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Ernesto Badillo Award Goes to Benefits Team Member


President Spencer congratulates Lorie Henry on her award.

For years, Benefits team member Lorie Henry served Benefits Plan members whose lives had been permanently, unexpectedly changed by disabling illness or injury. She did it with compassion, quiet strength, and persistence, forging bonds along the way.

So, last year when the Board of Pensions determined that day-to-day management of the disability plan was a better fit for Member Services and moved responsibility for it from Benefits, Ms. Henry grieved the loss of these relationships — but not for long.

Ms. Henry channeled her emotions into ensuring a flawless transition. She called each member to walk them through the change. She gave clear instructions to Member Services. And, then, she turned to her new assignments, including handling administrative and compliance functions for the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP).

Recognizing her quiet, caring determination, Ms. Henry's colleagues nominated her for the Board's highest employee honor: the Ernesto Badillo Award for Hospitality through Service. And on January 12, 2018, during Celebrating Excellence, the Annual Employee Recognition Luncheon, they erupted in joy when Ms. Henry was announced as the 2017 honoree.

"Lorie never looked back," said Board President Frank C. Spencer, who presented the award. "She just continued serving more, serving better, and serving the Church, with joy, compassion, and great humility."

The award honors the Reverend Ernesto Badillo Jr., who served the Church through the Board of Pensions for 23 years. "Ernesto left us a legacy of service that we strive to live up to every day," President Spencer said. The award is an annual reminder of that legacy. Ms. Henry's service in 2017 "fully exemplified the caring, kindness, and integrity that were hallmarks of Ernesto's service," he said.

The award was first presented in 2016, for service in 2015, the year of Rev. Badillo's death. At the time, he was the Board representative to the Synods of the Trinity, the Covenant, and Boriquen. The inaugural presentation was made at the first Celebrating Excellence luncheon.

This year at the luncheon — themed Connect. Discover. Inspire. — 82 Board employees received Celebrating Excellence awards for significant, exceptional achievement in 2017. The awards are based on nominations by fellow colleagues and Executive Team approval.

In concluding, President Spencer expressed appreciation for the entire staff and their contributions to the Board's mission of serving 60,000 active, retired, and disabled members and their dependents with quality, dignity, and integrity.