Verizon Wireless Selected As One Of Nation's Top 50 Corporations For Multicultural Business Opportunities

BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless service provider, today announced that it has been selected as one of the nation's top corporations for multicultural businesses. Verizon Wireless was named to the 2005 Div50 - a list of the Top 50 Corporate Buyers of Diversity Products and Services in the U.S. Over 350,000 woman-and minority-owned businesses in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, food service and professional services had the opportunity to participate in the online election.

Since the company's inception, Verizon Wireless has made it a priority to work with woman-and minority-owned businesses in an effort to have minority participation in every line of business. Verizon Wireless was the first wireless company to join the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and 23 regional affiliate councils. Verizon Wireless also supports the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and a number of national, state and local ethnic chambers of commerce.

Verizon Wireless' Supplier Diversity Initiative offers diversity-owned suppliers the opportunity to moderate and participate on panels and speaking engagements sponsored by advocacy groups in support of woman-and minority-owned businesses. The initiative also offers informal mentoring sessions by hosting on-site business forums. During the mentoring sessions, participants have the opportunity to visit Verizon Wireless, enabling them to learn the company's business and gain a better understanding of what it is like to work with a large corporation. Verizon Wireless, in many instances, provides additional services through its mentoring program, such as covering the cost for diverse suppliers to attend conferences where they can participate in valuable training sessions.

"It is a tremendous honor for Verizon Wireless to be recognized by the multicultural business community," said Gwen Wilson, director — supplier diversity for Verizon Wireless. "Creating opportunities for diversity-owned businesses is an important initiative for Verizon Wireless and we are committed to maintaining strong, mutually beneficial business relationships with these companies well into the future."

The annual Div50 list is produced by, the nation's leading multicultural B2B online portal for diversity businesses and large organizational buyers, and the largest member organization of diversity businesses in the U.S. The Div50 identifies those organizations that provide the highest quality and most substantial business for diversity-owned companies. Selection to the Div50 list is based on such factors as the volume, consistency and quality of business opportunities a company grants to diversity-owned suppliers.

Verizon Wireless' dedication to working with diversity-owned suppliers has been recognized by other diversity focused organizations. Most recently the company was named 2004 Corporation of the Year by the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce — Southwest. In 2003 Verizon Wireless was honored with the "Advancement Award" by the Dallas Women's Covenant in recognition of the company's commitment to purchase from and contract with women-owned businesses.

Verizon Wireless will be honored, along with all other selected companies, during the Multicultural Awards Ceremony and Conference, taking place March 30-April 1, 2005.

To learn more about Verizon Wireless' Supplier Diversity Initiatives please visit  

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at