Apple picking time.

By: Andy Choi

All the news and inspiring stories from around the V Team, including retired Chief Security Officer Mike Mason.

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Happy Friday! On today’s packed episode of Up To Speed Live, host Andy Choi shared the following updates:

Apple iPhone 13 news

Our resident Gadget Guru George Koroneos reminded all of us that starting today, Verizon employees can purchase the entire family of iPhone 13 phones, including the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13,13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, as well as the new iPads.

Here’s the best part: You can still take advantage of our amazing offer and trade in a select phone on a qualified Unlimited plan and get an iPhone 13 mini, 13 or 13 Pro on us, or $1,000 towards a 13 Pro Max. Even damaged phones can be included in the trade in. That the offer ends October 13, so start shopping today. 

Apple Watch 7

Are we really already on the seventh generation of Apple Watches? Amazing. And what’s more amazing is that orders for the Apple Watch series 7 kick off today and employees can purchase it immediately. They’ll be available widely on October 15. Visit verizon.com for more details. 

And the winner is… Tami Erwin!

Congratulations to Verizon Business Group CEO Tami Erwin for being named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business list for the second consecutive year. Tami is among good company, with the leaders of CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Citi also on the list. 

And this week, Fortune Features Editor Kristen Bellstrom, who oversees The Broadsheet, a Fortune newsletter covering the topics impacting women at work, joined Tami for a special conversation. Among other topics, they discussed the impact of the pandemic on the lives of working people and the future of work.

“I want to share one of the words that I’m trying to use instead of ‘balance’ which is ‘harmony’,” said Tami. “Can I find some harmony in the rhythm of my life — and yes there are seasons in life and choices we make and it’s never going to feel completely balanced, but can I get to a sense of harmony that I feel like I’m comfortable with the choices that I’m making and I’m at peace with that.”

Another J.D. Power win

In its latest customer study, J.D. Power says Verizon ranks highest in the small business segment for wireless service. Earlier this summer, we were also recognized for the same in wireline service. That’s two important categories where we come out on top. Congratulations team!

Enterate gets recognized

Congratulations to Entérate con Verizon. Last night, the show won a BRAVO award from the Hispanic Public Relations Association in the category for Internal Communications. HPRA National ¡BRAVO! Awards are the most prestigious awards in Hispanic communication and the team beat out many other strong contenders. We’re sending big shout-outs to our friends Diana Alvear and Ana Rosella-Ibarra from our Communications team. Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Magda Yrizarry also won the Diversity and Inclusion award. 

A new educational resource for the V Team

If you've been scratching your head when it comes to NFTs, blockchain or quantum technology, there's a new internal resource page called Technical Competency Centers, which is designed to help all employees better understand the relevant technologies and state-of-the-art innovations that teams across the business are working on.  Check out videos, articles, recorded presentations and more, and even meet the Verizon subject matter experts in the seven topic areas. 

South Florida gets a new store

As we continue to get our customers excited about these great devices, let’s shout out the new Verizon retail store that recently opened in the Pembroke Pines area of Miami. According to General Manager Charlette Dacosta, customers are super excited to have the convenience of the new location.

Continuing Kindness

Our Kindness Campaign continues with another Kindness mural in Riverside, CA, by local artist Juan Navarro. The mural has a phrase in Spanish which translates to ‘Be kind to yourself today.’ It’s a great message for all of us. Be on the lookout for more inspiring kindness murals popping up all over the country. 

Young Entrepreneurs Challenge 

Verizon and Unloc are teaming up once again for the Young Entrepreneurs Challenge 2021 in Europe. Now in its fourth year, the challenge aims to encourage and attract dynamic new business leaders of tomorrow. European entrepreneurs 16 to 25 years old are invited to submit their technology-led, startup business concept online. The lucky finalists will then compete head-to-head next February with the winner taking home an €11,000 grand prize, a mentorship and a technology package to launch their business, plus they’ll also receive a ticket to attend the Global One Young World 2022 Tokyo Summit. Read more about the Young Entrepreneurs Challenge here. Good luck to all entrants! 

If you missed yesterday’s Up To Speed, here are some key dates coming up in October:

Women’s CoLab launch

Tune in to the Women's CoLab launch event on Monday starting at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT. Women's CoLab will house a library of free resources to help women advance and grow in their careers. We’re partnering with companies like Accenture, Degreed, The Estee Lauder Companies, Mastercard, Scary Mommy, Walmart and so many others to help women succeed in their career goals. The launch event will feature leaders from across industries speaking on the realities women face and how we can shape a more equitable world. Join the event on Monday and don't forget to follow Women's CoLab on social media.

World Mental Health Day

We’re keeping mental health top of mind this weekend, with World Mental Health Day on Sunday, October 10. Our ADVANCE ERG is hosting a mental health conversation at 1 PM ET/10 AM PT on Wednesday, October 13, hosted by Ken Lain, VP of Customer Service Operations. Ken will share how he prioritizes his mental health.

Accessibility Summit

Our Global Accessibility Summit is taking place October 13-14. As part of the event, Hans will be participating in a fireside chat discussing accessibility at 1:35 PM ET/10:35 PT on October 14. You will not want to miss it! 

Annual benefits enrollment

It’s that time of the year again. Annual Benefits enrollment started this week for Verizon employees in the U.S. It’s time to review your benefits to ensure you have the right coverage for 2022.  If you like what you have today, then you’re good to go. No action is needed as all of your current coverage and spending account elections will automatically carry over to 2022.

Be like Mike 

Finally, a wonderful feel-good story about our beloved former Chief Security Officer Mike Mason. Mike was getting ready to enjoy his retirement when he heard about a desperate need for bus drivers in his community. Mike, who was once the fourth highest official at the FBI, answered the call, volunteering to serve yet again. Imagine how safe you’d feel as a parent to see Mike welcome your child aboard. He said he’s doing it partly to inspire others. Thanks to Mike for continuing to move the world forward, one bus at a time.

Until next time…

Thanks to the two Miami retail V Teams, specifically the Pinecrest and West Pines locations, who helped with today’s signoff. Have a great weekend!

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

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

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