One of my favorite things about this job is being able to get out and attend industry conferences and meet our hard-working readers in person. I’ve been fortunate enough to do a bit of traveling recently and have heard, first-hand, about some of the challenges benefit professionals are experiencing.

Increased regulatory compliance demands, particularly in health care, coupled with employee retirement-readiness concerns, make for challenging times.

But, here at EBN, we want to celebrate the successes you’ve experienced this year with our annual Benny Awards. Now in their 24th year, the Benny Awards recognize excellence in the employee benefits/human resources field. The Benny Awards have four categories: Benefits Professional of the Year, Benefits Leadership in Health Care, Benefits Leadership in Retirement Planning, and Judges' Choice.

The Benefits Professional of the Year is presented to the person who has demonstrated a pattern of creativity and achievement in plan design, administration, communication and/or staff management, as well as contributions to the benefits profession overall.

The Leadership Awards in Health Care and Retirement Planning go to professionals who've demonstrated excellence in developing and managing programs yielding measurable impacts on the cost and/or quality of these benefits. The Judges' Choice winner is drawn from a wider spectrum of benefit programs and areas of professional responsibility.

Awards are granted to employee benefit or human resource practitioners directly involved in the management of employee benefit programs. Benefits professionals may nominate themselves, co-workers and/or work groups. Benefit vendors or consultants may nominate their clients. Only one person or team per company may be nominated.

A panel of EBN editors will evaluate nominees. Judging criteria include recent achievements involving innovative multiyear projects, professional recognition and depth of experience. Nominations for the Benny Awards must be submitted online at by Wednesday, July 1 at 5 p.m. ET.

Supporting documentation of achievements or letters of support from colleagues/business contacts may be submitted via email to

Winners will be notified by July 15, profiled in the Sept. 15 issue and announced at the annual Benefits Forum & Expo, to be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida.

Good luck!

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