American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California Continues Entrepreneurial Education With $15,000 Grant From Verizon

The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California will sponsor aspiring American Indian entrepreneurs to attend the Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) program at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, thanks to a $15,000 grant from Verizon.

The MDE program enables entrepreneurs to develop essential management skills that strengthen their ability to build effective and profitable organizations.

The grant brings to $45,000 the funds that the chamber has received from Verizon since 2007 to support the chamber's entrepreneurial education program.

Tracy Stanhoff, president of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California, said: "We are very thankful to Verizon for their continued support. We are a people on the cusp of breaking down many barriers in our community, and the chamber has been working for over a decade to provide a culturally relevant vehicle for nurturing capitalism and diverse business growth among our people. This grant provides an opportunity for our chamber to link our business owners with business schools that have been only a dream up to now."

Enterprises owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans play an increasingly prominent role in many communities, and Verizon is committed to providing the tools needed to build economic self-sufficiency through business ownership.

"The small-business community is a key part of Verizon's customer and supplier base and a critical economic engine in the local community," said Elva Lima, Verizon vice president, strategic programs. "This partnership will assist American Indian entrepreneurs to develop their management skills to grow more prosperous businesses while developing sustainable communities at home."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.