Allison Harrington, M. Ed., CCC-SLP, is the owner and president of Speech Solutions, Inc.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a Masters in Education in Communication Disorders from North Carolina Central University. Allison has a certificate of clinical competence and is a certified speech language pathologist.
Allison established Speech Solutions in 2003 with six loyal and patient employees, operating out of the main office in Rowland, her hometown. In 2004, she moved the main office to Lumberton and added three employees. Since then her business has expanded into 10 surrounding counties, with offices in Laurinburg, N.C., Whiteville, N.C., and Shallotte, N.C. Each office having its own manager and staff.
“It has been a joy to watch the company grow into what it is today,” Allison said. “I am proud of all the 71 ladies who are a part of Speech Solutions. The employees consider themselves family and work together to make sure that Speech Solutions is meeting the speech and language needs of their community.”
Allison is active in her community, serving as a former board member of the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce, former executive chairperson for the LRDA Policy Committee, and former secretary for the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board of Directors at UNCP. During 2014, Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Allison to sit on the North Carolina Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists Board of Examiners. In 2017, she became the chair of the board. In 2018, she was appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees at UNCP, where she has served as secretary of the board.
In 2014, Allison, a member of the UNCP Lifetime Giving Society, received the UNCP Outstanding Alumnus Award in recognition of willingness to give back to UNCP, a gesture she says is because of what the university gave to her. The Allison Harrington Endowed Scholarship at UNCP provides support for a resident of Robeson or Brunswick counties who meets strong academic criteria and will attend UNCP.
Allison is a member of the Chancellor’s Club and has helped sponsor First Lady’s Garden Party and several other programs across campus.
In January 2015, Allison was awarded the 2015 Small Business Award by the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce. In March 2015, she was elected to serve as a member on the Lumberton Local Advisory Board by the First Bank Board of Directors. In February 2016, Allison became a member of the Robeson County Committee of 100. She has also served as the membership chair for the Academic Booster Club at Lumberton Senior High School.
Before becoming a speech language pathologist, Allison taught middle school in Robeson County for almost five years. She earned her master’s degree while teaching and traveling to Durham at night. Allison says teaching school was a fun and rewarding job, but also tough. She keeps in touch with many of the students she taught.
My career has exceeded all of my wildest expectations,” she said. “It is extremely satisfying to watch your clients grow and master their goals. I love the fact that I can work with a 3-year-old in the morning and an adult in the afternoon, both with such different deficits.
The oldest of the late Frank and Ann Harrington’s two daughters, Allison grew up in Rowland and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Rowland. She considers her parents mentors. She has established endowed scholarships at UNCP in honor of each of them, “Mama and daddy taught me the value of hard work and to give back to the community you serve,” she said, “and to surround yourself with good people and to love what you do.”
She is an active member of the NC Speech Language Hearing Association and is certified by the American Speech Hearing and Language Association. She is also a member of the National Council of State Boards of Examiners.
Her son Seth is her pride and joy. He designed the company’s first T-shirts. He is a student at North Carolina State University. In March 2015, Seth was awarded his Eagle Scout by Boy Scouts of America. Aside from Seth and their dog, Pauline, Allison enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. She is engaged to Dr. Daniel C. Walters of Lumberton. Fishing is a hobby and she is co-owner of Laid Back Charters. Art, history and collecting local pottery are some of her interests.