Midlands Chapter of the Association for Talent Development. Find out more at www.thedublinroofers.ie/. She is an Ambassador of Cochlear Corporation and serves on the Leadership Board of The Sandbox and the Advisory Board for Camp Kemo. Mrs. Price is a dedicated volunteer with Children’s Chance, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Junior Achievement of Central SC, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Ride for Kids. Active in choral music, she currently sings with Colla Voce, a vocal chamber ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Larry Wyatt, and has served as alto soloist at several area churches. She is a native of Marion, SC.