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2024 Excellence in Benefits Award Winner

March 21, 2024 by Cassidy Burger

(March 21, 2024) – Employers Health is honored to announce Maria Martin as the 2024 recipient of its Excellence in Benefits Award. The award is presented to a leader in employee benefits in recognition of his/her meaningful impact to the industry. Martin was nominated by her peers and unanimously selected by an independent panel of human resources and benefits industry professionals. Nominees were scored on the impact made in employee benefits, achieved outcomes and contributions to the betterment of the workplace and community.

Martin serves as director of total rewards, global benefits at Royal Caribbean Group, a global cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida. She has been with Royal Caribbean Group for over 25 years and has been instrumental in the organization’s recognition as one of the Top 100 Healthiest Companies in the U.S. for several years, ranking 16th in 2023. Her leadership has been pivotal in developing and implementing the organization’s current health and wellness programs, contributing to improved health outcomes for Royal Caribbean employees. In addition to her contributions to health and wellness programming, Martin has spearheaded cost-saving initiatives that have benefited the organization and ensured employees have access to affordable medications.

Previous winners include: 2022: Heather Beal, senior benefits analyst, Jo-Ann Stores, LLC; 2021: Chris vanNatta, manager, benefits & human resources, The Timken Company; 2020: Theresa O’Callaghan, executive director of benefit programs and corporate human resources, Kaman Corporation; 2019: Rachelle Firestone, director of benefits, The Kenan Advantage Group; 2018: Violet Vernon, senior manager, Aerojet Rocketdyne; 2017: Jessica Ward, benefits manager, Designer Brands. Nominations for the 2025 award will open in the fall of 2024. Visit for more information.

About Employers Health  

Founded in 1983 by employers looking to reduce health care costs, Employers Health provides resources, tools and expertise to help plan sponsors deliver access to high-quality health benefits at a sustainable cost. Employers Health began group purchasing for pharmacy benefit management services in 1995, making it one of the oldest and most established employer-founded group purchasing coalitions in the country. Employers and plan sponsors benefit from its group purchasing opportunities for pharmacy, health care navigation, EAP services, dental and vision benefits. Today, more than 350 employer-clients in 40 states participate in our leading pharmacy benefits group purchasing programs through CVS Health and Optum Rx. To learn more about Employers Health’s employer resources visit

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