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 July 2023, we’re featuring Eric DesSoye, one of our Quality Enhancement Specialists!
Elizabeth Sites, CQL Director of Organizational Excellence, who nominated Eric gave us a glimpse into working with him, “Eric is the most recent staff to have joined the team of full-time Quality Enhancement Specialists at CQL.” She shares, “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and is settling into his role very nicely. Eric is eager to learn, which makes him a perfect addition to the CQL family!”
We’ve asked Eric member 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 am a full time Quality Enhancement Specialist and I have the privilege of collaborating with our partners as they strive attain CQL Accreditation.
Why did you decide to get involved in the human services field?
My path to the human service field started with an interest and subsequent education in Psychology. I have remained in human services because of the rewards the vocation provides and the people that I have had the privilege to meet along the way.
What is your professional history, background, and experience?
In my first job I worked with male adolescents who had histories that included truancy, running away from home, and brushes with the law. I learned a lot while working with these young men, and moved up within the organization, through management, and in to administration. When a Behavior Specialist position opened in the branch of our organization supporting people with developmental disabilities, I jumped at the chance to broaden my experience, and to lean in to my passion for psychology. From there I moved up to an administrative position in which I assumed greater responsibility, while still having plenty of face time with the people we supported.
Several years later, when I learned that another provider in the area had an opening on their Senior leadership team, I saw an opportunity to assume more responsibility and to advance my professional growth. My focus in this new position was community housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Many years later, in preparation for managed care, which seemed to be looming on the horizon, I learned a lot about value based payments, Regional Health Information Organizations, electronic health records and telemedicine.
When managed care did not arrive as anticipated, I moved more towards data analytics and special projects such as leading the development of the organization’s first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, as well as shepherding the organization through the CQL Accreditation process for its first two accreditation cycles. For over fifteen years, along with the various responsibilities described above, I was an adjunct professor teaching developmental psychology in one of the local colleges. For me to make the move to CQL seemed like a natural progression given that I had already been working with CQL in one capacity or another for close to ten years.
What are three skills you have that help you in your work?
- Strong Impact Team Player
- Ability to Focus on the Big Picture
Is there anything you would like to share about yourself personally?
I consider myself to be one of the luckiest men alive. My life has been rich with countless, wonderful experiences, none of which I take for granted. My wealth starts with my wife, the best person I know, whom I met way back when Jimmy Carter was President. We have been together since we first met and it has been glorious. It seems like we just got married yesterday, but far from it. We have had three kids, and somehow managed to raise them to be adults whose company we value above everything else. In addition, they seem to enjoy our company. We do everything together: go to concerts, sample the offerings of the newest local brewery, enjoy a meal together at one of our favorite restaurants, or just hang out at one of our homes enjoying a cocktail while playing board games. Along with that, we are all further fulfilled through the sharing of events and time with extended family and many dear friends. And if that was not enough already, our eldest and his wife recently had a baby boy who will grow up to call me “Grandude!”
CQL Lightning Round!
How many countries have you been to? Which one do you always recommend people visit?
Five – Everyone should visit Canada.
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 Lord of the Rings – Tolkien, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Doug Adams, Soon to be a Major Motion Picture – Abbie Hoffman
How many US states/territories have you been to? Which state was the most memorable?
25 states – New York is the most memorable.
Name one thing on your bucket list.
To see a concert at either Red Rocks or the Royal Albert Hall.
Sweet or savory? What is your favorite sweet/savory food?
Sweet – everything I eat is a vehicle for sugar. You cannot beat a good piece of cheesecake! 🍰
You have to pick a song at karaoke, what song do you choose?
The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel
Describe one trick you use to stay productive.
Keeping an eye on what is coming 3,4,5 weeks ahead and wanting to be as prepared as possible.
Would you rather be the funniest or smartest person in the room? Why?
Funniest – Funny is more attractive than smart!
What is the first concert that you ever attended?
Triple bill: Lynyrd Skynyrd, the James Gang, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer
What is one city that you would like to visit? Why?
Las Vegas because it is currently the home of the Raiders and I would love to see their new stadium.
Name the TV show you could have on repeat 24/7, 365 days a year.
I’m currently binging 30 Rock for the first time, and I am sure I am missing much because there is so much funny stuff there!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given or read?
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
If you had to teach a class on one subject, what would it be and why?
Movies – because the students would be very engaged and I would learn a lot more along the way.
What was your first job?
I had a paper route, and then I worked in a hotel restaurant where I was a busboy, waiter, room service waiter, etc.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Garbage man! Everyone else wanted to be doctors and lawyers.
What do you like to do for fun, in your free time?
I laugh a lot when I play with and our dogs – Brutus and Olive. I also love listening to music while taking long rides on my bike, especially at dusk when the wind settles down and the animals come out.
If you could only eat one food for a full week, what would it be?
It would have to be something fresh, like salad. 🥗
Do you have one totally irrational fear? What is it?
Despite the fact that, like mostly everyone else, my phone is always with me, and I have the Kindle app on my phone, I have an irrational fear that I will be without something good to read.
What fictional world would you want to live in? Why?
Pepperland because it is “a psychedelic paradise that faces imminent doom at the hands of the villainous Blue Meanies.” We’ll see.
What is your least favorite household chore?
You are suddenly turned into a fruit or vegetable, what did you turn into? Why?
A potato because they are versatile. “Boil ’em, mash ’em stick ’em in a stew . . .Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.” 🧙🏻♂️🧝🏻♀️🥔
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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.