Joyce A. Bender is the founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, Inc., a firm that recruits and hires people with disabilities in the public and private sectors, who are trained in the information technology, engineering, finance/accounting, human resources, and general business areas. Bender partners with corporations and federal agencies in order to assist them with achieving their diversity and workforce inclusion initiatives across the U. S. and Canada.
Joyce began her career in 1979 as a search consultant, and in 1988 founded Bender and Associates International, Inc., an executive search firm specializing in technology and management search. In 1985, Joyce had a life-threatening accident due to epilepsy that caused a cerebral hemorrhage that required subsequent brain surgery. Against all odds, Joyce recovered from this accident that left her with a 60 percent hearing loss in one ear and a realization that she had epilepsy. As a result of her personal experience, she developed a passion for helping people with disabilities and established Bender Consulting Services in September 1995.
Joyce is the immediate past-chair of the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the former chair of the national Epilepsy Foundation board of directors. Joyce is a member of the 2013 Geneva College Advancement Board. She is a board member of the AAPD, the national Epilepsy Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania, Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh, and Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Joyce is on the Board of Advisors for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carlow University and is a member of the National Advisory Group of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She is the host of “Disability Matters with Joyce Bender”, a radio show on www.voice.voiceamerica.com, and speaks across the United States and Canada. Joyce has been featured in various periodicals including the “Pittsburgh Business Times”, “New York Times”, “Investor’s Business Daily”, “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette”, “Chicago Tribune”, “Computerworld”, and “Reader’s Digest”.
She holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Geneva College.
Awards and Honors – Personal
- Bush Administration New Freedom Initiative Award (2003). Received from the secretary of labor, this award is given to those who have demonstrated exemplary and innovative efforts in furthering the employment objectives of President George W. Bush’s New Freedom Initiative.
- President’s Award (1999). Received at the White House from President Clinton, this is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States to an American who furthers the employment and empowerment of people with disabilities.
- Distinguished Service Award (2013) – Awarded by Geneva College, for achievement of service above self and noteworthy efforts on behalf of Geneva, the community and nation.
- Hero of Epilepsy Award (2011) – Awarded by the national Epilepsy Foundation.
- Tribute to Women Award - Entrepreneur category (2008). Honored by the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, for her work in empowering women and girls to reach their personal and professional goals.
- Diamond Award (2008). Honored by the Pittsburgh Business Times for her leadership style, relationship with employees, and contributions to the community.
- Sattler Humanitarian Award (2007) – ACHIEVA’s highest honor bestowed.
- Gertrude Labowitz Lifetime Achievement Award (2005) – UCP honor given to an individual or organization in recognition of their outstanding record of enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.
- James F. Compton Humanitarian Award (2000) – Awarded for her efforts in improving the quality of life for people with disabilities, by removing barriers to employment and creating other employment opportunities.
- Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business (1998)
- Carlow University Woman of Spirit (1996)
Awards and Honors – Corporate
- Justice for All Corporate Award (2013) – Given by the American Association of People with Disabilities to a business that demonstrates a commitment to promoting the rights of people with disabilities.
- Employer of the Year Award (2002) – Awarded by the national Epilepsy Foundation.
- Diversity in the Workplace Award (2002) – Canadian Paraplegic Association of Ontario
- Employer of the Year Award (1999) – HireAbility, Philadelphia, PA
- Power of Work Award (1997) – Goodwill Industries
- Small Employer of the Year (1996) – Pennsylvania Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities