Recognizing the Value of Differences: Bengston Elected NCSEA President
Lori Bengston understands the importance of bringing a variety of views to the child support table. “Differences make us stronger” is the theme for her term as President of the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA). Bengston, YoungWilliams’ Project Manager for the Nebraska Customer Service Center, was elected at NCSEA’s Leadership Symposium in August.
“I was listening in on a committee meeting recently and there was a lot of discussion about an issue,” said Bengston. “Not everyone agreed, and some felt passionate about their position. However, by the end of the conversation, the group’s final decision accounted for all the views and was designed to benefit the child support program as a whole. This is when it hit me – our differences make us stronger.”
NCSEA promotes and influences child support policies and services and educates and connects child support professionals across the country. NCSEA hosts two annual conferences, Policy Forum and Leadership Symposium, as well as providing other training and development opportunities.
Bengston’s involvement with NCSEA spans almost 20 years. As a Board member, she has served as President-Elect and Secretary. She was instrumental in creating NCSEA U, NCSEA’s professional development initiative for emerging leaders. NCSEA U held the first session at the 2014 Leadership Symposium conference in Portland, Oregon and it continues to this day. She has co-chaired the Membership, Policy Forum, and Professional Development Committees and is a long-standing member of the Finance Committee.
“This will be an interesting time to be NCSEA President,” said Bengston. “The program continues to deal with the effects of the pandemic. We are also keeping an eye on some proposed legislation.”
Bengston has headed the Nebraska Customer Service Center since it opened in 2001. Under Bengston’s leadership, the Center was awarded the Commissioner’s Teamwork Award for Exemplary Customer Service and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Outstanding Child support Team of the Quarter. Bengston is recognized as an industry expert in customer service and often speaks at national and state conferences.