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Laura Flynn: April Monthly Staff Spotlight

CQL is excited to continue our Monthly Staff Spotlight series in 2024! This offers an opportunity for you to get to know our team even better. For our April article, we’re featuring Laura Flynn, one of our Quality Enhancement Specialists!

Elizabeth Sites, CQL Director of Organizational Excellence, who nominated Laura shares: “Laura is the newest full-time Quality Enhancement Specialist to join the team and she has certainly hit the ground running!” Elizabeth continues with, “She brings tremendous values and an amazing work ethic to CQL.  Laura has many years of provider experience that lend to her being so good at providing useful feedback and insight to our partner organizations.”

We’ve asked Laura a series of questions about her history, background, experiences with CQL, as well as some questions to get to know her better.

What is your position at CQL and what does that role encompass?

I’m a new Quality Enhancement Specialist and get the privilege of working with organizations of all sizes to identify and celebrate what they are doing well and provide feedback and suggestions for areas of opportunity.  I’m also beginning to provide some trainings.

Why did you decide to get involved in the human services field?

My passion for improving the quality of life for people with disabilities started personally because my younger sister had intellectual and physical disabilities. My formative years were infused with the beauty of my sister’s amazing personality but also the struggle of advocating for her rights throughout her too brief life of 6 years. This is what has made me passionate about working in the human services field and improving quality of life for people who receive services and supports.

What is your professional history, background, and experience?

I have my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from the University of MN Duluth. While pursuing my degree, I began working as a Direct Support Professional at an organization that provides supports to adults with brain injuries, mental health concerns, and behavioral health challenges. I stayed with this organization for over 16 years and grew my career working in a variety of positions and areas such front line supervising, positive behavioral support coordination, and quality management and assurance, before ending my time there in the Executive Director role.  

What are three skills you have that help you in your work?

  1. Curiosity
  2. Organization
  3. Creativity

Is there anything you would like to share about yourself personally?

I have  2 senior dogs- a Siberian Husky (Zephyr) and a Border Collie/Lab mix (Apollo) and a senior cat (Rigby). I love the outdoors and being active- hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing, running, fishing, and camping.  Other hobbies of mine include volleyball, reading, and traveling.

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?

This is so hard!  I love reading and generally read 150+ books per year so narrowing it down to 3 feels extra tough….I guess I’d want books that I could re-read over and over but also something that makes me laugh. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Martian by Andy Weir, and The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be? What is the first thing you would do with your new power?

Teleportation! This would cut down on so much travel time! I’d immediately use this for my next work trip.

Name one thing on your bucket list.

Skydiving!!! ✈️🪂

You have to pick a song at karaoke, what song do you choose?

I’m an unabashed Swiftie so definitely something by Taylor Swift. Maybe ‘Willow’ or ‘Is it over Now?”

Name the TV show you could have on repeat 24/7, 365 days a year.

New Girl or Schitt’s Creek

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given or read?

“Consistency is greater than intensity and 1% better,” James Clear. I apply these concepts to my life every day. If I want to get better at something, I focus on showing up and just getting a little better each time. This is way more sustainable.

What was your first job?

Gymnastics camp instructor for little kiddos 🤸‍♀️

Do (or did) you play any instruments? If so, which ones?

Nope- I so regret not learning the piano when I was young. I’ve dabbled in learning guitar but I’m definitely not good enough to claim that I play it

If you could only eat one food for a full week, what would it be?

Pizza! 🍕 Without a doubt. I never get sick of pizza and you can have so many different kinds.

What is your least favorite household chore?

Dusting.  Doing the dishes is a close second.

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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.