PITTSBURGH, PA - The 2005 Tony Coelho Award was presented to Congressman Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland. The award ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, DC on April 7, 2006.

The award was named after the Honorable Tony Coelho, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 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. Bender Consulting Services, Inc., sponsors this award to honor the work of Tony Coelho, a true civil rights leader for people with disabilities.

"Steny Hoyer is remarkable, because he played a substantial role in getting the ADA signed into law. Since then, over a 16 year time period he has never, ever, stopped the fight for Americans with disabilities," said Joyce Bender.

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, is well-known for his efforts in guiding the landmark ADA to passage in 1990, following the retirement of Tony Coelho from Congress in 1989. According to Tony Coelho, "Steny Hoyer has done more than any person I know to help individuals with disabilities - not only in our country, but world wide, as the ADA is now the law of the land in over 50 countries."

Congressman Hoyer is regarded by members of the United States House of Representatives as an effective leader and consensus builder who knows how to accomplish things. He is now serving in his 13th full term in this government body.

On November 14, 2002, Congressman Hoyer was unanimously elected by his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as the House Democratic Whip, the second-ranking position among House Democrats. In this leadership position, he helps House Democrats determine their legislative agenda and strategy; build unity for the Party's positions within the Democratic Caucus and among Democrats nationally; and craft and deliver the Democratic message.

He is now the longest-serving House Member from Southern Maryland in history, as well as the highest-ranking Member of Congress in Maryland history.

Congressman Hoyer is a Senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, and currently serves on the Subcommittees on Transportation, the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

In Congress, Steny Hoyer is regarded as a champion for Federal employees, and is well known as a leader on education issues and a respected voice on human and civil rights. He is perhaps best known for serving as the lead House sponsor of historic Federal election reform (the "Help America Vote Act"), which President Bush signed into law on October 29, 2002.

Public service has always been at the center of Steny Hoyer's professional life. He won a seat in the Maryland Senate at the age of 27, and just a few years later, at the age of 35, was elected President of the Senate, the youngest ever in state history.

Joyce Bender is President and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, Inc. Bender Consulting creates employment opportunities for professionals with disabilities in information technology, engineering, finance/accounting, human resources and general business areas. Incorporated in 1995, Bender Consulting is headquarted in Pittsburgh, PA. Additionally, Joyce hosts an international Internet-based radio show, Disability Matters with Joyce Bender every Tuesday from 2 PM to 3 PM, eastern time, on www.voiceamerica.com. For more information on Bender Consulting, visit Bender Consulting Services. For more information on Congressman Hoyer, visit, www.hoyer.house.gov. To nominate a business or government leader for the 2006 Tony Coelho Award, contact Joyce Bender.