About Us

The Speech Lady, PLLC is a group of qualified, energetic, pediatric therapists who would love to meet you and work with your family! All therapists hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCCs) in speech language pathology, and are NC Board Certified. We have more than 50 years of combined experience working with children in various settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, non- profit organizations, preschools/schools, and homes. We also have our own kiddos (which have come with their own set of challenges including food allergies, asthma, feeding issues, Type 1 Diabetes… the list goes on!) which is perhaps the best experience when it comes to children!

Our Staff

Chanel W. James
MA, CCC-SLP, Owner

Chanel was born and raised in Winston Salem, NC, home of Texas Pete, Krispy Kreme, and the Dixie Classic Fair! She still refers to parts of Hanes Mall as the “new mall”, or the “old mall”, and absolutely LOVES the fact that she grew up between K-Vegas and Rural Hall.

She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University in 1998, and completed her Master of Arts in 2000 from Appalachian State as well— GO APP STATE! Chanel has worked with children and adults (ages 1 -101) with various speech, language and swallowing/feeding disorders, but her passion is working with the pediatric population.

Chanel has been married for 18 years, and has 2 boys and dog. Her favorite thing to do is to play outside, and has a long term goal of one day expanding their family through adoption.

Debbie Solis

Debbie worked in the public school setting as a speech language pathologist for many years before moving to private practice. She is originally from Ohio where she received her undergraduate degree at Bowling State Green State University (Go Falcons!). Upon graduation, she was employed in a variety of settings in Ohio and New York working with clients (ages birth-21). She moved to Winston Salem in 1988, and was employed in Stokes County for one year before joining the Winston Salem Forsyth County School system. Debbie has always been highly motivated, and attended Appalachian State University while working full time to complete her graduate studies and received her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 2005. Debbie is also licensed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She has been married for 23 years, and has 2 amazing children, and a golden retriever named Mango.

Sarah Sexton


Sarah has worked in private practice as a speech language pathologist since 2011 and worked with The Speech Lady, PLLC for 2 years. She graduated with her Masters degree in Speech-language pathology in 2011 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is originally from Ohio and Michigan where she received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at Oakland University. Sarah then moved to North Carolina and worked as a teacher for a year. Over the past 22 years, Sarah has worked with children aged newborn to teens in various capacities (daycares, nannying, babysitting, habilitation technician, and teaching). She has been married for 9 years to her amazing husband Jessie, has 4 wonderful and energetic boys (Solomon, Isaac, Jeremiah and Malachi). Her hobbies include: reading, crafting, painting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, swimming, walking, hiking, and doing anything with her family.

Brittney Sparks


Brittney is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in North Carolina and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UNC-Charlotte, and obtained her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Appalachian State University. Brittney has a special interest in serving pediatric populations, with significant experience with preschool ages 3-5 in schools and outpatient settings. Areas of interest include: feeding and swallowing disorders, speech sound disorders, and early language development. In her free time, Brittney enjoys spending time with her family, doing yoga, and dreaming of tropical locations.

Jennifer Freeman

Billing Specialist/Internal Audits

Jennifer was born and raised in Winston Salem, and earned her Associates Degree in Healthcare Management from Ashworth College. She is responsible for all billing and compliance for The Speech Lady. She has worked in the insurance and compliance field for nearly 20 years, from every aspect including claims processing, to managing a private practice. She is hyperfocused on ensuring accurate claims filing and payment, and ensuring all providers remain compliant and to protect our patient’s health information.
She enjoys spending time with her two children, ages 20 and almost 12, by spending a lot of time at the ball field and numerous other extracurricular activities along with her rescue pup in tow. She is especially looking forward to welcoming her first grandchild in early 2020 and the joys of spoiling her grandson to the fullest.

Nicole Denman Smith


Nicole is a licensed Speech- Language Pathologist in North Carolina and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech- Language- Hearing Association. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!) in Psychology, and later received her second Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Southeastern Louisiana University. Nicole has been practicing since 2012. She has had experience working in the school setting, hospital setting (outpatient), skilled nursing facility, and pediatric private practice settings. Nicole has a special interest in working with pediatrics in the early intervention setting. Areas of interest include: craniofacial abnormalities, orofacial myofunctional therapy, speech sound disorders, and early language development.

Nicole enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, daughter, and trail dog. She also enjoys running, hot yoga, playing scrabble, and doing calligraphy. 

Dana Cannin-Mulhearn


Dana is a Georgia-Florida native, spending some of her childhood growing up in these states, but has spent the last 11 years in Winston-Salem, NC. Despite moments of her parents northern accent sneaking into her speech, she considers herself a southerner at heart! Dana received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Once graduating, she took some time to travel, spend time with her parents, work various positions (including a teaching position at an alternative school for girls) and did some soul-searching. That’s when she discovered her desire to become a speech-language pathologist and applied to UNCG’s post-baccalaureate program. She was accepted and relocated to NC where she married her husband at Lake Lure (their reception was held at the site of the film Dirty Dancing) and after two years, earned her second degree. Dana then obtained her Master’s degree from Marshall University, commuting as many weekends as possible to come home to Winston. After graduating, Dana became immediately employed by WSFCS and started a family soon after. Dana has been a SLP for seven years, working in the school setting (elementary, middle, and high schools), pediatric private practice, and the rehabilitation setting at a local hospital. She is passionate about serving all populations and feels incredibly fortunate to assist others in so many areas such as articulation, language, fluency, cognitive, and swallowing skills. 

Dana and her husband have three beautiful and active young boys, four cats, and one dog. They enjoy traveling to the Outer Banks every summer and south Florida every winter (to visit family and Disney, of course). Involvement in church, visiting with friends and neighbors, and focusing on creating traditions (such as pizza Friday and family fun day-woo, woo, woo!) are the foundation of her personal life. 

Sarah Herrington
Sarah graduated with her Masters in Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University in 2009 and is originally from the Piedmont area. She has worked in a variety of pediatric settings with a focus on the birth to three, early intervention population. When she’s not working she enjoys baking and spending time with her family outdoors.