PITTSBURGH, PA-Bender Consulting Services, Inc. (Bender Consulting ), a Pittsburgh-based information technology consulting firm, was recently selected to be one of several companies to receive the 2002 Pacesetters Award, sponsored by the Smart Business Network (SBN). This is the third year for the award that honors executives of small businesses who are making an impact on business in the Cleveland, OH, Columbus, OH, Akron, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA areas. SBN provides presidents, owners, and senior-level decision-makers of small businesses with the knowledge and tools to build stronger businesses. The network provides this through SBN Magazine, SBNonline.com, SBN conferences and SBN research.

Bender Consulting ' accounting firm, Sisterson & Co., nominated the company's CEO, Joyce A. Bender and Bender Consulting , to receive the award for its commitment to hiring information technology professionals with disabilities. Without career advancement and the opportunities to have an income, people with disabilities cannot realize their dreams. Bender Consulting realizes how important both of these items are to the freedom and independence of people with disabilities. The Bender Consulting philosophy of complete inclusion and participation by people with ability has led to national recognition. In June 1999, Joyce Bender received the President's Award from President Clinton at the White House.