Long-time Postpartum Support Charleston volunteer Elaine DeaKyne has been named the executive director of Postpartum Support Charleston. This is the first time the Charleston area nonprofit has had a paid executive director.
DeaKyne will oversee the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit, coordinate support groups and support group leaders and work on fundraising and development. She also will continue the organization’s community outreach work, speaking to organizations, medical practices and hospitals.
A survivor of postpartum depression herself, DeaKyne first joined Postpartum Support Charleston as a contract employee hired to help organize the annual Moms’ Run + Family Fun Day. She eventually transitioned to a board member and served as board president for two years.
“It’s been exciting to watch this organization grow over the last four years, and it is a tremendous honor to step into the executive director role,” DeaKyne said. “As this organization grows, we have such a great opportunity to educate the community, help women and families in need and break the stigma that still surrounds this illness.”
Founded in March 2000, Postpartum Support Charleston has largely relied on volunteers to manage the organization, which hosts peer-led support groups and provides grants to women who need financial assistance for treatment of maternal mental health issues. The organization’s volunteers also have worked tirelessly to educate new moms and families about maternal mental health and provide resources for medical professionals.
New board president Kim Percival said, “Hiring an executive director after 17 years of being a primarily volunteer-run organization, is a giant step in the direction of providing the mothers in our community the support and voice they deserve. It upgrades this organization to the next level and moves us closer to the goal of our mission.”
Before joining Postpartum Support Charleston, DeaKyne began her career at a software company, eTapestry in Indianapolis, and worked directly with nonprofits providing support and designing new features for their CRM software. In 2007, she continued her career with local nonprofit software company Blackbaud after it acquired eTapestry. She worked in the Charleston office as an interaction designer focusing on the advocacy, payment services and email services products. She left after the birth of her first child in 2012. She lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband and two daughters.