Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lacy Voight, program director for the HALO Foundation, answers The Pitch's questionnaire

Posted By on Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 7:23 AM

click to enlarge The opening reception for Lacy Voight's Illuminated is Friday, April 4, at Outpost Worldwide. - SABRINA STAIRES
  • Sabrina Staires
  • The opening reception for Lacy Voight's Illuminated is Friday, April 4, at Outpost Worldwide.

Name
: Lacy Voight

Occupation: Program director for the HALO Foundation

Hometown: Jefferson City, Missouri

Current neighborhood: Downtown

What I do (in 140 characters): I oversee 11 international homes and two domestic learning centers for orphaned, homeless and at-risk youth in six countries through local nonprofit the HALO Foundation.

What's your addiction? Travel. As soon as I get home from one trip, I'm ready to plan the next.

What's your game? Yoga. It's a competition with myself.

What's your drink? Moscow Mule in a copper mug

Where's dinner? When I can't get to France, Le Fou Frog provides the next best thing, and Justus Drugstore, just outside Kansas City in Smithville, is worth the destination. Although my most frequented place is Lulu's; I could eat Thai food every day.

What's on your KC postcard? Probably the West Bottoms. My office is located in the Livestock Exchange Building, and I've loved watching the neighborhood grow. It's eclectic and a hub of creativity. It's also home to some of my favorite local spots, including Amigoni Winery, Genessee Royale and Voltaire.

Finish this sentence: "Kansas City got it right when ... " We began investing in young entrepreneurs. I love Kansas City more every time I see opportunities for young people to grow their own business or ideas. We are fortunate to have the Kauffman Foundation here. I love that they foster events like 1 Million Cups, which is an amazing platform for entrepreneurs to share ideas.

"Kansas City screwed up when ... " We made families living in the city feel like they need to move out of town for their children to attend decent schools.

"Kansas City needs ... " To revive the Savoy Hotel and Grill, while keeping its charm intact. I love that place and want to see it get its luster back. If you haven't stayed there, you should, even if just for the best breakfast in town.

"In five years, I'll be ... " Still exploring the globe, but hopefully with a farm to come home to. I would love to create a social enterprise to benefit HALO youth and other local at-risk youth with the goal of having more job training and employment opportunities for them. I'm also hoping that in five years I will see a lot of our HALO-supported youth thriving as successful adults.

"I've been known to binge-watch ... " House of Cards and vintage Twilight Zone.

"I can't stop listening to ... " I always love discovering new bands, but my love of Neutral Milk Hotel has stood the test of time.

"I just read ... " Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, about a family who survived Hurricane Katrina. Now I want to read anything and everything I can find by Eggers.

The best advice I ever got: "Don't take others' advice too seriously. Trust your own instincts."

Worst advice: "Finding a career that's financially rewarding is more important than job fulfillment."

My sidekick: Any of my fellow HALO staff. Our team is small, so we're like a family, and we always have each other's backs.

My dating triumph/tragedy: My dating triumph is meeting my boyfriend, John Gordon Jr., who created the local nonprofit BoysGrow, a farming and entrepreneurial program for urban boys. It's nice to be with someone who puts as much heart and soul into his job as I do.

My brush with fame: I completely admire local painter Wilbur Niewald, a Kansas City icon. I am fortunate to have become friends with Wilbur, as his studio is down the hall from my office, and at 89 years old, he still paints every day. Wilbur has a tremendous body of work spanning many years that is worth seeing. He currently has work up at Haw Contemporary Gallery.

My soapbox: I moved to Kansas City initially thinking I would live here for one year, then move on to another city or country. After seven years, I love this city more than ever. There's an energy that's exciting to be part of, and I'm happy to call it home. I love having friends visit from out of state who are always pleasantly surprised at how much this city has to offer.

What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Overcommitting to too many events and activities, spreading myself a little thin.

Who's sorry now? People who doubted the possibility of incorporating so many of my interests into one career. I love that I am able to use my creative background in photography, international relations and interest in working with youth all in one job.

My recent triumph: At our recent HALO Art Auction, one of my art pieces sold for $5,000, which directly contributed to helping kids in need. I am excited to be hosting an art exhibit of my work at Outpost Worldwide that will be opening First Friday in April with proceeds also benefiting HALO youth.

The opening reception for Voight's Illuminated is from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 4, at Outpost Worldwide, 1919 Baltimore.

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