Employee Benefit News’ Benefits Forum and Expo has officially begun in Phoenix, and Sunday night included the awarding of the annual Benny Awards, which honor excellence and achievement in practitioners directly involved in the management of employee benefit programs.

Christine Carstens, director of employee benefits at Hughes Network Systems LLC, took Benefits Professional of the Year. Her first day at the position also happened to be the first day of open enrollment at the Germantown, Md.-based firm.

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