Verizon Recognized as Corporate Leader For Supplier Diversity

NEW YORK - Verizon Communications has received two prestigious awards for its track record with minority and women-owned businesses.

Verizon purchased more than $1.3 billion in goods and services from minority and women-owned suppliers last year, making the company a charter member of the elite Billion Dollar Roundtable. The roundtable, a project of Minority Business News U.S.A. and Women's Enterprise Magazine, includes a select circle of corporations that each spend more than $1 billion annually with minority and women-owned businesses.

Verizon is also one of the country's top 30 companies for supplier diversity, according to Working Woman magazine. The company was selected following the magazine's first supplier diversity survey, which appears in its April 2001 issue. In compiling the list, Working Woman considered companies that spend a significant percentage of purchasing dollars with women and minority-owned firms. It also measured how well companies reach out to diverse suppliers in the community and promote supplier diversity within their organizations.

Last year, Verizon exceeded its goal to purchase 14 percent of its procurement budget with women and minority suppliers. In 2001, the company plans to spend 16 percent with these businesses.

"These are both great honors for Verizon and proof that we are meeting our own commitment to award more business to minority and women-owned firms," said Jeannie Diefenderfer, Verizon senior vice president for Corporate Sourcing. "We pledged to increase our spending with minority suppliers to $1 billion by the end of 2000, and we've exceeded that goal. A diverse supplier base is a key component to Verizon's success. Minority and women-owned businesses provide innovative ideas and quality goods and services that help Verizon to be more competitive."

Verizon, and its predecessor companies Bell Atlantic and GTE, have a long-standing commitment to supporting minority and women-owned businesses. Verizon contributed $10 million in 1999 to a private equity fund sponsored by Black Enterprise Magazine and Citigroup to finance growth of minority and women-owned businesses. In 2000, Verizon contributed another $10 million to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce equity fund for the development of Hispanic-owned businesses.

Verizon's Corporate Sourcing organization actively recruits qualified minority and women suppliers to submit competitive bids for company purchases. The company also joins forces with advocacy groups such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council to identify and mentor minority and women-owned businesses. To help minority suppliers do business with the company, Verizon holds seminars to assist firms in responding to Verizon's requests for proposals, creating advertising and implementing e-business technologies. Minority suppliers can register their business online and find more information at www.verizon.com/diversity/suppliers.

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 nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63 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.