25 Reasons to Earn Your CEBS

When’s the last time you made a purchase without checking first to see what others had to say about the product? From a small purchase like a new pair of shoes to planning a big vacation—reading reviews from others has become a routine part of decision making. So when it comes to deciding to earn a professional designation, you’d likely want to know what other benefits professionals have to say.

We recently surveyed holders of the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist® (CEBS®) designation. Below are just a few reasons your peers would suggest you start and complete your CEBS designation.

25 Reasons to Earn Your CEBS

Reasons to earn your CEBS—as told by recent CEBS graduates

“The designation will set you apart from other benefit professionals.”
Kathi Strohman, CEBS, Account Manager, USI Insurance Services Inc.

“I now belong to a community of benefit professionals that I can network with and discover best practices. I am excited to be known as a benefits geek!”
Toni Sorenson, CEBS, HR Consultant, Employers Council

“I get a lot more LinkedIn views now. But also, my leaders respect my input more since they know I can stand on the knowledge I’ve learned and gained through the designation process.”
Robin Loos, CEBS, Senior Benefits Consultant, Texas Children’s Hospital

“The education is a great asset that will stay with you your whole life.”
Mary Lenio, CEBS, Quality Assurance Associate, OTIP

“As someone younger in the industry, I believe it has enhanced my credibility tenfold and given me the confidence to have engaging conversations with HR and benefits professionals more experienced than myself.”
Brian Olsen, CEBS, Technology & Resource Analyst, Pritchard & Jerden

“I am considered an SME on the team and have been asked to do various presentations and engagements, so it opened up more opportunities for growth and development in this field.”
Kasima Imamovich, CEBS, Manager, Vendor Relations, Wespath Benefits and Investments

“I believe it enabled me to change from HR to benefits—credential before experience.”
Carol Tomura, CEBS, Benefits Specialist, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

“It has given me a strong seat at the table with my CEO and CFO when making benefit recommendations and changes to vendor contracts.”
Mark Ellinger, CEBS, Vice President, Director Compensation & Benefits, HDR Inc.

“Not only have I gained the respect of senior management within my organization but, more importantly, I have gained confidence in my own knowledge and abilities.”
Patricia Florkowski, CEBS, Human Resource Associate, Lehigh University

“It has been the equivalent of a master’s degree that doesn’t exist for those in the benefits field.”
Melissa Zaino, CEBS, Director of Benefits & HR Systems, Thrive Skilled Pediatric Care

“Obtaining the CEBS designation provides me with self-satisfaction and greater self-confidence.”
Sheila Geisler, CEBS, Account Executive, Marsh & McLennan

“I am a younger benefit professional, and now I feel validated.”
Jennifer Simonsen, CEBS, Account Manager, Moreton & Company

“Gave me confidence speaking with executive leadership within my own company or other professionals in the benefits industry.”
Erin Pasowski, CEBS, Administrator Benefits and Leave Programs, NJM Insurance Group

“I landed my first senior benefits role upon completion.”
Sophia Lam, CEBS, Human Resources Analyst, Canada Bread Company

“Vendors, colleagues and my employer regard me as an industry expert who is well-prepared to deal with day-to-day challenges and appreciates new industry best practices.”
Orchid Dobard, CEBS, Advisor Health & Welfare, Shell Oil Company

“It’s provided me with confidence in my field and the ability and knowledge to be a more integral part of our HR team.”
Sara McGovern, CEBS, Human Resources Associate III, Salient CRGT

“I am more well-rounded and prepared to pursue a higher level role as a benefits professional.”
Eileen Anderson, CEBS, Senior Advisor, Benefits US, Nutrien

“It provided for me personal career growth and a solid understanding of the principles of employee benefits in Canada.”
Candace Bigoraj, CEBS, Senior Specialist Pension & Benefits, Cameco Corporation

“It gave me confidence in speaking about our plan, negotiating rates with our provider, and presenting changes and information to our members.”
Beverly Walker, CEBS, Finance Officer, Northern Employee Benefit Services

“The knowledge is so relevant and translatable to real life application in the benefits industry.”
Laura Smith, CEBS, Manager, Internal Review and Compliance, Northwest Administrators, Inc.

“Even when I don’t know the answer to something, I feel that I have the resources available to me now so that I can find an answer.”
Shea Willems, CEBS, Benefits Consultant, Milliman

“More than anything, it has given me a tremendous amount of self-accomplishment. I am proud of what I did!”
Holly Coffee, CEBS, Benefits Manager, Merrick & Co

“It had a huge impact on being hired for my current role.”
Rebecca Gee, CEBS, Health & Benefit Analyst, Mercer

“I was better qualified to apply for, and secure, a new position in benefits.”
Cheryl Baker, CEBS, Benefit Analyst, Tower International

“I’m seen as a subject matter expert, and this has set me apart from colleagues who do not have the same designation.”
Maya Darghawth, CEBS, Advisor, Compensation & Benefits, City of Toronto


Ann Godsell, CEBS
Director, Professional Development Marketing at the International Foundation

The latest on Word on Benefits:


Director, Professional Development Marketing at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service/product: Face to face conferences. Benefit topics that grab her: Benefit communication, preventive health, health care cost management, workflex Favorite Foundation conference moments: Meeting Dr. Andrew Weil at the Annual Employee Benefits Conference was a cherished opportunity. She also loves the times when she and a member recognize each other at a conference because of interacting on Twitter! Personal Insight: Known around the office as “appropriately paranoid,” Ann is usually prepared for a variety of potential outcomes in most every situation.

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