Verizon Executive Named One of '25 Influential Black Women in Business'

Jerri DeVardNEW YORK - Verizon's Jerri DeVard has been named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, a black professionals and small-business magazine. DeVard, senior vice president - Brand Management and Marketing Communications and the company's highest-ranking African-American woman, is being recognized for her professional achievements, outstanding community service and strong leadership skills.

The 25 honorees will be recognized at The Network Journal's annual achievement awards luncheon here on March 19.

"Jerri DeVard is a dynamic leader who stands apart because of her business savvy and dedication to the community," said Aziz Gueye Adetimirin, The Network Journal publisher. "She and our other honorees possess the personal integrity and commitment to making a difference that enrich the corporate environment and our communities."

At Verizon, DeVard is responsible for all corporate initiatives to build and strengthen the company's brand worldwide. She also directs advertising, media planning and buying, and direct-mail response for Verizon's Domestic Telecom group.

DeVard holds leadership posts in several professional, civic, educational and cultural organizations. She sits on the Board of Directors of Tommy Hilfiger Corp. and chairs the Foundation Board for the Executive Leadership Council. She also serves on the Pepsi African-American Advisory Board and is a member of the National Black MBA Association, the Spelman College Alumnae Association, Jack and Jill of America and New York City's Riverside Church.

DeVard was recently named one of Advertising Age magazine's Power Players in the advertising industry. She has also been featured in several national magazines and books.

She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Spelman College and a master's of business administration in marketing from Clark Atlanta University Graduate School of Management.

DeVard, her husband, Gregg Smith, and their two children live in New York City.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.