Verizon Avenue Announces New Leadership

NEW YORK - Verizon Avenue, Verizon's phone and high-speed Internet supplier to the multi-dwelling unit (MDU) market, is starting 2003 with new top leadership. William F. Wallace, Verizon Avenue president and chief operating officer, has been promoted to chief executive officer and the former group president of Verizon's advanced services group, Andrea Custis, has taken the operations helm.

Wallace, a 25-year veteran of the telecommunications industry, was instrumental in the creation and growth of OnePoint Communications. OnePoint, founded in 1996, was a competitive local exchange carrier focused on the MDU market. Verizon acquired OnePoint in 2000 and asked Wallace to stay on as president and chief operating officer.

Before OnePoint, he was chief operating officer at Gemini Consulting, leading its telecommunications practice, which he co-founded and grew from $10 million to $100 million in revenues over a five-year period. He will be based in Herndon, Va.

As president and chief operating officer of Verizon Avenue, Custis brings to the unit a unique blend of experience in both voice and data services. Prior to this role, Custis was group president-sales and marketing for Verizon's advanced services group, which offers dial-up, DSL and dedicated Internet access service to businesses, consumers and more than 400 Internet service providers.

In her new role, Custis reports to Wallace and is responsible for day-to-day unit sales and operations, with a focus on selling telephony and high-speed Internet products and services that meet the unique needs of property owners and management companies. She also will be based in Herndon, Va.

"Andrea's background in DSL sales and marketing will be extremely valuable as Verizon Avenue continues to build market share in the apartment and condominium market nationwide," said Wallace.

Custis joined Bell of Pennsylvania in 1977 as a management trainee and advanced through positions of increasing responsibility, including director-level assignments in human resources, sales and operations.

Wallace will continue to report to James Otterbeck, senior vice president-emerging markets in Verizon's retail markets group. Otterbeck is the former chairman and founder of OnePoint Communications and most recently served as the CEO of Verizon Avenue.

"Bill Wallace and Andrea Custis have unparalleled experience and a commitment to bringing the best to our customers in this critical market," said Otterbeck. "With their guidance, Verizon Avenue is poised to accomplish the extraordinary in 2003."

Verizon Avenue markets a full bundle of voice services as well as DSL service to multi-tenant locations such as apartment buildings and office parks. A wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon Communications, Verizon Avenue has more than one million apartment, coop and condominium units under contract in 34 states. It specializes in providing premise-based high-speed Internet solutions that enable customers to order and receive high-speed Internet service instantly. In 2002, Verizon Avenue earned praise in the multi-dwelling unit provider market when it was named Best Provider of Telecommunications Services by Apartment Finance magazine and winner of the 2002 Cornerstone Award from Broadband Properties as "Broadband Provider of the Year."

Verizon Communications

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 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.