Shortly after having my first son, I signed up for an infant massage class. (Because with that firstborn, you do such things.) We met weekly with our babies for some instruction and hands-on practice. I signed up for the class to work on my goal to become Super Mommy, but what I looked forward to each week was spending time with the other moms. We had a lot in common—lives recently turned upside down with the addition of a family member, didn’t get much sleep, constantly wondered if we were doing the right things . . .

Anytime a group of people with closely matched experiences gathers, instant connections are made. Stories are exchanged, feelings are shared, advice is sought. You feel good spending time together and look forward to seeing each other again. There will always be plenty to talk about.

The Employee Benefits Symposium is this kind of good-to-be-with-my-peeps environment.


It’s the open sharing of personal experiences that creates the strong sense of community that you see everywhere at the Symposium. The quality educational sessions are likely the primary reason for attending, but the relationships are what make the experience so rewarding.

How can you make the most of being part of this culture of passionate benefits professionals? It’s not hard at all—Just show up with a willingness to share your knowledge, experiences, challenges and even failures with others. With this collection of friendly, like-minded colleagues, it’s almost hard to not connect!

This year, we’d like to bottle some of the Symposium spirit to share with current CEBS students. We’ll be set up in the registration area Sunday through Tuesday, ready to capture your story in a quick video interview . . . why you decided to earn the CEBS designation, what your journey was like, how it’s helped you in your career and what it’s like to be part of this amazing community of peers.

Here are three reasons you should consider overcoming any camera-shyness:ifeb0234

  1. Your story helps others—There’s nothing like a personal recommendation, encouragement and advice from a peer who has had experiences similar to your own. Besides, it feels good to share and help.
  2. Your story helps the designation—When graduates and students share how CEBS is helping them, it strengthens the value of the designation, which ultimately helps you.
  3. Your story helps you—Five minutes of fame. Put yourself and your accomplishments out there. This is your chance to show off what you know.

I hope to see you and hear your benefits story in Baltimore. (While I’m still plenty interested in babies, my focus has shifted a bit—If you have advice for the college-search process, do share!)

Ann Godsell, CEBS
Social Business Strategist at the International Foundation


Social Business Strategist at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service/product: Face to face conferences.

Benefit topics that grab her: B​enefit 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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