Sesame Workshop executive named Benefits Professional of the Year

Diana Lee Sesame Street

Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch may be smiling. Sesame Workshop’s executive vice president, Diana Lee, has been named Employee Benefit News’ 2019 Benefits Professional of the Year.

Lee joined the company, best known for its Sesame Street children’s educational television programming, about four years ago, and has relied on her 40 years of experience to expand Sesame Workshop’s health plan, adding a second medical plan and migrating 80% of employees to the new option.

She also moved the company from one core medical offering to three plan designs; added new benefits including dental and vision insurance, an FSA and up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave; and boosted its 401(k) retirement savings programs with a generous match.

“On behalf of Sesame Workshop and of course myself, I’m excited to accept the Benny Award for Benefits Professional of the Year,” she said in an interview. “You always want to work for a company and for a CEO who really appreciates HR as a function adding strategic value, so that’s how I came here.”

Lee is one of four recipients of Employee Benefit News’ Benny Awards, which recognize individuals for excellence in the employee benefits and human resources field.

The other winners are:
Benefits Leadership in Healthcare: Jessica Adams, vice president of people at Shop Smart
Benefits Leadership in Retirement: Garin Danner, director of human resources at the SSI Group
Judges’ Choice: Misty Guinn, director of benefits and wellness at Benefitfocus

EBN’s Benny Award winners will be recognized at the 2019 Benefits Forum and Expo, which will be held Sept. 25-27 in Las Vegas. Winners will be profiled online and in the magazine’s September issue.

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