07.28.2020|Inside Verizon

The Staycation currently known as Roadtrip.

By: Andy Choi

Andy’s camper heads to the land of Prince and 10,000 lakes.

A tale of two Andys

If Andy meets his twin brother, then either his mom has some explaining to do or the Staycation Roadtrip must be headed for… the Twin Cities!

Of course, Minnesota is known for its many lakes. Did you know the Los Angeles Lakers were originally from Minneapolis? The name made a lot more sense 70 years ago. Minnesota is also known for its musical royalty, which includes Bob Dylan and Prince, and it’s sports teams, from the two-time world champion Minnesota Twins to the Super Bowl-winning - oops, sorry, four-time Super Bowl-losing - Minnesota Vikings.

From moment to movement

Kidding aside, the summer of 2020 has been a grim one for Minneapolis, with one defining event that brought the city to its knees: George Floyd. The pain of that incident, and the emotional protests that followed, rocked the local community and eventually the entire world. The silver lining is that it caused millions to see racial justice with new eyes, to sit up and listen to those who still experience acts of prejudice and intolerance, and to take action.

The work is far from over, but Verizon continues to forge a path towards stronger connections and real change.

Insight from a local V Teamer

Andy caught up with District Manager Tanya Lahti, who shared her thoughts about how Minneapolis will eventually heal and move forward. She hopes that visitors will see the city as a place of “hope and equality; a city that can take a tragic event and turn it into something meaningful.”

In addition to everything else that she does as a V Teamer, Tanya also volunteers at People Serving People, the largest transitional housing facility in the Minneapolis area. Thank you, Tanya!

MPLS gets 5G

Speaking of connecting people, it was just last spring and summer that our network team brought 5G to the Twin Cities. Verizon Business Group leader Tami Erwin helped launch 5G in Minneapolis in April 2019. Then just a few months later, St. Paul joined the 5G party.

Chocolate Moose

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Droolin’ Moose chocolate shop co-owner Missy Wettstrom was worried her business would melt away. Instead, with the help of Verizon, the team initiated online sales, curbside pickup, free deliveries and parking lot samples. In addition, they made donations to front-line healthcare workers at local hospitals and the Ronald McDonald House.

To continue these sweet sensations, on August 5 we’re paying it forward by sponsoring 100 free cups of Droolin’ Moose chocolate to customers. This will mark the official reopening of Droolin' Moose retail locations which had been doing only curbside pickup and delivery. (Giveaway starts at 10 AM CT and available at the 5007 Excelsior Blvd. Droolin’ Moose location only; limited to one per family for the first 100 families.)

Showing up for customers.

From online chat to touchless retail, we’re giving customers more ways to do business with us and we’ve been getting great feedback. We’re using the hashtag #HereForYou to share extraordinary Verizon customer experiences. Post your customer stories with the HereForYou hashtag, or send them to our mailbox - good@verizon.com.

Finding Novyon

Prince may be gone, but his music continues to inspire and the Minnesota music scene continues to thrive. Local rapper Finding Novyon spoke with Up To Speed and performed one of his original songs.

He also shared a story about one of his shows on the main stage of the legendary Minneapolis concert venue First Avenue. He heard afterward that one unannounced concert-goer who left quietly was none other than His Purpleness, Prince, catching perhaps his last live concert. Now that’s a claim to fame!

That’s all for today, but the Staycation Roadtrip rolls on. Find out where Andy will be this Thursday.

Until next time, you’re up to speed.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

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

Reminder, tune in to Up To Speed Live tomorrow at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT.

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