A shout-out from SXSW.

By: Jennifer Marin

A howdy from Austin where we're helping festival goers unwind. Plus, did you get your special mention?

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On today’s edition of Up To Speed Live, hosts Raquel Wilson and Jen Marin celebrated Pi Day and gave us some updates about our latest exciting partnerships, events and offers.

Pi-Day Payout

Today is Pi Day, and what better way to celebrate than with a Stock Together payout?

Stock Together is a broad-based equity award program that launched in 2020. This is the third year of the program, which means if you have been at Verizon since the first Stock Together grant in 2020, you are now eligible to receive a separate payout from each of the 2020, 2021 and 2022 awards.

Today’s payout is for the second third of the 2021 Stock Together award. Look for all the details about how to access your award in today’s email from Human Resources.

Later this month, you’ll receive information about the payout for the first third of the 2022 Stock Together award that will be paid on March 21. The final third of the 2020 award will be paid on March 28.

Digital Inclusion

Verizon has been recognized by the World Benchmarking Alliance, ranking ninth among the world's 200 most influential digital technology companies advancing a more inclusive digital society.

The World Benchmarking Alliance is committed to fostering a fair and equitable #digitalsociety through global best practices, and we’re proud to be among the top 10.

Our top 10 ranking by the organization also highlights our continued commitment and efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


South By Southwest is in full swing, and members of the tech industry, influencers and media have been able to take advantage of our Recharge on Verizon lounge.

Our lounge features Verizon’s latest gaming technology, the 5G Razer with Gamepass, meditations from +Play partner Calm–and even an interactive hologram from Protocol–all powered by Verizon’s 5G Network.

VCG CEO Sowmyanarayan Sampath also spoke at the Fast Company Grill discussing 5G, talent in the tech industry and what the future holds.

Small Business Digital Ready

One of the businesses at SXSW was Cha Community, a small business that took advantage of Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready. This program equips small businesses with the tools they need to thrive in today’s digital economy.

Jaja Chen and her husband Devin Li are co-owners of Cha Community, a brick-and-mortar restaurant and food truck selling boba tea and pan-fried dumplings.

To overcome their financial challenges, Chen and Li signed up for Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, tapped into the courses and received a $10,000 grant. This gave Jaja enough funding to continue with the opening of her business. Plus, Chen also found that the knowledge she gained from the free personalized courses at Verizon Small Business Digital Ready was just as valuable as the grant.

New Small Business Opportunity

Verizon recently announced that a new grant funding opportunity for small businesses, totaling $500,000, is now available via Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.

From now through May 12th – small businesses can unlock the application for this round of grant funding by first registering on Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, and completing at least two of the following, in any combination: courses, live coaching or community events.

Small businesses that complete the application will be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant.

Launch of +play

If you tuned into the Oscars this past Sunday, you may have seen our latest spot featuring +play, Verizon’s subscription hub to shop, manage and save on your favorite content subscriptions.

For a limited time, Verizon wireless customers can get one year of Netflix’s Premium plan on us through +play, giving customers $240 in annual savings. To get this special offer, customers must purchase an annual subscription from a selection of +play partners, including AMC+, Calm, MasterClass, the Peloton App, STARZ and Super Duolingo.

Plus, 10 new partners are joining the platform, including: Blue Apron, FlixLatino, MasterClass, Paramount+ and more, making +play home to over 20 partners.

Friends & Family discount

With our Friends and Family discount, you can give your loved ones up to $25/mo off new Unlimited postpaid mobile accounts and $10/mo off Fios Gigabit Connection plans when they switch to Verizon online.

In addition to the Friends and Family discount, eligible customers can get added savings when combined with the Mobile + Home Discount.

To share your code, visit the Friends & Family About You page.

Career Day

Last week in Brooklyn, Verizon partnered with New York City Public Schools and the Partnership for New York City, continuing our tradition of participating in Career Discovery Week.

Local 10th graders from the Cultural Academy for Arts and Sciences in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, got to participate in hands-on educational activities involving Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and even a robotics demonstration, exposing these students to a world of tech career possibilities.

This partnership – in alignment with Citizen Verizon – further extends Verizon’s longstanding commitment to digital inclusion and improving student education through accessible tech and comprehensive training programs.

All things Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and last week we hosted an event right here on Up To Speed to celebrate International Women’s Day.

It featured Verizon leaders who discussed building your brand, career development, leadership and even offered professional advice.

Our WAVE employee resource group recently created a microsite to celebrate Women’s History Month, with V Teamers – both in the U.S. and internationally – sharing personal pictures and stories from the women in their lives.

A special social shoutout

To close out the episode, Raquel and Jen gave a shout-out to a few V Teamers who engaged with one of our latest posts on Inside Verizon’s instagram page. Be sure to check out the post and continue to like, comment and share your favorite @InsideVerizon posts on all social platforms.

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

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Tell us what you think of Up To Speed.

About the author(s):

Jennifer Marin is a former local news reporter/anchor. She was born in Colombia but raised in Northern New Jersey. She loves to craft new recipes, create videos, and spend time with her pug, Sweetie.

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