News Release

The Jackson Laboratory wins 2023 Plan Sponsor of the Year award in recognition of employee retirement plan

Grant and Award Announcement

Jackson Laboratory

JAX Named 2023 Plan Sponsor of the Year

image: Winners of the 2023 Plan Sponsor of the Year awards program include JAX’s Malini Kizhatil, Benefits Program Manager, (second from right) and Adelia Soremekun, Senior Director, of Benefits, Health and Wellness (far right). view more 

Credit: The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory has won the 2023 Plan Sponsor of the Year award in the “Nonprofit Defined Contribution Plans $300 Million and Greater” category. The annual Plan Sponsor of the Year award is presented by PLANSPONSOR magazine, a professional publication that focuses on retirement programs. The award recognizes retirement plan sponsors that show a commitment to their participants’ financial health and retirement success. Winners were announced at the PLANSPONSOR National Conference in Orlando, Fla. on June 21.

“Benefits such as a strong retirement plan reflect our belief that people are at the heart of everything we do, so our programs are designed to support employees and their families from day one through the course of their careers and beyond,” said S. Catherine “Katy” Longley, J.D., JAX executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We regularly review and enhance our benefits packages beyond excellent traditional offerings like health care and wellness programs, to include additional offerings that are meaningful to many employees, like paid parental leave and fertility programs, volunteer time off, and many more. This recognition of our retirement plan is meaningful for us all, demonstrating our commitment to the financial well-being of every JAX employee.”

In recent years, JAX has initiated new features and improvements that have increased engagement in its employee retirement plan, including reevaluating the design of its 403(b) plan in 2019, as well as offering automatic enrollment and automatic escalation. In the past four years, participation in the plan has increased from 82% to 97% of total employees. Encouraging broader participation in the retirement plan and benefitting as many employees as possible has been the ultimate goal for JAX leadership. 

For JAX, these improvements are in keeping with the organization’s broader mission. 

“Taking good care of the people who have chosen to dedicate their career, time and effort to JAX and our mission to improve human health is top of mind each and every day. It has always been paramount to us to design and deliver a comprehensive and generous benefits package for employees and their families that provides security and focuses on their wellbeing – today, and into retirement,” said Emily Schorer, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “We are grateful for this recognition from PLANSPONSOR, and thank our fiduciary advisors at Lebel & Harriman in Portland, Maine for nominating us.”  

About The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and nearly 3,000 employees in locations across the United States (Maine, Connecticut, California), Japan and China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. For more information, please visit

About PLANSPONSOR and PLANSPONSOR magazine are the trusted information and solutions resources for America’s retirement benefits decisionmakers. The annual Plan Sponsor of the Year awards program recognizes retirement plan sponsors that show a commitment to their participants’ financial health and retirement success. The 2023 awards were given in nine categories to recognize all plan types and sizes. More information about the awards can be found at

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