Ben Mattice is currently the Quality Assurance Coordinator. Ben has been in this position for a little over a year. After just a short time we are sad to say goodbye to Ben. He will be leaving at the end of this month, but his impact on the Quality Assurance position will remain.
Ben ensured all Team Leads had a quality quarterly process in the technological age. He took the QA system that was in place and made it accessible no matter where we needed to utilize it. He created electronic versions of the forms and the system as a way of upgrading it. Ben was able to do this because he understood the need for accessibility, simplicity, and capturing work that was already being done.
Ben started with Tobosa on October 28, 2013. He started as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at the Cedar house. As a DSP, Ben was responsible for supporting Jose and Felix, two gentlemen that live at the Cedar house, with their daily needs. These needs included but were not limited to support with safety skills, cooking, cleaning, hygiene, and support while integrating into the community. The thing that Ben found most rewarding while working at the Cedar house was getting a chance to work with Felix and helping him to figure out what it was that Felix liked to do. One of the ways that Ben was able to help explore Felix’s interests was by using an iPad and a “tap & choose” program to assist Felix in making choices everyday. Eventually, Ben and others on their team were able to help Felix identify some of his interests. One of those interests would eventually result in Felix starting his own business.
After working in this direct care capacity for about a year, Ben was able to transfer into the Job Coaching part of the Tobosa team. Being a Job Coach was described by Ben as being, “pretty awesome.” He went on to state that it was, in most part, his favorite position here at Tobosa. He got to see each individual in an integrated setting. According to Ben, “being able to see the individuals be successful at their jobs really made you feel like you were making a difference.” This feeling of making a difference contributed not only to his favor of this position but is also the reason most of us are in this field.
While reflecting, he thought back to the time he served on the Staff Advisory Committee. After being employed for about 6 months, he joined the Staff Advisory Committee. Being a part of this committee really gave him an understanding of what was going on above and around him. He also felt like the Staff Advisory Committee gave him one more thing to care about. He already cared for each of the individuals he had the privilege of working with, but the committee introduced him to the agency on a whole different level. As an active member on the committee, he began to realize all of the different ways that Tobosa was supporting the direct care staff which led to his appreciation of Tobosa as his employer. Being on that committee “motivated him to want to make changes.” He was able to give back to the agency in different ways.
Ben was also giving back by supporting and helping out his team mates and co-workers. Ben was quickly recognized as a leader. This leadership role allowed him to shine while trying new things out in the corporation. He was able to demonstrate his leadership skills and passion for our daily work. His work also helped Ben to identify some positive changes that needed to be made when he took on his current position as the Quality Assurance Coordinator in April of 2015.
As the Quality Assurance Coordinator, he is most proud of getting to advocate for direct support staff. Having a background as a DSP, Ben feels he was able to use surveys to really advocate for what the staff were wanting and/or needing. Ben stated that advocating for the staff was just something he felt really needed to be done.
As a personal vision, Ben wanted to implement programing and funding for individuals with ageing concerns and challenges. His passion behind this vision came after working with Jose at the Cedar house. Ben, along with others at Tobosa, began working towards this vision last year. So far, the awareness level of the need for these services has been raised to the whole agency. Although not yet complete, his vision has made much progress in his short time here. He feels that with more time at Tobosa, he could have networked and built relationships on a legislative level to help with the implementation of this specific funding and programming. Tobosa as an agency will continue working on building those legislative relationships in Ben’s absence. This vision has been integrated into the agency’s three to five year strategic goals. The work done thus far has made a big step in the ongoing efforts of this vision.
At the end of the month, Ben will be moving to Walla Walla, Washington. At this moment, he is still not sure what he wants to do. Ben isn’t sure if he is going to stay in the Developmental Disabilities field, explore his writing career more in depth, or venture into a new area of expertise. He is keeping his options open, but with the experience and enrichment he has gained in his near three years here at Tobosa, he is bound for success no matter what he chooses to take on. As Ben gets ready to leave us, he wanted to share these words, “I am going to miss Tobosa. It’s a great company to work for.” Ben went on to state that each of his positions were special in their own way, but it was the overall experience of working for Tobosa that he will miss.
Thank you Ben for diligently working to improve our processes and for advocating on behalf of the direct support staff. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. You really contributed to the improvement of Tobosa by being vocal with your thoughts, ideas, and findings. Your caring feelings shine through in the efforts that you put into your work. We wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.
With Ben leaving, Chris Farnsworth will step into our team. When you see Chris in the halls please welcome him. He has some great ideas and we are excited to work with him.