CQL is excited to continue our Monthly Staff Spotlight series in 2023. This offers an opportunity for you to get to know our team even better! In June 2023, we’re featuring Brandon Jerla, one of our Quality Enhancement Specialists!
Michael Clausen, CQL Director of Personal Outcomes, who nominated Brandon, shared some kind words about our spotlight: “Brandon Jerla recently celebrated his one-year anniversary at CQL. During this time, he has received accolades from colleagues and organizational partners, and has lead accreditations all over the country.” Michael shares that, “He has been an asset for CQL, and is looked to by partner organizations as a resource in enhancing quality. Brandon is well-known as a family man and for his love of sports. He is the father of twins and a full-fledged member of the Bills mafia.”
We’ve asked Brandon a series of questions about his history, background, experiences with CQL, as well as some questions to get to know him better.
What is your position at CQL and what does that role encompass?
I currently work as a Quality Enhancement Specialist.
I am a dedicated leader striving to ensure those with developmental and intellectual disabilities have the same equal opportunity.
Why did you decide to get involved in the human services field?
I had a brother that suffered from a severe form of cerebral palsy & I saw the passion and dedication people had to his health and well-being. Working in human services is a mutually beneficial endeavor; by helping others improve their lives, I choose this profession so that I could enhance the quality of life for people in their communities and ensure that each person has stability in their life .
What is your professional history, background, and experience?
I have been working in the health/human services field for over 15 years. When I was attending college, I wanted to get first account hands on experience to help prepare me for a career in the field. I have worked for hospice and several DD providers since the age of 17. I was an HHA, CNA & PCA at one point and became a behavior tech at a human service not-for-profit in WNY. I have been a residential manager and director, worked as the QA manager then became the Senior director of staff development and learning. I have held many positions in the field which all have helped me learn and grow into the person I am today.
What are three skills you have that help you in your work?
Is there anything you would like to share about yourself personally?
My wife (Devon) & kids mean everything to me. My wife and I have twins, Owen & Lydia that are 2 years old. They are the most important people in my life and appreciate my wife for everything she does to ensure our children have the best possible life and I can travel for work.
CQL Lightning Round!
You’re stranded alone on a desert island and have 3 books to keep you company. Which books are you reading until you’re rescued?
The entire Harry Potter series, The Night Circus & All The Light We Cannot See.
Sweet or savory? What is your favorite sweet/savory food?
Sweet, I have a huge sweet tooth. You don’t have to ask me twice if I want a piece of cake or cookie!
What is one city that you would like to visit? Why?
I would love to visit Wrexham in Wales because of the documentary “Welcome to Wrexham”.
Name the TV show you could have on repeat 24/7, 365 days a year.
Either Boy Meets World or Band of Brothers! I know they are both polar opposites but I love the nostalgia from my childhood and I am a huge history buff.
If you had to teach a class on one subject, what would it be and why?
History, I absolutely love reading history books and visiting different locations in the world with historical importance.
What is one thing about you that most people wouldn’t be able to guess?
When I graduated from college, I took time off from working to focus on playing Texas Holdem.
What was your first job?
Little League Baseball Umpire
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I want to be a meteorologist and chase tornadoes.
What do you like to do for fun, in your free time?
I love sports and playing golf in my older age. I am in a golf league with a buddy of mine and I love teaching my kids how to play.
If you could only eat one food for a full week, what would it be?
Seafood, I could eat almost any seafood and be satisfied.
Do you have one totally irrational fear? What is it?
I am frightened by bees. I am allergic so it gives me reasoning to be scared.
What is your least favorite household chore?
I loathe doing laundry, I throw all my clothes into one load and usually ruin them. My wife usually doesn’t let me touch the washer and dryer.
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About CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership
Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.