DSP of the Year 2023
Deb Quackenbush

Deb Quackenbush holding bouquet of flowers and waving

Deb Quackenbush has been an employee at AIM for nearly 16 years. Her heart-centered work has impacted hundreds of lives and influenced and inspired hundreds of employees. Her commitment and love of her work is evident from the moment you start speaking with her.

When asked why she loves her work, Deb takes a quiet pause and answers through joyful tears, “There isn’t a day that I don’t want to come to work. I just love it so much.”

Deb is a wonderful example to all of us of a life well-lived through the selfless supporting of others. Happy DSP Week to all DSPs, and thank you Deb, for all you do!

Q: What drew you to AIM and to this line of work?

Deb: I will be with AIM for 16 years in February. Before coming to AIM, I was working for a pharmacy that we actually used for the people served. With the rise of computers, the company moved downstate, and I lost my job. It was the first job I have ever lost! I didn’t know what I was going to do. It wasn’t easy. I saw an ad in the paper for AIM, I think in the Penny Saver. My dream was really to be a registered nurse. Although that didn’t happen, I followed that ad and came to AIM.

Q: What has kept you here all of these years? What are you proud of?

Deb: I am here because I absolutely love what I do. I’m not retiring until I’m 93; that’s my goal. I absolutely love it. I get more out of my job than I put into my job. I have done all aspects of personal care. I think that is so important to become a well-rounded DSP, working with all types of people. I am proud to watch people grow in the apartments where I now work. As people move out on their own, I watch them soar like eagles and it is amazing. No day is the same, even when supporting the same people through weeks, months, and years of time, they are full of surprises!

Q: What do you love about your job?

Deb: This is such a rewarding job, and there isn’t a day that I don’t want to come to work. I never call out; I just enjoy it so much.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from supporting people at AIM?

Deb: I could write a book, there are so many! One of many favorite memories is with a gentleman I supported, Dale. I was his advocate. I would take him out to TGIF where he was treated like a VIP. At TGIF, they would open the door for him and ask him if he wanted his regular table and remembered his order. He would have strawberry lemonade and chicken bruschetta. They treated him so well, and he was happy.

Q: What do you want to say to someone considering a job in this field or just starting out?

Deb: I think that it is not for everyone and that is ok. You really must be a people person, a person-centered person. To succeed, you need empathy, to listen, to communicate, and to be open to whatever they might want to do.

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