WASHINGTON -- Verizon Communications and Marie C. Johns, president of Verizon Washington, D.C., were recognized
for their commitment to supplier diversity by the Maryland/District of Columbia Minority Supplier Development Council
(MD/DC MSDC) at its 20th Annual Leadership Awards gala.
The council named Johns CEO of the Year for her ongoing support and advocacy of minority businesses. Verizon was awarded
the Corporation of the Year award for its commitment to minority business development.
"Marie Johns and Verizon have provided great support to the council's efforts to further minority business
development," said Kwame R. Brown, president of MD/DC MSDC. "Verizon understands the changing business
environment and has helped the council prepare valuable tools to meet the needs of both our corporate members and
certified minority businesses.
"In addition, they have encouraged us to think and act in positive, creative ways," said Brown.
"Verizon has a deep commitment to diversity and believes in providing equal opportunity to all -- from persons
seeking employment and advancement to suppliers seeking to do business with us," Johns said. "Supplier
diversity is critical to Verizon's continued success. It builds customer loyalty, stimulates economic growth, and taps
into the innovation and entrepreneurship needed to compete for new growth in the telecommunications market."
Verizon purchased $1.3 billion in goods and services from minority and women-owned suppliers across the country last
year. In addition, the company is a charter member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a select circle of corporations
that each spend more than $1 billion annually with minority and women-owned businesses.
Established in 1972, the MD/DC MSDC serves minority businesses in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The primary
purpose of the council is to promote and aid in the development of business relationships between its members and
certified minority-owned enterprises. The council assists its members in identifying minority businesses that can offer
quality products and services at a competitive cost. MD/DC MSDC's members include major corporations, financial
institutions, state and local government agencies, universities, and regional and locally based businesses.
Verizon strongly supports the local MD/DC MSDC and provides them with office space in the company's headquarters building
in downtown Washington. Verizon also supplies space for the National MSDC's Washington office in the same location. It
helps them reduce operating expense, allowing more resources to be devoted to their core mission of advocating and
finding business opportunities for their members.
"By including minority business enterprises in its supplier chain, Verizon positions its business for success and
contributes to the economic prosperity of the communities it serves," said Kenneth E. Clark, board chair of MD/DC
MSDC. "From fueling business growth to connecting neighborhoods around the nation and the world, Verizon is
bringing us all closer together."
MD/DC MSDC's other leadership award recipients this year included Sheila Dews-Johnson of McCormick and Company (Minority
Business Enterprise Input Committee Award and Buyer/Purchasing Manager of the Year Award); Beverly and William Parker,
Jr., of Washington Cable Supply Company (Supplier of the Year Award); Vern Flemming of Proctor and Gamble (Chairman's
Award); and Stephanie McNeil-Bates of AT&T (Advocate of the Year Award).
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 125 million access line
equivalents and more than 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world.
A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 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