Verizon Pennsylvania President Dan Whelan To Retire; Jim O'Rourke To Head Company's State Operations

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James V. O'Rourke, Jr.
James V. O'Rourke, Jr.

Daniel J. Whelan, president of Verizon Pennsylvania, has announced he will retire Dec. 31. James V. O'Rourke, Jr., currently regional sales vice president for major metropolitan areas in Verizon's Consumer Sales and Service division, will succeed Whelan, effective Jan. 1.

"Dan's legacy is one of leadership and accomplishment for both Verizon and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania," said Colleen McCloskey, Verizon's senior vice president for state public policy and external affairs. "He worked tirelessly to earn approval for Verizon's entry into Pennsylvania's long-distance market, and he played a lead role in securing regulatory approvals for the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX and, more recently, with GTE.

"Jim's career with Verizon has prepared him uniquely for this post," McCloskey said. "His experience in so many facets of the operation will suit him well as he addresses the challenges facing one of the largest states Verizon serves."

Whelan, whose retirement follows a 25-year career in the telecommunications industry, plans to pursue his interests in education reform and civic affairs.

A graduate of LaSalle College and the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, Whelan joined Bell of Pennsylvania as a labor attorney in 1977, progressing to the position of general attorney in 1982. He was named assistant vice president of regional operations in 1986, promoted to vice president of operations in western Pennsylvania in 1988 and moved to the company's external affairs organization in 1991. In 1995 he became president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-Maryland, and, in 1997, he accepted his current position as president of Verizon Pennsylvania.

Whelan has served on the boards of directors of numerous civic and cultural organizations across the state. Among other current affiliations, he is a commissioner on the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and serves on the executive committee of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. He recently played a key role in negotiations to merge the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Philadelphia First Foundation under the leadership of Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, who will assume the role of president of the Philadelphia chamber in February.

O'Rourke, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, joined Bell Atlantic in 1979 and has held a succession of positions of increasing responsibility -- primarily in Pennsylvania -- in facilities construction, regulatory matters, government relations, financial planning and investment, international telecom and consumer sales.

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 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit


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James V. O'Rourke, Jr., president of Verizon Pennsylvania

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