NCSHLA Board of Directors

The association is led by a group of committed speech, language and audiology professionals from across North Carolina elected by the membership. The board meets regularly throughout the year and at the association's Spring and Fall conventions.

Cindy Davis Ling, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Cindy Davis Ling, M.Ed., CCC-SLP received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has been the Owner/Partner of Ling & Kerr Therapy Services, LLP from January 1, 1994 until July 1, 2013. Since that time, she has been contracting her services to provide speech/language therapy to children in various settings. At Ling & Kerr she not only provided direct services to clients in a variety of settings including homes, schools and preschools and in the clinic but also supervised Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia and Louisiana. In addition to her work as a Speech Pathologist, she has been active in NCSHLA serving as Convention Chair, Finance Chair, Chair of Nominations and currently as President. Ms. Ling has also been active with Operation Smile serving as a Speech Pathologist on numerous medical missions all over the world.

Tracie Rice

I am audiologist and assistant professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Western Carolina University. I am also the clinic director at the Speech and Hearing Clinic located on the campus of Western. I have served on several committees for NCSHLA including; membership and recognition, task force and education. Serving as co-editor of the Communique' was very exciting and provided me with opportunities to make connections with various people throughout the state and association. I look forward to the opportunity to work with many great colleagues throughout the state and continue making NCSHLA a very strong organization. I was asked to give an idea of my ideas for recruiting more members. I believe that people typically join an organization because of a connection they have with someone in that organization. I would like to utilize professionals throughout various regions to make personal connections with colleagues that are not members. I would also like to explore the possibility of working with the licensing board to get a list of recently licensed members in order to call or visit with them and personally welcome them to the state or profession (while putting in a plug for NCSHLA). I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity to serve our members!

Elizabeth Burns, CCC, SLP
Chapel Hill

Beth Burns received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently the Lead Speech-Language Pathologist for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools, where she has worked for the past thirteen years. She is based at Rashkis Elementary School, where she works with students who have a variety of communication disorders. Beth's past service to NCSHLA includes: Secretary to the NCSHLA Board of Directors from 2002 until 2004, Assistant Chair and Chair of the NCSHLA Fall Conference from 2005 until 2006, and served as President from 2009 until 2010. Beth's husband, Keith, is an attorney practicing in RTP. They have a twelve year-old son, David, and a nine year-old daughter, Sarah-Catherine.

Kristen Cline, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Kristen Cline received her undergraduate degree in 1995 in Communication Studies (emphasis on Pre-Speech and Hearing Sciences) with a minor in Linguistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a Master of Arts in Communication Disorders at Appalachian State University in 1997.

Kristen is a medical speech-language pathologist at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory where she has worked for over 12 years. She has been the SLP Coordinator for over 3 years. Kristen is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. She is an active member of NCSHLA, serving as Fall Conference Chair and Board Member At Large. She is also involved with NCASSPA and ASHA. She lives in Newton with her husband and their four boys.

Bliss Hemric, M.A., CCC-SLP

Ms. Hemric has been working in the field of Speech Pathology since 1986 and has experience with both adults and children. She is currently a Clinical Educator in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Appalachian State University where she provides services in the evaluation and treatment of speech-language disorders in young children. She has previously been involved with a three year preschool literacy grant at Appalachian State University and the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, Project SIFTOUT/SCRIPT through FRANK PORTER GRAHAM. Bliss serves as a guest lecturer for CSD courses and has presented at the local, state, and regional levels in her area of expertise. She participates on the Local Interagency Coordinating Council in Watauga County and volunteers for Girls on the Run of the High Country. Bliss has served on various NCSHLA committees for many years as well as being involved with the Southeastern University Clinical Educators (SEUCE). She is currently the president-elect for NCASSPA and a board member at large for NCSHLA.

Deborah Bengala