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February 22, 1996


ARLINGTON, VA. - Bell Atlantic, which in 1995 purchased more than
million in supplies and services through direct purchases and
subcontracting from businesses owned and operated by minorities and
women, today accepted the 1995 Outstanding Corporate Business Award
from the National Minority Business Council.

The award, presented at a New York luncheon, cited Bell Atlantic for
"aggressively seeking to enhance the success of minority business
concerns through procurement practices and support of minority
business advocacy groups."

"While it's a distinct honor to be cited by the council through this
award, the ultimate gratification for Bell Atlantic comes from the
relationships we've made with these minority suppliers and the
benefits we have shared in the process," said Bill Doherty, vice
president of purchasing for Bell Atlantic. "By reaching out to
engage small business enterprises that are owned and managed by
minorities and women, we've launched some very innovative, mutually
profitable and socially supportive initiatives that have rewarded Bell
Atlantic, the suppliers and the communities we serve," he said.

Doherty cited as an example a five-year agreement recently signed with
American Automotive Distributors, Inc., of Seattle, Washington, to
supply parts for the maintenance of Bell Atlantic's vehicle fleet. The
contract has an estimated value of $15 million. James McGhee,
president and CEO, will establish new outlets in Washington, D.C.,
Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia to fulfill his contract
commitment to Bell Atlantic, creating new jobs and stimulating local
commerce. McGhee's firm underbid other larger parts firms that sought
the pact.

In another case, entrepreneur Shirley Blair set up a consortium of
local companies throughout Bell Atlantic's service area to supply
clerical and secretarial services from a diversity-rich pool of
temporary workers. The pact with Blair Temporary Services has a
potential value of $10 million over five years.

Doherty acknowledged the performance of Sherry Embrey, manager of Bell
Atlantic's Minority and Women Business Enterprise Program, in working
with suppliers to both meet contract requirements and develop
innovative practices.

In one program, entrepreneur Katherine Martens established a new
company to supply cable for Bell Atlantic's network. Her firm, KMM
Telecommunications, buys the cable in bulk and custom cuts and
installs splicing connectors at a tremendous cost savings to Bell

"Working with suppliers like these to develop programs like these is
Sherry's great strength, and the benefit of her work flows to Bell
Atlantic, the suppliers and the community," Doherty said.

Bell Atlantic also supports minority and women business advocacy
organizations. The company, for example, will co-host the June 1996
Opportunity Fair in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Maryland/D.C.
Minority Supplier Development Council.

William Freeman, president and CEO, Bell Atlantic-Washington, D.C., a
member of the Senior Executive Officer Committee of the Maryland/D.C.
council, said that Bell Atlantic's experience with minority vendors
typifies the kinds of rewards available when businesses make the
effort to reach out and partner with minority businesses.

"By just making the effort to engage women and minority vendors,
accountable companies can improve their own performance, reap the
benefits of innovative thinking by eager suppliers, and share
resources in a way that creates a larger economic pie for everyone in
our communities," Freeman said. "Therefore, we will continue
to seek
out these types of vital small business partnerships."

The company purchases approximately $3 billion in supplies and
services each year.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.


for more information, contact:

    Jim Smith, (703) 974-5446

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