Joyce Bender is the 2007 recipient of ACHIEVA’s Sattler Humanitarian Award, the highest honor ACHIEVA bestows. She also received the 2005 UCP of Pittsburgh’s Gertrude Labowitz Lifetime Achievement Award, given to an individual or organization in recognition of their outstanding record of enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities. Ms. Bender has received the 2000 James F. Compton Humanitarian Award for her efforts in improving the quality of life for people with disabilities, by removing barriers to employment and creating other employment opportunities. Additionally, she was named one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business in 1998 and was selected as a 1996 Carlow University Woman of Spirit.
Ms. Bender 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, she had a life-threatening accident due to epilepsy that caused a cerebral hemorrhage that required subsequent brain surgery. Against all odds, Ms. Bender 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. She established Bender Consulting Services, Inc. in September 1995 and Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. in October 2001.
Ms. Bender is the immediate past-chair of the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the former chair of the national Epilepsy Foundation board of directors. She is a member of the 2013 Geneva College Advancement Board, a board member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western and Central Pennsylvania, Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh, and Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Ms. Bender is on the Board of Advisors for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carlow University. 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. Ms. Bender has been featured in various periodicals including the “Pittsburgh Business 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.