Joyce Bender presents the 2002 Coelho Award to Diana BurkeToronto, Ontario-On Monday, November 25, 2002, Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. (Bender Consulting C), a firm that focuses on providing competitive employment opportunities for Canadians with disabilities, presented the 2002 Tony Coelho Award to Diana Burke, Senior Vice President of Information Security Systems and Technology for RBC Financial Group, at RBC Financial Group's headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Ms. Burke is the first Canadian to receive this prestigious honor. "I admire and respect Diana Burke tremendously. She has worked at the highest levels at RBC Financial Group to promote the competitive employment of people with disabilities and has influenced other business leaders to do the same. Her leadership, commitment, and dedication to the competitive employment of people with disabilities is unparalleled," said Joyce Bender, CEO of Bender Consulting C. Ms. Bender knows first-hand the value that people with disabilities bring to the workforce, as she has epilepsy and founded Bender Consulting C, and its sister company Bender Consulting Services, Inc., based on her personal experiences.

The award was named after the Honorable Tony Coelho, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. This award is presented annually to a CEO, President, or government leader who has demonstrated a significant commitment to employ people with disabilities in competitive positions, and worked to influence other business and/or government leaders. This award is to honor the work of Tony Coelho, the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act - a true civil rights leader of people with disabilities. The 2001 Tony Coelho Award was presented to Russ Owen of Computer Sciences Corporation, the President of Global Infrastructure Services.

Ms. Burke has demonstrated leadership and dedication to the cause of competitive employment of Canadians with disabilities, by her instrumental role in establishing a partnership between Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. and RBC Financial Group in October 2001. As a prominent business leader with a commitment to diversity, she has also worked to influence other companies to employ Canadians with disabilities into competitive employment.

If you know an outstanding leader who you would like to nominate for the Tony Coelho Award, please contact Joyce A. Bender, CEO of Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. and Bender Consulting Services, Inc. at Bender Consulting Services, Inc., an affiliate of Bender Consulting C, provides competitive employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities in the technology, human resources, finance/accounting, and engineering and general business fields.