Opportunity Fair Helps Minority Suppliers Network with Businesses, Government Agencies

As part of an expansive commitment to the MD/DC Minority Supplier Development Council, Verizon Washington, D.C. joins other local corporate sponsors today in supporting the Business Conference and Opportunity Fair.

''This is an opportunity for minority businesses to build relationships with prime suppliers and form alliances which make both more competitive,'' said Kenneth E. Clark, chair for the council and vice president-external affairs for Verizon Washington, D.C. ''In turn, large corporations such as Verizon have the opportunity to expand their minority supplier base and identify potential partners which meet unique requirements.''

The popular conference will be held at the Prince George's County Community College in the Largo Student Center. The council expects over 400 participants. This year's theme is ''Moving Beyond the Challenges.''

The plenary session features Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend as keynote speaker. Also on hand will be B. Doyle Mitchell, president and CEO of Industrial Bank, the second largest minority-owned commercial bank in the country.

Throughout the day there will be a trade fair featuring more than 50 corporations, government agencies and MBEs (minority business enterprises) exhibiting their products and services. Workshops will be presented focusing on creating and financing business deals. The day will end with a networking reception.

In addition to Verizon, Proctor and Gamble, Baltimore Gas and Electric, PEPCO, Whiting & Turner, EDS, U.S. Postal Service, Amtrak, Johns Hopkins University, AT&T, Worldcom, IBM, and AARP have sponsorship roles.

A partial list of exhibitors includes: Dupont, USAIR, Carefirst/Blue Cross, Citigroup, Unisys, Marriott, NEA Member Benefits Corporation, Washington Area Metro Authority, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, U. S. Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Transportation, Anne Arundel County Government, Baltimore County Government, and District of Columbia Government.

''The participants in this event are excited about the potential for business opportunities in the region. Our members are committed to creating alliances that are inclusive and work to the benefit of the entire community. These are qualities that support Verizon's view that expanding the opportunities for minority business contributes to the economic prosperity of the areas we serve,'' said Clark.

In addition to financial support of the group's mission to expand minority representation in the economic development boom in Maryland and the District, Verizon has provided a home for the Council in its headquarters at 1710 H Street, NW.

About MD-DC Minority Suppliers Council
Established in 1972, the MD/DC Minority Supplier Development Council is an organization comprised of major corporations, financial institutions, state and local, government agencies, universities, regional companies, and Maryland based companies. The primary purpose of MD/DC MSDC is to promote and facilitate the development of business relationships between its members and certified minority-owned enterprises. The Council provides its members with assistance in identifying minority businesses that can offer them quality products and services at a competitive cost. Minority businesses interested in taking advantage of the Council's programs and service are required to complete a certification process to determine whether the company is owned and controlled by a person representing a racial minority group. MD/DC MSDC has more than 180 corporate members and just over 327 certified minority businesses. For more information, visit www.mddccouncil.com


Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com