PITTSBURGH, PA- The Bender Enterprise has selected Mija Park as Vice-Chairperson for its Bender Ambassador Program which was established in January 2003. Employees of Bender Consulting Services Inc. (Bender Consulting ) and Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. (Bender Consulting C) work for the company anywhere from 6 to 9 months. At the end of the initial contract, based on performance, Bender Consulting and Bender Consulting C employees become full-time employees of the customer. Once they successfully transition to the customer, past employees are invited to join the Bender Ambassador Program.

The mission of the Bender Ambassador Program is to promote the competitive employment and career advancement of people with disabilities through effective and responsible representation and promotion of the Bender Enterprise. The Bender Ambassadors know that their actions will impact the lives of millions of people with disabilities.

The Bender Ambassador Program has several goals:

To promote the Bender Enterprise to current customers.

To promote the Bender Enterprise to referral sources.

To promote the Bender Enterprise to people with disabilities.

To promote the employment of people with disabilities.

To promote the profession of technology consultancy within the disability community.

To identify and refer qualified or potential candidates to the Bender Enterprise.

To mentor newly hired consultants, by promoting high standards of professionalism among current and former Bender Enterprise consultants.

To gather, analyze, prioritize and disseminate professional information among consultants and other professionals with disabilities.

To promote and nurture the spirit of family among former and current Bender Enterprise consultants.

To work toward breaking down attitudinal barriers by promoting a positive image of professionals with disabilities.

To serve as a networking mechanism for Bender Ambassador Program members.

To promote the common interests of the Bender Ambassador Program.

To promote the Bender Enterprise efforts through volunteerism.

As Vice-Chairperson for the Bender Ambassador Program, Mija will be recruiting other former Bender employees to the program. When asked about the reasons she accepted the opportunity she said, "The Bender management and staff has helped me get a highly competitive and professional job in the technology industry. Without their help, I may not have had that opportunity. Bender Consulting also has a good support system such as the Ambassador Program. Through this valuable program, former employees are encouraged to perform their jobs successfully. I believe that as Vice-Chairperson for the Bender Ambassador Program, I can contribute to the organization that works hard for me and us." When asked what she wants to accomplish as Vice-Chairperson, Mija said, "I want to develop my leadership style and a support network of Bender Ambassadors for my organization. I also want to improve the interpersonal skills of how to influence others with positive personal power."

Mija is originally from South Korea where she was no stranger to helping people with disabilities. "In Korea, I was involved in advocacy work for people with disabilities. As a Vice-President of The National Association of College Students with Disabilities, I published the newsletter which featured disability issues. I also organized and participated in forums and demonstrations to enact Employment Laws for people with disabilities," said Mija.

Both Bender Consulting Services, Inc. and Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. provide competitive employment opportunities for Americans and Canadians with disabilities in the areas of technology, engineering, finance/accounting, human resources and general business.

In 1985, Joyce had a life-threatening accident due to epilepsy, which caused an intracranial 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 founded Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. (Bender Consulting C) and Bender Consulting Services, Inc. (Bender Consulting ). Ms. Bender is the recipient of the 2003 New Freedom Initiative Award from the Bush Administration, as well as the 1999 President's Award from President Clinton.