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KYC’s CEO Runs for Nation­al Coun­cil Leadership

KYC is proud to announce our Pres­i­dent & CEO, Grace Hong Duf­fin, is run­ning for the Nation­al Coun­cil for Men­tal Well­be­ing Mid­west Region 5 Board Seat. The Nation­al Coun­cil for Men­tal Well­be­ing is a 501( c )3 asso­ci­a­tion and the uni­fy­ing voice of orga­ni­za­tions that deliv­er men­tal health and sub­stance use ser­vices in America.

If elect­ed, Grace would be one of two lead­ers from Illi­nois, Indi­ana, Michi­gan, Min­neso­ta, Ohio, and Wis­con­sin to rep­re­sent the Mid­west at the nation­al level.

Grace’s Biog­ra­phy

Grace's Headshot

Grace Hong Duf­fin cur­rent­ly serves as the Pres­i­dent and CEO of Ken­neth Young Cen­ter (KYC) locat­ed in the north­west sub­urbs of Illi­nois. KYC pro­vides life-chang­ing and life-sav­ing com­mu­ni­ty health pro­gram­ming to peo­ple of all ages across the north­west sub­urbs. Serv­ing over 15,000 peo­ple each year through 35 inter­wo­ven behav­ioral health, old­er adult, and youth empow­er­ment pro­grams, at KYC, we believe that Togeth­er We Thrive. By part­ner­ing with indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, sup­port­ers, and neigh­bor­ing orga­ni­za­tions, we can build stronger, health­i­er com­mu­ni­ties together.

KYC’s foot­print spans across sev­er­al coun­ties and the north­west sub­urbs of Chica­go through its pre­ven­tion, cri­sis, tran­si­tion­al and recov­ery pro­gram­ming. Upon join­ing KYC as the Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer, Grace for­mal­ized and struc­tured KYC’s pro­gram­mat­ic bud­get­ing process, diver­si­fied long-term invest­ments, and stream­lined oper­a­tional expens­es to strength­en the orga­ni­za­tion’s finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty. As CEO, Grace has sig­nif­i­cant­ly grown KYC’s pro­gram­ming, includ­ing found­ing the first LGBTQ+ Cen­ter for youth and young adults in the north­west sub­urbs of Chica­go, sig­nif­i­cant­ly expand­ing com­mu­ni­ty-based ser­vices to adults with seri­ous men­tal ill­ness, and is cur­rent­ly build­ing a pilot pro­gram for 247 cri­sis response to 988 men­tal health emer­gency calls. Grace tru­ly believes in KYC’s vision of Togeth­er We Thrive and has made this mantra part of her lead­er­ship to reach out to part­ner agen­cies and to find effi­cient ways to col­lab­o­rate that result in the best out­come for clients, com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, and ser­vice agen­cies. Under her lead­er­ship, KYC was proud to avoid lay­ing off a sin­gle staff per­son dur­ing the course of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, despite mon­u­men­tal shifts in KYC’s rev­enue streams, work­flow, client needs, and com­mu­ni­ty unrest.

Grace is com­mit­ted to giv­ing back and serv­ing both her per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al com­mu­ni­ties. Grace serves on the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee for the Illi­nois Behav­ioral Health Asso­ci­a­tion and is an active mem­ber of the Com­mu­ni­ty Behav­ioral Health Asso­ci­a­tion. Called to com­bat the rise in anti-Asian sen­ti­ment and hate crimes being com­mit­ted against her com­mu­ni­ty, Grace is hon­ored to serve on the Board of Direc­tors for KAN­WIN, a domes­tic abuse and sex­u­al assault pre­ven­tion non­prof­it espe­cial­ly serv­ing vul­ner­a­ble women and chil­dren across Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties. Grace also serves as the Trea­sur­er at her children’s inter­me­di­ate school par­ents’ asso­ci­a­tion, as well as the Trea­sur­er for her high schooler’s par­ent music-boost­er club. 

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