A shoe-in for great business.

By: Andy Choi
Manager - Corporate Communications

Wendy Taccetta shares how we’re putting our best foot forward for small businesses everywhere.

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On today’s Up To Speed Live, host Andy Choi and special guest, Channel Chief and Senior Vice President for Nationwide Small Business, Wendy Taccetta compared shoe styles. Watch why Wendy likes to do this fun exercise with so many of her teams. The well-heeled duo also shared the following updates:

Helping small business be Digital Ready

It’s National Small Business Week and Wendy reminds us that our very successful Small Business Days have returned, running from September 13-17. We’re being there for Small Businesses by launching a new, no-cost online resource called Verizon Small Business Digital Ready. The content on this site is customized to the needs of the user and includes some amazing content, including learning modules, expert coaching and peer networking. Registered users can apply for grants in support of their small business.

This is all part of our Citizen Verizon commitment to help 1 million small businesses thrive by 2030.

Small business survey results

Wendy also shared some findings released this week from a survey that Verizon conducted with 600 small business owners. The survey found that 68% of small business owners feel more optimism than they did a year ago. The survey also found that these owners are interested in investing in digital tools — including high-capacity internet — but they may not know the specifics of what they need or what’s available. That’s where the knowledge of our team can help these businesses not only survive, but thrive.

“Forty-eight percent of the working population is employed by a small business,” said Wendy. “Every time we help a small business to thrive, we help strengthen a community.”

One example of how the team is always looking for better ways to meet the changing needs of our customers: Wendy was in Butler, NJ, on Friday where they activated a customer in five minutes via a transaction that used to take three hours.

Congrats to Wendy and the entire team for continuing to put their best feet forward!

Hispanic Heritage Month

We’re excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month which kicks off this Wednesday. Have you ever wondered why it starts in mid-September? It’s a way to honor the many Central American countries that declared their independence on or around September 15, including Mexico on September 16 and Chile on September 18. Be on the lookout for more great news and events all throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs until October 15.

And to help get us in an Hispanic state of mind, Andy was rocking his Verizon SOMOS shirt today, which any V Teamer can find on our Brand Shop website.

Kindness in Raleigh

Kindness was on full display over the weekend, as a very special block party took place in Raleigh, NC. Locals enjoyed music, food, art and, of course, kindness at our Kindness Mural in North Hills. Be on the lookout, because our Kindness block party could be making its way to your city in the near future.

Verizon Business Group Global Recognition Day

Last Wednesday, our Verizon Business Group shared hundreds of posts during their first Global Recognition Day, shouting out teammates all through an epic Slack channel takeover. Verizon Business Group Sampath Sowmyanarayan shared his thoughts on the importance of building a culture of acknowledgement.

We want to take a moment to shout out the Business Mid-Markets East team. This incredible team, led by Mark Tina, had their best month ever. They signed on a record-breaking number of businesses who are now new Verizon customers. Well done!


We know that many of you took time this past weekend to reflect on the 20-year anniversary of 9/11. Many took part in our SMS experience that unfolded on our devices on Sunday. “The Untold Story Of Reconnecting New York” brought to light how V Teamers put our Credo into action in the days following 9/11.

We take a moment every year to remember the lives of the three V Teamers we lost that day: Donna Bowen, Derrick Washington and Leonard White. Andy shared a note he received last week from V Teamer Marianne Ofsonka, a member of our Public Sector team in Ashburn, VA.

Marianne shared some beautiful reflections about her colleague and friend Donna Bowen, who lost her life at the Pentagon on 9/11. Marianne wrote:

Donna had a fabulous personality and immediately welcomed me as a friend both in and out of work. She introduced me to two of her co-workers and within a week, I was part of their carpool... The memory of our adventures still makes me smile. I attended her wedding and watched as she had her three babies. She was an outstanding mom and a proud Verizon employee.

Marianne, thank you for that beautiful tribute. This story illustrates the gravity of what so many of our teammates lost that day.

If you missed our 9/12 SMS experience, you can still take part. “The Untold Story of Reconnecting New York” will be available all month. Text 912 to 1-855-660-0912 to opt in.

Wendy Taccetta was reminded about the many V Teamers who were helping on those days following 9/11. “I was part of a group that went into the city and worked out of 37th Street, reconnecting phones, handing out new phones to first responders,” she recalled. “So many of us were doing so many different things. We were everywhere.”

Thanks to all who continue the Verizon tradition of service when our customers and our communities need it most.

9/11 Walk

Many of you have already participated in our company’s virtual 9/11 Volunteer Walk. Just a reminder, this virtual event runs through the end of the month, so please visit our Volunteer Portal, sign up, take that walk and send your messages to our first responders.

Logo fun

Finally, graphic designer Keith Fleck transformed some of “the most iconic and recognizable corporations into branding for the states in which they are headquartered" for a personal project called The Corporate States of America. Nike represented Oregon, Coca Cola represented Georgia, and check out the company representing New York!

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

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

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