Verizon's Richardson Gonzales Named Corporate Hispanic Business Advocate of the Year

NEW YORK -- James H. Richardson Gonzales, director-Supplier Diversity for Verizon Communications, has been named the Corporate Hispanic Business Advocate of the Year by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Richardson Gonzales was selected for the honor because of his leadership in advocating programs that have made a measurable impact on the economic development of the nation's Hispanic communities, according to the chamber. The award was presented at the chamber's recent national conference in Washington, D.C.

"Some of the best known business people in America are considered for this prestigious award, and we are honored that the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has recognized Jim Richardson's commitment to ensuring diversity in our selection of suppliers," said Oscar C. Gomez, Verizon vice president of Diversity and Business Compliance. "Verizon's supplier diversity initiatives include a strong focus on Hispanic-owned businesses, and Jim has worked throughout his career to strengthen business development for the Hispanic community."

Richardson Gonzales, a resident of DeSoto, Texas, has served as director- Supplier Diversity for Verizon (formerly GTE) since 1998 and is responsible for coordinating corporate-wide initiatives to identify minority and women-owned businesses with which Verizon can do business. He also works with Verizon executives to set and achieve the company's aggressive diversity goals.

He recently was named to Minority Business News' list of Outstanding Men of Minority Business Enterprise, which recognizes recipients' accomplishments in minority business through their professional careers and community service.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of more than 1.4 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States and Puerto Rico and promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 more than 100 million access line equivalents and 25.6 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 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.