CQL is excited to present our Monthly Staff Spotlight series. This offers an opportunity for you to get to know our team even better! We’ve asked the staff member a series of questions about their history, background, experiences with CQL, as well as some information about them personally. In July 2022, we’re featuring Suzy Pelok, one of CQL’s Quality Enhancement Specialists.
What is your position at CQL and what does that role encompass?
I am a Quality Enhancement Specialist. I have the honor of partnering with service providers across the United States on their CQL Accreditation. I have also worked on special projects with the CQL team. I love all the work I do for CQL and providers, particularly the time I spend connecting with people supported, their families, and direct support professionals. I am invested in every provider I support and seeing organizational transformation, positive outcomes for people, and happy DSPs is wonderful.
Why did you decide to get involved in the human services field?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be in the human services field, even though I didn’t know what that meant, exactly, and I wasn’t sure what specific focus it would be.
What is your professional history, background, and experience?
After I graduated from college, my friend told me about a job at a provider supporting people with disabilities and I was intrigued. I took that first job in 1997 and loved it. Over the past 25 years, I’ve been lucky to work for progressive and innovative providers in Ohio.
I started as a DSP/DSP Supervisor for people receiving residential waiver supports, a Director, Executive Director of Residential Supports, and then Vice President of Programs. My leadership experience runs the gamut from residential, employment, day supports, behavioral and mental health specializing in people with disabilities, self or parent-directed supports, and more.
The last organization I worked for was accredited by CQL and I learned from CQL how strong and person-centered organizational systems and practices positively affect the lives of people with disabilities, families, communities, DSPs, and others. CQL gave us a roadmap to improve our service culture. I’ve led incredible teams over the years and always remember how appreciative I was to learn from them.
What are three skills you have that help you in your work?
- Leadership Expertise
Is there anything you would like to share about yourself personally?
I love spending time with my family and friends, especially when we’re traveling together. I think every person should be able to experience travel to understand the world and other cultures better and be exposed to new people and places. I am happiest when I’m in nature, laughing, eating a great meal, watching great TV, camping, kayaking, hiking, or traveling.
CQL Lightning Round!
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I talk, laugh, and kick in my sleep. My partner likes to take videos to tease me.
Do you have a secret talent?
I can bend my thumbs completely behind my hand. Double-jointed talent.
What is one trick you use to stay productive?
Always keeping my calendar updated. Try to respond to every email by the end of the day.
What is your least favorite household chore?
Dusting. It’s awful.
If you could only eat one food for a full week, what would it be?
Pizza, of course
What is the most unique food you have ever eaten?
I’ve eaten all kinds of cuisines and I love food, but I haven’t eaten anything that unique except a Pacific Ocean oyster as big as my hand.
What is your favorite TV show?
Too many to name… Fleabag and Better Things have been my most recent favorites.
What actor would you want to portray you in a movie about your life?
Pamela Adlon – She’s hilarious!
What was your first job?
Dishwasher at Nationwide Training Center when I was 13.
What is the first concert that you ever attended?
Stray Cats at the Ohio State Fair
What is one song that you are kind of embarrassed that you like?
‘All Night Long’ by Lionel Richie. It rocks my world every time.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Rapper’s Delight by The Sugar Hill Gang
What instruments can you play?
None and I mean none. I have no musical ability! I tried the flute in elementary school and it didn’t go well.
How many countries have you been to?
How many states in the United States have you been to?
What is one city that you would like to visit?
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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.