Dee Lacny, aka “Ms. Dee” to the 250 kids here at RHK, where she also knows ALL of their names, is the Executive Director for Rock House Kids. She started her journey with Rock House Kids in May 2014 as our bookkeeper and has held several positions since her start. In January 2015, she served a dual role as Office Manager and Program Director where she was able to put together a comprehensive and successful curriculum that changed the way inner-city kids at Rock House participate in the program. In August 2015, she was honored to step up to the newly created position as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In 2017, she also made the decision to become a licensed pastor when one of our kids was being held at the juvenile detention center and she couldn’t see him even though the parent gave permission. “It was a terrible feeling not being able to get to one of our kids who needed to know they are loved despite their poor choice.” From that point forward, Dee knew it was a must to become a licensed pastor because nothing was going to get in the way of helping one of our kids in a time of need.
In January 2018, Dee became the Executive Director. When asked what it is like to be the Executive Director, Dee is humbled and tries not to think about all the responsibility the title holds from keeping the utilities on and the building safe, the heavy burdens the kids are enduring, to keeping RHK relevant so the kids keep coming because we want them to succeed. But what does success look like at RHK according to Dee? Success is “when a kid you have not seen in awhile walks back through RHK doors and wants to share details of their life with you. Success is a child being able to freely be a kid for three hours a night and not worry about what is on the other side of the door in the real world. Success is knowing the kids are safe and out of harm’s way while they are here. Success is when a 5th grader asks for a Bible and comes back the next week and asks for a notebook to go with the Bible.” Dee also knows she is not doing this alone. From the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and community, she feels we are all in this together to make RHK an awesome place for kids to come to be nurtured, mentored, loved and believed in!
Dee was born and raised in Berwyn, IL. She went on to pursue her academics and received an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and from there her Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Illinois University where she majored in Finance and minored in Economics. She holds several certifications which include Non-Profit Management, Trauma-Informed, CPR, Mental Health & First Aid. Her next certification will take place in February, where she will become Crisis Prevention certified.
Dee came to the area 30 years ago with her husband, Mike, where they raised three children; Brandon, Stephanie and Megan. She also has three dogs. Princess, a former dog of one of our kids, is pictured above and is the mascot for Rock House Kids. She visits us several times a month.