Team IPPI attends the 50th Anniversary CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership: Dare to Dream Conference

The 2019 CQL Conference: Dare to Dream was held this past October in Baltimore, MD. The journey of CQL began in 1969 to establish a new and innovative approach to understanding, assessing, and improving quality. The CQL celebrated their 50th Anniversary, and the conference was an opportunity to look back on their past, reflect on the present, and look forward to the future.

The conference used the previous 50 years to create context and perspective for where the human services field is going in the decades ahead. Best practices where explored to improve the quality of services, and in turn, the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, older adults, and youth.

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Destiny Brown, former foster child, serves as Administrator/Campus Director at Excel Academy, LLC.

Meet Destiny Brown, Administrator/Campus Director for the New Haven branch of Excel Academy, LLC. The academy is a specialized school that provides graduates with a strong foundation for careers in the health care industry.

Destiny is a former foster child, placed in foster care at birth because her biological parent struggled with substance dependency. After transitioning between a number of foster homes, Destiny found her forever home at age nine when her then foster mom adopted her.

Destiny thrived in a stable and loving environment. She completed high school, went on to earn her credentialing as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and started her career in the health care industry.

While working as a clinical scheduler, Destiny met Lynne Kravitz-Singley, a psychiatric nurse. Lynne had previously operated and developed the curriculum for a CNA program for the City of New Haven. When the program’s grant ended, Lynne decided to start her own school, focused on comprehensive medical career training for local residents.

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Like our foster families, Mishanda Harper believes in the importance of community when it comes to parenting

Meet Mishanda Harper. Mishanda is the chief executive officer and founder of Single Mom’s Alliance Inc. In her own quest for support and community as a single parent, Mishanda founded the Single Mom’s Alliance (SMA) to provide a venue to share resources, offer support, and connect woman who have shared experiences.

Mishanda founded SMA in 2018 and has been helping connect and inspire women through her work. Through a monthly support group, the women of SMA support one another through inspiring stories of courage and strength. SMA hosts events that bring single moms and allies together to build community.

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Connecticut Meet & Greet with community partners a dynamic and positive exchange of ideas

IPPI’s Connecticut Foster Care Permanency Services team hosted a Meet & Greet at our Hamden, CT office. This was a great networking opportunity for local businesses and entrepreneurs who share IPPI’s mission “To build strong communities by empowering individuals”.

The community partners had a chance to meet each other as well as IPPI administrators and department heads. Participants shared their individual missions as well as their vision for the future. The group brainstormed ideas and collaborated on how we could more effectively partner going forward to best support each other, the individuals we serve and our communities. We are grateful to all that took time from their busy schedules to attend!

The POW Center for Behavior Services “Runs Wild for Autism”

The Pieces of Wonder (POW) Center for Behavior Services team did a great job getting out there and supporting the Pathfinders for Autism “Run Wild for Autism” event on Sunday. Thank you to all that participated! The event, held at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, featured a 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk to raise funds for autism awareness. The POW Center provides early intervention services for children up to age six that have been diagnosed with autism. Early intervention can impact multiple areas of a child’s life including communication, social skills, academics, and behavior challenges. At POW each child works one-on-one with a trained therapist on individualized goals that focus on developing these skills so that the child can participate as fully as possible with his or her family and community. Learn more about the POW Center HERE.

Amy Fiordelisi believes a positive self-image and identity empowers young women

Meet Amy Fiordelisi, best known as Amy Lisi, owner of Amy Lisi – Artist Collective in Hamden CT. Amy grew up in a family where she was surrounded by love and support and therefore, developed a strong sense of worth. It’s because of this love and support, especially from the woman in her family who were nurturers and mentors, that Amy was able to follow her passions and create a business where she can nurture others by helping them create a positive image and identity.

Amy Lisi – Artist Collective allows each of its stylists to grow and create in the comfort of an upbeat, collaborative environment. When a guest sits in Amy’s chair, she takes her inspiration from their personality and the experiences they share with her. Her goal is to offer a specialized service tailored to meet the needs of each individual guest. Her hope is to free them of insecurities, allowing their style to reflect who they are on the inside.

Amy shares the IPPI vision of empowering individuals. Through her business, Amy supports foster care awareness and offers young women in foster care the opportunity to participate in Positive Self-Care and Grooming workshops that focus on building positive self-identity and awareness.

Learn more about Amy’s work at her website.

Job Path Vocational Spotlight on Jill Buckley and Gariepy Furniture of Leominster, MA  

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Jill Buckley (left) with store manager Ann Marsh (right).

Jill, a participant in IPPI’s Job Path Program in Massachusetts, works in maintenance at Gariepy Furniture. Jill’s IPPI Job Coach approached the owner about hiring someone to do light cleaning in the shop, and Jill was hired in April 2015 and now is responsible for keeping all the furniture show rooms clean and ready for welcoming customers.

Ann Marsh, Gariepy Furniture store manager is “So glad Jill is here! We used to have to do all this cleaning on our own. With Jill’s help, we can concentrate on customers and sales.” Ann went on, “Jill’s work ethic is refreshing. She is reliable, respectful and conscientious – qualities that are hard to find.”

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Described by coworkers as warm, caring, dependable, and professional, Karen lives the IPPI mission every day

Shortly before 9:00am on any given weekday, individuals and staff start to gather outside the Electric Cafe coffee shop at our Massachusetts’s Day Program. They know that Direct Support Professional (DSP) Karen Veneziano will be behind the window to serve up a number of breakfast selections along with her trademark smile.The café, run and managed by Karen, is open for an hour each day and is a popular social hub where individuals and staff have a chance to socialize and grab a bite to eat before starting their day.

Karen has been a DSP with IPPI for almost 9 years, working primarily in the IPPI community-based day program in Massachusetts. As an advocate of person-centered supports, Karen embraces the “no walls” concept of day habilitation which offers individuals the opportunity to participate in community life through planned activities.

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Another CQL Accreditation Achievement for IPPI in Connecticut | The Council on Quality and Leadership

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Meriden, CT – CQL | The Council on Quality and Leaderships posted an article on IPPI Connecticut’s recent accreditation, “IPPI Connecticut has a vision for the future that has been shaped in response to the needs of people receiving supports, families, and their community. This was reflected during the visit in focus groups, in-person reviews, interviews, and the stakeholder event,” says Michael Clausen, CQL Quality Enhancement Specialist. “We were able to see, hear, and directly experience how that vision plays out not only in services, but especially people’s lives.” Through various factors such as a talented and passionate staff, strong self-advocates, transparent approaches, embrace of best practices, and more, it was evident that IPPI remains focused on ongoing organizational transformation. They have expanded upon their people-first culture through language used by staff, organizational community integration efforts, and implementation of person-centered discovery practices.

Read the full CQL article HERE 

About CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership is an international nonprofit, virtual organization dedicated to the definition, measurement, and improvement of personal quality of life. CQL’s vision is a world of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people. Learn more about CQL by visiting:

About The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. provides services and supports to individuals of all ages who experience developmental disabilities. Founded nearly 40 years ago, IPPI’s mission to build strong communities by empowering individuals permeates the work of the agency, providing highly individuated care to everyone who turns to IPPI for support. IPPI’s service footprint spans throughout New England and in Maryland. Learn more about the transformational work happening in a community near you at

IPPI CFO, Erica Hare, recently appointed to a four-year term on the Vermont Commission on Women

We’re pleased to announce that our Chief Financial Officer, Erica Hare, has been appointed to The Vermont Commission for Women.

The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is an independent non-partisan state government commission. The group is governed by 16 Commissioners and an Advisory Board and Council of representatives of 27 organizations serving girls and women in Vermont. The purpose of the VCW is to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls in Vermont.

“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the furtherance of the work of the mission of the Commission on Women and contribute in any way that I can and be honored to do that,” stated Hare. Read the Times Argus article HERE.