- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 20 November 2018
LifePath thanks Laurie Deskavich for her service
When Laurie Deskavich thinks about LifePath, the first word that comes to mind is “commitment.” Reflecting on her 30-year career with the nonprofit agency, it’s easy to see where this insight comes from.
Before she graduated from Greenfield Community College in the spring of 1988, Laurie received the name and number of Al Norman, executive director of what was then Franklin County Home Care Corporation (FCHCC), from a mutual friend. “After speaking with Al, I was convinced FCHCC was the agency for me,” says Laurie. On May 16, the day after her college graduation, Laurie started working as a case manager.
Since then, Laurie has grown with the agency now known as LifePath. She went onto study Adult Psychology with a concentration in Gerontology at Syracuse University, and she holds a social work license and is a Certified Information and Referral Specialist for Aging/Disability. At LifePath, Laurie has served as an intake assessment specialist, certified SHINE counselor, and has assumed supervisory responsibilities for an array of programs. Today, Laurie oversees the Information and Caregiver Resource Center, which she calls “the hub of the agency.” Among other duties, she also supervises the Options Counseling and Caregiver Support programs. Recently, Laurie has been writing a monthly column, “Information & Caregiver Resource Corner,” here in The Good Life, tackling topics such as safe driving, self-care, diabetes, and, most popular, aging with a developmental disability.
The best part of her job, says Laurie, is “helping, supporting, and empowering consumers, caregivers, staff, and my peers.”
In her time with the agency, Laurie says she has learned many lessons, which could apply to all walks of life:
- Listen and hear what is being said
- Defend what is right
- Give respect and you will be respected
- Be visible and present
- Be clear and consistent
- Learn from mistakes
- Never assume
- Know it’s okay to agree to disagree
- Be honest and humble
- Remember kindness always matters
“With her vast knowledge, historical insights and strong leadership, Laurie is highly respected statewide and is the LifePath ‘go-to’ person,” says Executive Director Barbara Bodzin. “She has embraced new initiatives and assumed oversight of short-term and grant-funded programs without hesitation. On behalf of LifePath, we thank Laurie for her passion to advance the mission of providing options for independence and creating effective program operations within the organization.”
When asked why she has continued at LifePath for so long, Laurie says, “I admire the level of commitment and dedication that staff, in every department, bring every day to their work, consumers, and caregivers. I cherish those people and the memories we have made and look forward to making many more in the years to come.”
Laurie is also most proud of her two children, Taylor and Nathan. “I am who I am and do what I do because of them,” she says.
For those who will join in LifePath’s mission in the future, Laurie shares, “We have something for everyone, and we can make a difference in people’s lives.”