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Verizon Communications Named 'National Corporation of the Year' by The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council for Expanding Business Opportunities for Minority Companies

New York, NY, Nov 28, 2006, DiversityBusiness.com/ --The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council (The Council) named Verizon Communications "National Corporation of the Year" for expanding business opportunities for minority companies during The Council's 2006 Partnership Awards Gala held in November at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The Council presented awards to corporations and institutions that have achieved exceptional accomplishments in building successful business partnerships with New York and New Jersey minority companies during 2006. The New York City School Construction Authority received the "Regional Corporation of the Year Award." The "Coordinator of the Year Award" was presented to G. Kelly Watts, program manager, Global Supplier Diversity, IBM Corporation. A special "Advocate of the Year Award" was presented to Ron Uba, business specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency. Joy P. Crichlow, director of Con Edison's Supplier Diversity Program and chairperson emeritus of The Council, was saluted by The Council's minority businesses for her impact on minority business development. In 2006, The Council's corporate members conducted almost $6 billion in business services with The Council's certified minority businesses.

This year, the U.S. Census officially announced that New York City has the largest number of African American, Asian American and Hispanic American owned-businesses in the nation. The Council "Supplier of the Year Award" was granted to four outstanding Council-certified minority-owned businesses. Each of these businesses honored had revenues ranging from under $1 million to over $200 million. The minority businesses honored for their achievements were: Alphagraphics of Edison, NJ; The Switzer Group of New York City, Deluxe Delivery Systems of New York City, and Global Consultants, Inc. of Morristown, NJ. The Partnership Awards' corporate co-chair was Jacqueline L. Rosa, executive director at Morgan Stanley, and the minority business co-chair was Lanre Olotu, president and CEO of Printing Methods, Inc. Harriet Michel, president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, was a featured presenter. The host for the evening was Emmy Award winner Dana Tyler, co-anchor of New York's CBS 2 News at 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. weeknights.

"Thanks to the instrumental support and guidance of corporate members and minority business-owners, The Council has initiated successful networking events, program development, and education courses that have made a major impact helping expand opportunities for our certified minority business owners," explained Lynda Ireland, president, New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council. "We are aware that minority businesses have to work harder, to be better and more competitive to gain access to major corporate contracts. The Council is committed and dedicated to prying open more and more doors for our certified minority businesses and to continue to prove to our corporate members that the business case for diversity is real and substantial."

The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. identifies minority suppliers; certifies bona-fide minority business enterprises; and facilitates procurement opportunities between Corporate America and Council-certified minority suppliers. That supplier group includes Asian Indian-American, Asian Pacific-American, African-American, Hispanic- American and Native-American businesses located throughout downstate New York (Albany and below) and Northern and Central New Jersey including Trenton. The Council's corporate membership consists of the largest private, public and foreign-owned firms; in addition to government agencies and educational institutions.

Verizon was selected as America's Top Organization for Multicultural Business Opportunites for supporting Women and Diversity Owned companies by DiversityBusiness.com for the Year 2005.

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