Leonard Comberiate, an adjunct professor within the NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business Financial Planning program, was recently honored for his distinguished career in the profession, as he was named to the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) Hall of Fame. His induction into the ISCEBS Hall of Fame Class of 2021 cited his volunteer efforts and dedication to the employee benefits industry in motivating and educating hundreds of employees to become certified in numerous benefit designations.
A global benefits consultant for the Open Society Foundation, Comberiate said, “The honor is a capstone to my 47 years of working in the industry. It’s nice to know that I have made a difference.” He has two major objectives at this point in his career: to pay back the profession, which is why he teaches courses on retirement, investments, and risk management at NYU SPS, and to mentor employees and their families members in achieving their personal financial goals.
Comberiate’s entry into the industry began when he answered an ad for a pension specialist in the newspaper. “Back in those days, everyone opened up the Sunday New York Times to look for positions,” he recalled. As a math major, he didn’t know much about the field but the hiring manager told him he would figure it out. “I knew I needed to get a body of knowledge if I wanted to succeed in the business,” he said, quickly enrolling in a number of certification programs. He went on to earn four college degrees and has completed 14 professional designations (CEBS, CFP, RHU, REBC, CCP, CBP, GRP, WLCP, SPHR, SPHR-SCP, ChHC, CPC, RHU, QPA).
The philosophy he imparts to his students is the same that has made him a success: A well-educated individual will have an outstanding career.
Comberiate’s extensive career includes presentations for World at Work and for the ISCEBS NYC local chapter. He also has served as a mentor for HR professionals at numerous organizations, and as a speaker at conferences, and symposiums. From 2006-2020, he served as the chair of the Human Resources Committee for Children's Village, a non-profit organization in Dobbs Ferry. He has funded two scholarships at SUNY Stony Brook and also has funded a legacy gift to Children's Village.