Meet the Manager: Kelly Laurich

Fisher House Foundation is privileged to have amazing managers at each Fisher House. These professionals do a wonderful job taking care of the families that call Fisher House “a home away from home.”

Kelly Laurich, the Souther Arizona VA Health Care System Fisher House Manager.

Kelly Laurich

Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Fisher House

When Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Fisher House Manager Kelly Laurich began exploring the opportunity to work at Fisher House, she was a little unsure about what the position would entail, but the chief of voluntary services saw something special in Kelly and asked if she would be interested in managing the Fisher House slated for Tucson, Arizona.

“I was nervous at first to apply for it because I didn't think I would be able to do it. It just seemed overwhelming and you had to have all of these special skills,” she said. “And really what I found out is you just have to have heart and be willing to talk to people and have care and passion for your job.”

The Southern VA Health Care System Fisher House in Tucson, Arizona.

She’s been the manager for over six years, starting the job before the house was even under construction.

“It is an amazing job. So, once I learned it, all of the things that I would have to do and all of the responsibilities and duties, I jumped right in because I couldn't think of a better way to serve veterans and their families.”

Kelly is part of a veteran family herself with a great uncle, multiple uncles, and her father having all served in combat.

"One of my great uncles was in World War II, and survived landing on Normandy beach,” she said. “And then he also carried out the survivors of Auschwitz. My father and his two brothers were also in Vietnam. All three went active duty. My dad fought to be active duty because he was the third brother. And at that time they didn't allow all the men in the family to be in the military, but he fought to serve in Vietnam.”

She wanted to join the military herself, but her dad was adamant that she serve in a different way.

“So when I was 16, I wanted to be a marine biologist. And my goal was to join the Navy so that I could become a marine biologist. And my dad basically said no. He said, ‘I'll break your neck if you join the military. You're going to college.’ So, I have a family of veterans, but you know, I'm very honored and I probably would have went into the military if my dad would've let me.”

Kelly came to Fisher House through her work with vocational rehabilitation.

“My undergrad is in special education. So, for 20 years I was a special education coordinator. I worked with 18 to 26-year-olds in vocational rehab, and then I obtained my master's degree and came to southern Arizona to work at the blind rehab center here. I was an intern and after my internship was over, I was hired to run their recreation department. Through running the recreation department, it kind of exposed me to all of the service organizations, because I had no clue that these service organizations did as much as they did.”