Joyce A. Bender is the founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, Inc., a firm that provides disability employment expertise in the areas of recruitment, workplace mentoring, strategic planning, training, and digital accessibility to drive innovation and realize business value for customers. Bender partners with corporations and federal agencies in order to assist them with achieving their diversity and workforce inclusion initiatives across the U.S.
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 a 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 Geneva College Advancement Board. She is a board member of the Epilepsy Association of Western and Central PA, Disability Rights Pennsylvania, Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Additionally, Joyce is on the Board of Advisors for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, is a member of the President’s Advisory Board of Carlow University, a member of the National Advisory Group of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and of the medical and academic advisory group for RapidSOS. She is the host of “Disability Matters with Joyce Bender”, a radio show on www.voiceamerica.com, and speaks across the United States and internationally as a representative of the State Department on disability employment in Panama, South Korea, Indonesia Japan and Kazakhstan. 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). For demonstrating 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.
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Volunteers of America PA (2015). For a life-long champion for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
- Catherine Variety Sheridan Humanitarian Award – Variety the Children’s Charity (2014). For demonstrating a long-time commitment to helping children with disabilities through philanthropic work, social reform and personal efforts and activities.
- Distinguished Service Award – Geneva College (2013). For achievement of service above self and noteworthy efforts on behalf of Geneva, the community and nation.
- Hero of Epilepsy Award – National Epilepsy Foundation (2011).
- Tribute to Women Award – Entrepreneur category – YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh (2008). For empowering women and girls to reach their personal and professional goals.
- Diamond Award – Pittsburgh Business Times (2008). For her leadership style, relationship with employees, and contributions to the community.
- Sattler Humanitarian Award – ACHIEVA (2007).
- Gertrude Labowitz Lifetime Achievement Award – CLASS (2005).
- James F. Compton Humanitarian Award – Life’s Work (2000).
- Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business (1998).
- Carlow University Woman of Spirit (1996).
Awards and Honors – Corporate
- Supplier of the Year Award- US Business Leadership Network (2016)
- Justice for All Corporate Award – American Association of People with Disabilities (2013)
- Employer of the Year Award – national Epilepsy Foundation (2002)
- Diversity in the Workplace Award – Canadian Paraplegic Association of Ontario (2002)
- Employer of the Year Award – HireAbility (1999)
- Power of Work Award – Goodwill Industries (1997)
- Small Employer of the Year – Pennsylvania Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (1996)