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Happy Friday! On today’s Up To Speed Live, host Diana Alvear shared the following updates:

Engineer videos

We are closing out National Engineers week. If you haven’t already, check out of our V Team engineer day-in-the-life videos.

Looking back at Black History Month

As we come to the end of February, we want to acknowledge all of the great events that were part of our Black History Month celebration. Here are some of the highlights.

We had two impactful #Next20 conversations: The first was our re-aired conversation with David Hubbard, Vice President & Deputy General Counsell, and Dr Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. They spoke about the importance of studying Black history as a tool to help dismantle the systemic racism we are facing today.

We also premiered Black Women Lead, a co-presentation with BOLD’s Sister 2 Sister on how black women are successfully leading in many areas yet still facing obstacles to progress.

Then on George Talks Tech, George Koroneos interviewed Tonee Bell, CEO of A Unity System, about the company’s product the Baraka, a 3-in-1 combo Bluetooth speaker, wireless earbuds and wireless charger which has sold out a number of times from our stores. Tonee also talked about what it’s been like creating the first black-owned computer brand, a story that was first picked up by Forbes.

We also loved Raquel’s episode with some V Teamers on what they like most about the updated Race and Social Justice Action Toolkit — part of our overall Race and Social Justice Action plan — and the elements they each found to be most valuable.

Finally, two V Teamers from our Corporate Strategy team, Christian Duncan and Lauren Stoneberg, worked together to create a way to learn allyship in a small group learning exercise, using the Racial Equity and Justice learning plan. They pitched it to Rima who gave it her enthusiastic support. Then 20 teammates signaled interest in this inaugural learning event. You can watch the full conversation here.

Congratulations to everyone who helped make Black History Month substantive and inclusive.

Ad Council Campaign

Citizen Verizon serves as a framework to expand our impact and key commitments to drive economic, environmental and social advancement. That’s why we support initiatives like the Ad Council's COVID-19 Awareness Campaign. Verizon is the first to sign on as a supporter of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative and is developing a digital campaign inviting other brands to join in and support the effort.

Check out our COVID-19 Resource page for more information.

A hero gets his shot

One of our very own V Teamers, Abid Shaikh, is not only part of the Verizon Consumer Finance team, he’s also the captain of his EMT squad in East Hanover, NJ and was one of the first to receive the COVID vaccine. Andy caught up with him to learn more about his journey with the vaccine. You can watch the full interview here.

BlueJeans Customer Awards

You can start clapping because BlueJeans By Verizon just Announced their 2021 Customer Awards winners. These awards highlight customers around the globe who are deploying BlueJeans solutions to achieve outcomes that positively drive their business and society forward especially given the COVID-19 pandemic and remote collaboration becoming more a part of everyday life. Here are the top dogs:

  • Most Innovative Use Case: Phoenix Suns
  • Biggest Business Transformation: Standard Chartered
  • Best Use of Events: Adobe
  • Biggest Impact: ABB

Entrepreneur of the Year award

European entrepreneurs have been battling it out in a bid to be crowned the Verizon/Unloc Young Entrepreneur of the year and receive £10,000 as well as a business mentor and a technology package. Ideas ranged from smartphone apps that provide e-receipts, the digitalization of forest certification, smart recycling bins and a system to enable electric vehicle owners to use multiple domestic charging points for a small fee.

Yesterday, Rowan Armstrong from BioLiberty, based in Ireland, secured the grand prize for his assistive robotic glove which strengthens grip for those suffering hand weakness as a result of illness such as arthritis and MS. Congratulations to all involved and we wish all of the finalists future success with their business careers. You can read more about the winners and the contest here.

Genesys Cloud

Earlier this week, we announced that we are including the Genesys Cloud product as part of our Customer Experience sales portfolio. This solution serves contact centers as they're continuing remote operations and they're able to leverage the power of Verizon's network.

Friends & Family

Remember the Friends and Family competition we announced? You can still enter the contest by sharing your Friends & Family code with your network for a chance to win Power Packs, Verizon Gift Cards, Sports Wearables, Smartwatches, Tablets and even 5G Phones! One winner is chosen each week and employees who get 3 of their friends or family to switch in February will be entered to win a new 5G iconic device.

Who needs a call?

It’s a great question. And as Ali reminds us, hearing the voice of a loved one or old friend can make an enormous difference in someone’s day, including your own. So as we head into the weekend, don't forget to connect and share the love!

If you have any questions, email them to

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

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