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. Joyce also incorporated Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. in 2001, a Canadian company that focuses on creating competitive employment opportunities for Canadians with disabilities. Bender Consulting is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and operates in 19 states in the U.S. and two provinces in Canada.
In 2003, Joyce was selected as a Bush Administration New Freedom Initiative Award winner. Received from Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, 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. In 1999, Joyce was selected as the President's Award winner. 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.
In 2008 Joyce was selected by the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh as a Tribute to Women Awardee in the Entrepreneur category for her work in empowering women and girls to reach their personal and professional goals. She was also honored with the Diamond Award from the Pittsburgh Business Times for her leadership style, relationship with employees and contributions to the community.
In September 2002, Bender Consulting received the Employer of the Year Award from the National Epilepsy Foundation. Bender Consulting also received the 1999 Employer of the Year Award from hireAbility in Philadelphia, PA, the 1997 Power of Work Award from Goodwill Industries, and was selected as the 1996 Small Employer of the Year by the Pennsylvania Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. In 2002, Bender Consulting of Canada received the Diversity in the Workplace Award from the Canadian Paraplegic Association of Ontario.
Joyce 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. Joyce 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.
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. She established Bender Consulting Services, Inc. in September 1995 and Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. in October 2001.
Joyce is chair of the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the immediate past-chair of the national Epilepsy Foundation board of directors. She is a board member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western and Central Pennsylvania, Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh, The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime, and the Pittsburgh Disability Employment Project for Freedom. Additionally, Joyce 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.
Joyce 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.