Rev. Calvin Butts, C. Virginia Fields, Rev. Al Sharpton Among Speakers at Employee Conference and Banquet

New York City -The Consortium of Information & Telecommunications Executives, Inc. (CITE(r)), a non-profit organization of African-American employees of Verizon Communications, is holding its 17th annual conference, "Education, Awareness and Empowerment for the New Millennium," in New York City this week. Members of the media are invited to attend the three-day conference (9/29-10/1), including the invitation-only "Showcase" reception on Thursday (9/28) evening at 6:00 p.m.

A luncheon honoring the winners of the Thomas A. Hill, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Awards will be held on Saturday at noon, Rev Al Sharpton providing the keynote address. Other prominent speakers for the conference include Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon president and co-CEO, Rev. Calvin Butts, and C. Virginia Fields. The Rev. Jesse Jackson will speak at the conference banquet Saturday evening, which is open to registered participants only.

Some two thousand Verizon employees from throughout the Northeast are expected to attend the conference.

WHEN: Sept. 28 through Oct. 1

WHERE: Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers

811 Seventh Ave. (between 52nd and 53rd Streets)

New York City

SCHEDULE: Thurs., Sept.28

Showcase and Cocktail Reception

6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 29

Youth Forum (details in separate release)

Kevin Powell, original cast member of MTV's The Real World

Dr. Bob Lee of WBLS-FM

Dr. Jeff Gordeem, clinical psychologist

9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Conference Opening

Ivan Seidenberg, president and co-CEO, Verizon

C. Virginia Fields, Manhattan borough president

12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Educational Workshops

3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 30

Opening Plenary

Rev. Calvin Butts, III, pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church

New York City

8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Educational Workshops

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Scholarship Awards Luncheon

Keynote address

Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder National Action Network

Master of Ceremonies

Sherry Bellamy, Verizon vice president and

associate general counsel

noon to 2 p.m.

Conference Banquet (registered participants only)

Keynote address

Rev. Jessie Jackson, president & founder Rainbow/PUSH Coalition

7:30 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 1

Conference Closing

9:45 a.m. to noon

CITE is a non-profit organization of African-American employees within Verizon Communications. It provides employee advocacy, issue awareness, and professional development within the company and, in addition, serves as a resource for the African-American community at large. CITE makes a positive impact by hosting an annual conference, providing scholarships, and implementing training and development programs.

CONTACT: Members of media interested in attending the Showcase or any portion of the conference, please call Sharon Beadle on
212-395-1802 by Thurs., Sept. 28.