Making a difference is a way of life for this military veteran and V Team recruiter.
By: Rebecca Nicole Laming
Dedicating time and service to improve the world takes on a new meaning for Jorge Hernandez, who is celebrating his first anniversary with Verizon tomorrow as a recruiter.
Jorge served in the military and was attracted to Verizon based on the company's commitment to giving back and a strong track record for supporting the military community. In his short tenure with Verizon, Jorge has built an impressive volunteer resume: Writing letters to veterans through Operation Gratitude, walking in support of mental health with NAMI, and showing his gratitude to first responders.
Like Jorge, you can make a difference across our social responsibility pillars: Digital Inclusion, Climate Protection, and Human Prosperity.
Check out our Volunteer Portal and select from over 150 virtual activities that contribute to our company-wide goal of 2.5 million volunteer hours by 2025. Read on to learn more about Jorge and let’s wish him a happy V Team anniversary.
Q: What inspired you to sign up for the Volunteer Platform?
A: Volunteering is simply a way of life for me, but COVID-19 has been a devastating force for so many people and communities. I signed up for the Volunteer Platform after learning about the isolation many older adults are experiencing while separated from their loved ones in quarantine. At that point in your life, you should be able to enjoy every moment and be around the people you love. It saddened me that older adults, especially veterans, felt alone during this challenging time. I got my entire family involved and we created letters for older adults and veterans to brighten their day. I was also excited to support first responders who are heroes on the front line and deserve to be celebrated.
Q: What causes have you volunteered for?
A: I understand sacrifice, being part of the military during 9/11, so I gravitate towards volunteer opportunities like writing letters to older veterans or providing meals to troops overseas. Leveraging my experience in recruitment and talent acquisition, I mentor young students and military members by helping them prepare for interviews and develop their resumes. I also walked 30 miles in a week for NAMI to raise awareness for mental health.
Q: Why is it important to give back during COVID-19?
A: I have a soft spot for first responders and work directly with them when enlisted. Here in Chicago, I have family members who are nurses, and I would do anything to show my support for their heroic efforts. I pray they stay healthy as they continue their noble battle.
Q: How important is it to work for a company that encourages volunteer activities?
A: Other than serving in the military, I have never worked for a company that promotes volunteerism and emphasizes the importance of service like Verizon. I am proud to be a part of a company that encourages its employees to take action and give back. It's good to know when the gears need to be shifted to serve a larger purpose, the V Team comes together to support each other and those in need.
Q: How do your volunteer efforts make a difference?
A: I have not seen my grandmother since this crisis started, and I don't want her to forget her great-grandchildren. While sending flowers are lovely, they don't last. That inspired me to create as many origami as possible to include in letters to older adults and veterans. Our entire family sat down to write messages, and we made memories together with each fold of the origami. The smallest things mean the most and I believe that our messages and origami made people smile. That’s just awesome.
David Turner’s 16 years as a volunteer police officer continues a calling to serve his community.
David Turner has three full-time jobs: Dad, project manager within Verizon Business and a volunteer police officer with the Wiltshire Police Force in the United Kingdom.
After briefly serving in the British Army, David felt compelled to continue service to country, so he volunteered to protect and serve his greater community as a Special Constable — a role that’s more important than ever during COVID.
One of more than 200 volunteers fulfilling this vital role, which carries nearly equal responsibility of paid officers, David shines as he dedicates more than 50 hours per month — well above the 16-hour minimum — across nights, weekends and holidays.
With 16 years under his belt, David has no plans to stop. Especially because during COVID, he believes his service has become increasingly important, providing invaluable community reassurance and answering domestic violence calls, among other duties.
Thank you David for being on the frontlines when you’re needed most. We’re proud to call you a V Teamer.
Skyward supports companies finding new uses for drones during the pandemic.
Historically, humans have used every tool at their disposal to fight viruses.
Fortunately, in the current battle against COVID-19, we have a new high tech weapon: Drones. Skyward, a Verizon company, is a key part of that effort, providing drone software, training and services to commercial businesses.
“Skyward customers are using drones in so many unique ways,” said Jessica Moody, Director of Marketing and Communications for Skyward. “But now, during the pandemic, they’re finding even more ways to use them and get more value out of drones.”
One of those companies is SkySkopes, a professional drone service operator. “Probably the most important and potentially effective use of unmanned aircraft systems in response to COVID-19 is the ability to fly drones and spray disinfectant in target locations,” said Matt Dunlevy, the President and CEO of SkySkopes. “We were able to get this research going and we now feel that drones spraying disinfectant will be effective once the efficacy is approved.”
Matt’s teams are also looking at using unmanned aircraft systems to test different airframes -- the basic structure of the aircraft -- and different flight profiles for delivery. “This wouldn’t be just delivery of food and basic necessities for people who might be sheltering in place,” explained Matt. “We can also use unmanned aircraft to deliver medical supplies to health personnel from distribution points, even hospitals. We feel we’re making progress to demonstrate that this works, in no small part due to our partnerships with Skyward.”
Another company that has turned to drones to help weather the current crisis is Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham, AL.
“The construction industry has been affected by COVID because many of the job site activities that were previously allowed, including job site walkthroughs with the owners or stakeholders, have been postponed,” said Ryan Hittie, Innovation Specialist for Brasfield & Gorrie. “With drones, we’ve been able to keep our job sites documented and keep the stakeholders involved with 2D maps, 3D models and even a job walkthrough with a drone tracking us, so that the client could be right there with us.”
Ryan believes his clients see the value of using drones. “A lot of them get excited about the thought of seeing a livestream drone walkthrough, said Ryan. “They've seen the potential to keep the job going regardless of who is on-site or who is not.”
It’s clients like these finding new uses for drones to help their communities that gets Jessica excited to work at Skyward. “Just the fact that we’re able to be a small part of helping them deploy drones and take advantage of this technology is really inspiring to us.”
Christine Rudkin brings masks to those working on the front lines in Long Island.
Christine Rudkin, a Marketing Manager from Garden City, NY, had been seeing the number of COVID-19 cases in her Long Island community skyrocketing.
“I have a daughter who is a PA (physician’s assistant) who has been reassigned to COVID emergency room care,” said Christine. “I wanted to help people on the front lines like my daughter, but I didn’t know how.”
One day Christine saw a group on Facegroup called Stitched Together Long Island. “All of these women across the country were sewing these masks and I thought that was so cool,” said Christine. “So I reached out and asked what can I do? How can I help? And they said, ‘We really need runners.’ I was all in.”
With the support of her leadership team, Christine began picking up donations and delivering masks to those on the front lines. The feedback she received showed the impact she and her group were making.
“I just dropped off some masks at a halfway house and as I was walking away a guy came out and said ‘Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this means to us!’” recalled Christine. “It just made me feel like this is making a difference to people.”
To date 40,000 masks have been created and delivered.
“It feels amazing,” said Christine. “It’s really nice to go out into your community and be a help.”
Our COVID-19 Leave program allows select medically trained and certified employees to volunteer full time.
Fred Ackerly, a network technician of 21 years from Wanaque, NJ, loves helping others.
“Volunteering has always been a big part of me,” said Fred. “At one point I had said to myself, ‘what would be better than joining the First Aid squad?’ Then, once I joined, my goal was to become an EMT, which I achieved last year.”
By making it possible for highly skilled volunteers like Fred to take a leave of absence to help, Verizon is finding new ways to support those impacted by the coronavirus.
“As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re offering our medically trained and certified employees a fully paid leave of absence to go out on the front lines and assist those communities hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Tre Holder, Senior Analyst, Talent Acquisition.
This was welcome news to Fred. “As soon as I heard about the leave program I was on it. I knew my squad was hurting. We’re shorthanded, especially now. I couldn’t get the application in fast enough.”
For the next eight weeks, Fred will be on leave from his regular job at Verizon so that he work full time on the front lines with his town’s first aid squad - a daunting challenge during a pandemic. “I’m a little nervous being on the forefront of the virus,” said Fred. “But I’m excited. I look forward to being able to serve my community and be there for them.”
The community is more than happy to have him. “People like Fred don’t come along very often, so when you find someone like him, you’re very grateful,” said Wanaque First Aid Captain Patty Norton. “He’ll be scheduled for duty not only nights, but day shifts and weekends.”
In the fight against a deadly virus, Fred is a hero, yet he is the one who appears the most thankful.
“This opportunity has me speechless,” he said. “So many people are getting laid off, going on unemployment, and here my company is paying me to be a full-time EMT for my volunteer organization. Words can’t describe that. It’s overwhelming.”
The V Team supports a basic training graduation livestream from Fort Jackson.
“You only graduate from basic training in the Army once, so it’s pretty cool that we’re doing this.”
That’s Larry Bair, a Field Network Assurance Engineer, speaking from Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC. The fort is the largest and most active initial entry training center in the U.S. Army, training 50 percent of all soldiers and 60 percent of the women soldiers entering the Army each year.
“Usually, every week there is a graduation ceremony and family members would come in from all over the country,” said Larry. With the new COVID-19 restrictions not allowing large gatherings, there was going to be no way for family and friends to experience this spring’s graduations - so the Army reached out to Verizon for potential solutions.
“We brought in the SPOT (“Satellite Picocell on Trailer”) to allow the Army to livestream the ceremony so that family members can view it remotely,” explained Larry. “The SPOT was designed for first responders to communicate with each other in a crisis, but COVID-19 has showed us that we can use these in a different capacity.”
Often focused on the technical aspects of his job, Larry doesn’t always get to experience customers enjoying the fruits of his labor.
“On a normal day, you don’t get to see the gratitude and that you’re making an impact,” said Larry. “But when I saw the livestream and all the happy people, it really affected me. I’m very proud to be involved.”
V teamers bring their 3D printers to the fight against COVID-19.
3D printers have the power to create amazing things like prototypes, tools, even prosthetics. Now, these printers are producing face shields to help our healthcare heroes stay safe and healthy on the front lines. V Teamers from all over stepped up to do their part in producing this important protective gear for those who need it most.
Driven by their personal drive to protect family and friends on the front lines, DMTS Derek Ohlarik teamed up with Technology Manager Sanjeev Gupta to print visors used in face masks. Sanjeev enlisted the help of K-12 students in the Livingston Robotics Club. The robotics club is keeping the printer online 24/7 in an effort to make 12 visors per day with 350 masks assembled and distributed throughout the New York-New Jersey metro area.
Associate Technology Fellow Tim Bennington-Davis, who works with the systems and maintenance engineering team in Ashburn, VA, is getting his robotics club involved. “A dozen high school students working with 3D printers in the safety of their home can produce about 100 masks in a week. Adult mentors like myself do the final assembly and distribution,” explains Tim. “It shows how the volunteer duties of V-Teamers can quickly transform into an alliance of high school students ready to help those in our community at risk.”
Cris Pierry, who works in project management for Verizon Media, has been running his personal 3D printer in his Sunnyvale home for 24 hours a day producing face shields and face masks. His local group recently delivered 475 face shields to medical facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The printing instructions for the face shield can be found here.
Field Engineer Tony Bruno printed a small piece for face masks worn by hospital staff that holds the elastic off the back of the ears for a more comfortable fit.
“I received a call from my brother Al Bruno who works at the Vassar Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY,” remembered Tony. “He was wondering if I could help. I set my printer to work. The first small batch was delivered the next morning to everyone’s delight.”
Will Kalman, who works in client services management out of Irvine, CA, rallied his community to raise funds for materials and for an increasing number of volunteers using their home 3D printers to make the headband part.
“I’ve gotten together with a couple other makers and some local businesses to make face shields for local hospitals who have none and are in desperate need,” reports Will. “In fact, these hospitals have told us they were planning on taping overhead projector film to their faces in lieu of proper shields. Yikes!”
The design for the headband piece is available here.
Thank you for everyone contributing to this incredible grassroots effort. To find ways how you can get involved, check out the volunteer site.
The Verizon Response team connects a temporary hospital in Louisville’s Expo Hall.
With more than 1.2 million square feet of indoor space, the Kentucky Exposition Center hosted numerous conventions, trade shows and fairs, including the annual Kentucky State Fair and the National Farm Machinery Show.
But it is likely serving its most important function right now.
As the Bluegrass State deals with the impact of COVID-19, Exposition Hall is being transformed into a temporary hospital that will hold hundreds of patients. The Verizon Response team was called in to provide critical communication infrastructure.
“Currently we have deployed a mobile command center (MCC), which will allow the first responders to use One Talk,” reported Enterprise Sales Operations Manager Jason Mitchell of the Verizon Response team. The team is providing other equipment as well, including fax capabilities and phones for patients.
Jason and his team are proud to be supporting fellow first responders on a project which may ultimately save numerous lives. “This is a collaboration between the International Guard and the Kentucky National Guard, so it’s a lot of heroic folks doing great work out here on the front lines.”
Our sincere thanks to Jason and the Verizon Response team for once again running to the crisis and moving the world forward.
Staying close from far away
It’s not easy to mail hugs, but a lot of you did the next best thing by sharing some great ways to stay close to family far away this past holiday weekend.
Retail General Manager Nicole Van Dyke’s family traced themselves with open arms, decorated their life-size cutouts, and mailed their artistic hugs to grandma and grandpa.
Virtual Passover Seders took place all over the world and V Teamers Lauren Delaney and Gary Isaac from Human Resources say it was one one of the most memorable celebrations they’ve had.
The Easter Bunny got some serious help from Consumer Systems Senior Analyst Kristal Myers Nimmons’ family, who made some very special deliveries for aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. They all received homemade Easter cards and candy.
Many of you reached out to grandparents over the holiday. That’s why we’re making our next “Good Mailbox” challenge all about our seniors.
How are your older loved ones doing? Are they thriving like Nick’s grandma, using Facetime to read to the grandkids? How are you helping them manage right now?
Share your pics, videos and stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Thanks again for sending all your good stories to us.
V Teamers connect Fort Totten, a new base for New York City’s first responders.
On a typical spring day, New Yorkers flock to Fort Totten Park in Queens to birdwatch or paddle a canoe around the preserved Civil War fortress.
But not this spring.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the New York metro area, government officials developed a plan to use the park as a base of operations for the military, fire department, up to 300 ambulances, and as a potential site for a field hospital. But before any of that could happen, Fort Totten’s infrastructure needed some critical 21st century updates.
“There was nothing in the park,” said Billy Iacovetta, Construction Manager. “The communications needed to be set up so the first responders could be reached at a moment’s notice.”
Part of the challenge of setting up a COW (cell on wheels) in the park was the compressed timeline. “It typically takes days and days to get this going,” explained Brian Casserly, Construction Manager. “However, we were able to use a new asset that had only come ten days earlier and have it out here fully constructed in less than four hours.”
At the same time, a landline crew got a jump on installing new fiber in the street. Field Technician Christopher Alessi helped get the job done. “It was non-stop. We’re running from one manhole to the next, fibers weren’t making it. It was tough.”
“They worked really hard physically and mentally,“ said Billy. ”That’s a tricky area. They’ve changed the roads. We would look for one road that was no longer there anymore.”
“We worked through several issues and were able to deliver the fibers and turn on the circuit at the end of the same day,” said Construction Manager Gerhard Roethel.
“What’s special about it is how quickly it all came together,” commented Christopher. “It took a lot of communication and coordination.”
Billy can’t say enough about the quick work the team accomplished together. “We did something that is going to save some lives.”
Brain Casserly agrees. “We should all be proud that we’re all out here helping all of our other first responders.”
Special thanks to Brian, Billy, Gerhard, Christopher and all of the following V Teamers who played key roles in getting Fort Totten connected and ready for their fellow first responders.
Ahmad Roshdy Abderrassoul
Khondoker Kudrati Khoda
Introducing the new Inside Verizon app.
Introducing the Inside Verizon app.
With so many of us working in new and different ways, we’ve developed an employee app that will make it easier to receive updates and stay connected with our company.
Here’s what you need to know about the Inside Verizon app:
Anyone can download the app onto their work or personal devices from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. If you don’t have the direct link, just search for ‘Inside Verizon’.
The app is a great way to hear the latest about what’s going on at Verizon without having to login or use VPN.
It will help you easily access Up To Speed Live with Hans, Christy and Jeremy, our employee coronavirus resource pages and all of our stories and videos, including Up To Speed Morning Edition.
You can even personalize your feed in the Topics section and “like” your favorite content.
This app is another way that we’re evolving our communication tools as our business and personal lives evolve every day, so that we can continue to reach all of our V Team.
Verizon is prepared to serve customers during COVID-19 crisis
Steve Van Dinter Rich Young
- Our networks are engineered to manage anticipated increases in traffic
- Due to economic circumstances related to the coronavirus and to keep customers connected during this economic and global crisis; Verizon waives late fees for those impacted by COVID-19
- We are Investing in our economy by increasing our capital guidance range from $17 - $18 billion to $17.5 - $18.5 billion in 2020
- Expanding work from home policy to include reduction of some retail locations across the country
- We are tripling our data allowance for Verizon Innovative Learning schools; $10 million to nonprofits directed at supporting students and first responders.
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – During this unprecedented period challenging the world’s health and economy, Verizon stands ready to serve our customers.
Verizon’s networks have been engineered to perform during moments of crisis and disaster such as hurricanes, snow storms and flooding. During this time of heightened worry and concern, our primary goal is to keep our customers, employees and society connected to the things that matter most to them: their family, friends and business customers.
Verizon is closely monitoring network usage in the most impacted areas. We will work with and prioritize network demand in assisting many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies, as needed. We will provide updates to our consumer and business customers on our network performance, offering help and support for their connectivity needs, tips on how to work in this new environment and more.
We encourage you to check here daily for updates.
A letter from Hans Vestberg on Verizon's response to COVID-19
Steve Van Dinter Rich Young
The world’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response is evolving swiftly. Our customers - whether they’re first responders, teachers, students, families, hospitals, government agencies or society at-large - rely on us to keep them connected. Therefore balancing our employees’ safety against the need to continue to support critical services and infrastructure is paramount.
During this pandemic we are all being encouraged to practice social distancing to slow down the spread and flatten the curve. Last week, we implemented a work-from-home strategy and are now rapidly expanding it to include more members of our team.
As part of our next phase, we are reducing the number of Verizon stores that remain open. However, our customers can still get the support and services they need 24/7 by visiting verizonwireless.com/support/, calling 800.922.0204 or using the MyVerizon app.
We know this is a difficult time and to alleviate the impact that some of our customers may experience, earlier this week we announced that for the next 60 days, we will waive late fees our residential or small business customers may incur because of the economic circumstances related to the coronavirus. And we will not terminate service to any of our residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to hardships caused by the coronavirus.
We will continue to address these and other critical pandemic issues impacting our employees, customers and society. You should also know that our networks and our people stand ready to serve our customers at work, at home and remotely—including first responders and those protecting the public—when critical connectivity is needed most.
Investing in our network for when it’s needed most.
Boosting investment in our network.
Hans Vestberg was on CNBC yesterday to discuss how our networks stand ready to serve customers. He also announced we’ll be investing even more into our networks, increasing our overall capital investment to as much as $18.5 billion in 2020. This effort will accelerate our transition to 5G and help support the economy during this period of disruption.
“We will do everything to see that all of this critical infrastructure is up and running and giving the right support for all of the customers we have: consumers, government, small and medium enterprises,” said Hans. “In these times it’s important to show the market and the country that there are people investing because it’s needed in the country right now. Verizon feels a responsibility and we’re doing that.”
Hearing from our leaders
Let’s find out from some of our leaders exactly how we’re serving our customers as their world continues to change every day.
Sampath Sowmyanarayan, President of Enterprise:
“It’s important that we remain versatile. We do some very complicated work for large enterprises; some of the largest airlines in the world, some of the largest banks. They rely on us to run their core infrastructure. We’re going to see a lot of remote workers, so how do you change the ways of working to help them get things done in a remote environment?”
Krista Bourne, President of Consumer Sales & Operations:
“I often tell people in the field we are lifestyle managers. This is what we do. Our job is to help enable the lifestyle choices of our customers and the communities we serve. And, we do that best with connections; we do that best by knowing what their needs are and connecting that to a solution; making sure we’re there for them in their moment.”.
Julie Slattery, VP, Network & Field Operations:
"For the network team this is really what we do. We prepare regularly. You know, preparedness and reliability, it's in our DNA. We put in the hard work every day. We’re here. We’re ready to serve our customers with the best network."
Thank you to all of our engineers who provide the reliability our customers have come to expect. We create the networks that move the world forward -- and right now our Purpose is more meaningful than ever because when the world moves in unpredictable ways, being the best network matters. Period.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 series launches tomorrow; George gives us his top 5 features.
The wait is almost over.
Ready for 5G Built Right.
The Galaxy S20 5G series taps into Verizon’s lightning-fast 5G Ultra Wideband network, as well as our low-band 5G network going live later this year. With our 5G Ultra Wideband network, you’ll be able to game with near-zero lag time and upload photos and videos to your favorite content-sharing platform as fast as you can shoot.
A revolutionary new camera system.
These devices offer not one, not two, not three, but four cameras! The Galaxy S20+ 5G includes a 64-megapixel camera with 30x Space Zoom, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G offers a massive 108-megapixel camera with a jaw-dropping 100x Space Zoom.
The devices can also shoot in 8K with Super Steady anti-rolling stabilization and AI motion analysis, smoothing out even the bumpiest videos. What’s more? You can upload your 8K videos directly to YouTube using Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.
The Galaxy S20 features Samsung’s gorgeous Infinity-O Display that gives you a cinematic viewing experience now with a 120Hz refresh rate display for lightning-fast touch response and super-smooth graphics.
Down to business.
Beyond the ability to connect to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network to help run your business, the Galaxy S20 also offers great security features. The Galaxy S20 series is protected by Knox, the military-grade mobile security platform that protects the device from the chip level through the software level. You also get access to Samsung’s DeX, which turns your phone into a personal computer.
Powered by a big, intelligent battery, the S20+ comes with a 25W fast charger and the Ultra supports 45W super-fast charging to get you up and running in minutes
Recapping the Women’s History Month webcast, a Nashville tornado recovery update and STEM stories past and present.
Nashville post-storm recovery update.
Our thoughts remain with the communities affected by the tornado in Middle Tennessee. Verizon will be providing relief to those in the Nashville area with free calls, texts and data relief.
In addition, the Verizon Response Team has been deployed with mobile network assets headed to the hardest hit areas, including a SPOT (Satellite PicoCell on a Trailer) to Cookeville and four more SPOTs and a COLT (Cell on Light Truck) on standby.
The Verizon Foundation announced a $10,000 donation to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
And a reminder -- please consider donating to our VtoV Employee Relief Fund to support our V Teamers in Tennessee.
Watch the replay of the Women’s History Month webcast.
Light the way.
That was the message from the Women’s History Month webcast which featured inspiring words from leaders Christy Pambianchi, Kyle Malady, Rima Qureshi and Kia Wilson, as well as an insightful panel discussion with next gen leaders moderated by BUILD host and V Teamer Brittany Jones-Cooper.
“Even though today we’re celebrating the remarkable milestone of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote there is always more we can do,” said Christy Pambianchi. “And that is where we are looking for all of your participation so that we can continue to be a leader in this area.”
Participants and audience members were also treated to the inspiring power of the collective female voice of the Kent Place School Chamber Singers.
Other Women’s History Month events.
Throughout the month we’ll continue to recognize the triumphs women have fought hard to achieve as we thank all those who’ve blazed the arduous trail toward equality and inclusion.
Here are some key events.
- “Today’s Wonder Women,” a BUILD conversation with Tami Erwin, author Asha Dahya, and activists Estefani Alarcon and Fraidy Reiss on Wednesday, March 18 at 4PM ET
- A discussion on women’s health presented by Verizon and BUILD in late March
- A Global Day of Volunteering sponsored by WAVE/WIN on Friday, March 20, to give back to local communities. Head to our Volunteer Platform to learn more.
Congrats to all of the graduates of this year’s Women of the World (WOW) program, including Up To Speed’s own Sravya Gajjala. WOW is a seven month program designed to develop and retain female business leaders by providing them with the time to invest in themselves. Participants are grouped into squads, each led by a squad leader, with a focus on professional brand, self leadership, effective communication, critical thinking and owning your career.
“My number one takeaway in this entire journey has been to be more authentic and to be yourself,” said Sravya.
Stay tuned for more details on how you can get involved in this program later this year.
A STEM role model for women: Our own Nicki Palmer.
Speaking of female success stories, we need look no further than our own Chief Product Development Officer Nicki Palmer. Seen here at her high school graduation, Nicki recently shared on LinkedIn how the encouragement and support of her parents helped instill in her a love of math and science from an early age. She eventually followed in her father’s footsteps and enrolled in the Penn State Engineering program. She urges each of us, no matter our skill level, to volunteer our time to help educate young women about what engineers really do and how meaningful and fun these careers can be.
Yeehaw! Encouraging STEM in the Lone Star state.
Speaking of educating our young women, we recently hosted fantastic STEM events at three middle schools inTexas, which were attended by over 200 young women in the seventh- and eighth-grades.
Our Global Network & Technology Women of the World graduates were part of this effort, led by Abby Knowles on Genia Wilbourn’s Global Network & Assurance team, who also served as executive champion.
Yahoo celebrates 25 years and opens a time capsule. 🎂
As Yahoo turns 25, it looks to the past... and the future.
Back in 2006, Yahoo partnered with the Smithsonian to capture the world’s thoughts and feelings. Customers around the globe were asked to share their hopes, fears and fascinations. 170,000 submissions were submitted in various forms (emails, videos, drawings, etc.), which were then organized and stored together as the world’s largest digital time capsule.
That capsule has been locked deep in the archives of the Smithsonian -- unseen by human eyes -- until it was taken out yesterday and reopened as part of Yahoo’s 25th birthday party. The world will see what has changed since 2006 and what remains the same.
- 97K+ pictures
- 35K+ written messages
- 1.6K+ drawings
- 750+ videos
- 450+ audio recordings
Check out Verizon Media’s webcast on VZWeb featuring the time capsule reveal and thoughts from leaders on what’s in the pipeline for the future.
Verizon acquired Yahoo in 2017, beginning an exciting next chapter for the company. “What a remarkable journey Yahoo has had over the last 25 years with all of the innovation and great products that we have seen come out,” said Hans Vestberg. “And the last two years as well, as we, together with Verizon 2.0, have integrated for a stronger story for our customers. Happy 25th birthday to Yahoo.”
Women’s History Month webcast.
Our webcast celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is scheduled for today at 11 AM ET. This year, our theme is “Light The Way,” to acknowledge the progress we’ve made for women’s equality as we continue moving forward to create opportunities for future generations of women to thrive and lead.
Be sure to check it out.
Head to the coronavirus resource page for updates.
We’re learning new developments about the COVID-19 coronavirus every day. As always, your health and safety remains our top priority.
With that in mind, we want to ensure that all V Teamers know about our coronavirus resource page on VZWeb. There, you can find updates from the CDC, health and job safety information, travel restrictions and a link to ask questions (our Verizon Media friends can access this information on "The Street").
It’s all part of keeping you informed as we navigate this together.
Mobile Edge Computing is more than just child’s play.
Even for a tech-savvy millennial like me, some concepts can be confusing. I find the easiest way to learn -- or teach -- is to break things down into simple terms, as if talking to a child.
So who better to teach me about MEC than a 7-year-old?
Ava Carnes, daughter of V Teamer Lauren Schulz, described MEC in terms I could understand: Ice cream.
If you live in the suburbs and want to go for a treat, you wouldn’t drive all the way to the big city; you’d go to your local shop.
In the same way, imagine you live in a smart home and you give a command to your lamp. Currently, that data needs to be transmitted to cloud servers that may be hundreds of miles away, analyzed and then a command is sent back to the lamp to switch on.
But with Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), the command only has to travel to a “mini cloud” that exists in your own neighborhood. By performing processing tasks closer to you, the end user, it improves the performance of applications and our network. The result? An Internet of Things (IoT) that will be smarter, faster, more responsive and more efficient than ever before.
To learn more about the power of MEC, watch the VTalk with Kyle Malady, Srini Kalapala and Valerie Feldmann and another on MEC strategy and partnerships.
Thanks, Ava! You made us all a little smarter. Now, can you help me with my taxes?
V Teamers give back in big ways in Miami
Celebrating Unsung Heroes
Part of our mission here at Verizon is to move the world forward by giving back.
That’s why we sponsored an Unsung Heroes luncheon in Miami, FL, last week with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Employees and volunteers packed hundreds of care packs for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors as part of the NFL’s Huddle for 100 volunteerism campaign.
V Teamers pack disaster kits for Red Cross:
Also last week in Miami, volunteers from the Verizon Business Group gathered outside Hard Rock Stadium to build 500 disaster kits for the Red Cross. These kits will be distributed to people in need after a hurricane or natural disaster strikes the area.
“This team lives in this area and it’s our families that get displaced,” said Jennifer Terrell, Field Marketing Manager. “To be able to do this for other people in the community, it feels really good.” From first aid supplies to personal hygiene items, the kits contain all the basic necessities a person or family would need in a time of crisis.
“We need to make sure that whenever that crisis comes, we’re already prepared and ready to assist our customers,” said Melissa Frazier, Public Safety Marketing Manager. “They depend on us not only for the best network, they also depend on us to help with their basic needs whenever they’re in a crisis.”
Eli Manning and our One More Sunday ad:
In our new ‘One More Sunday’ ad, former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning urges fans across the country to use the time they devoted to watching football during the NFL season to come together to make a positive impact in their communities during the off season.
At the same time, V Teamers and celebrities like Russell Wilson, Luke Bryan and Pearl Jam have been sharing the ad on Twitter for the causes they’re supporting and Verizon has pledged $1 for every retweet. So far it’s been retweeted over 8,000 times.
We made a bold commitment to dedicate 2.5M volunteer hours by 2025 to make an impact in the areas of digital inclusion, climate protection, and human prosperity.
Head over to verizon.com/volunteer to see how you can make an impact in your community.
Here’s how we’re showing up at the Super Bowl and beyond.
Not all networks are created equal. We build things right.
Our leadership positioning is built on our reputation of trust, reliability and performance —our 5G is built right for moments that matter. No moment matters more than when lives are on the line. You may have seen some of our new TV spots bringing to life what 5G will do for first responders, and how it has the industrial strength and power to help them save lives.
We set a goal to volunteer 2.5M hours by 2025, and now we are joining forces with the NFL to create the country’s biggest volunteer network. We ask everyone to give One More Sunday after the season ends to come together and volunteer in their communities. I hope you visit GiveOneMoreSunday.com, then follow the link to our employee volunteer site, to see how you can get involved and help us reach our goals.
On the ground in Miami.
All week long we’re demonstrating the power of our 5G Ultra Wideband network through a variety of enhanced experiences and installations that bring to life how 5G will transform the NFL fan experience.
- A 360 degree interactive experience that demonstrates what the future of football will look like on 5G.
- An in-stadium app that utilizes AR and allows fans to watch the game from multiple camera angles on 5G.
- The very first 5G enabled camera broadcasting live from the big game.
After the Super Bowl, the ground and pound will continue.
On Monday, we will be sharpening our 5G message by introducing new ads featuring engineers around the country who are demonstrating the power of 5G UWB. Not only are we building 5G out across the country but our 5GUWB is "10X faster than some other 5G networks". Just more evidence that there's 5G, then there's Verizon 5G.
Here’s some fun facts to share with your friends and family.
- Our 4G LTE we currently have across the country today is actually faster than some 5G nationwide networks.
- We recently won an important speed test from Rootmetrics who validated our 4G LTE is faster than other nationwide 5G in the markets they tested.
Now check out the social posts. One stars some of our amazing network engineers. The other, comedian Jenny Slate.
The Chiefs, Niners and our network engineers prepare for Miami's big event.
From San Francisco to Kansas City to South Florida, football excitement is running high. The players and coaches on the 49ers and Chiefs have worked all season to reach this point.
But they’re not the only ones.
Our network engineers have been on the ground in Miami for two years to ensure the network is ready for the big game. That includes building all kinds of amazing fan experiences at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium with 5G Ultra Wideband service all around the venue.
“Preparing for this game takes a lot of people,” said engineer Ramesh Toolsie. “From design, construction, implementation, testing and troubleshooting, our team made it happen.”
Benefits that will last long after the big game
There are dozens of 5G nodes in and around the stadium, hundreds of antennas, some even under the seats. The good news is that these network investments are not temporary.
“We’ve invested $80 million to enhance our capacity,” said engineer Sergei Mislevy. “These are improvements that our customers and visitors can enjoy long after the big game throughout the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area.”
Stay tuned for much more from Miami over the next week as we march toward the big game.
Our jaw-dropping 5G Pro Bowl experience and a speed test shocker: T-Mobile’s 5G vs Verizon 4G LTE.
This year’s Pro Bowl, NFL’s all-star game, took place in Orlando, FL, last Sunday. But 200 miles south in Miami, fans at the Verizon 5G Stadium experienced it like no one else.
We live-streamed a unique 360-degree view of the game in 8K over our 5G connection. This is the first time in history a game like this has been delivered this way - another first for Verizon. The immersive experience transported viewers in the Verizon 5G Stadium onto the Pro Bowl field in Orlando, while showcasing future potential applications for 5G.
“Watching the video stream inside the dome over our 5G network was very cool because you are immersed in the technology,” said Danny Driggers, Verizon engineer. “You feel like you’re there. You can feel every bit of it. It’s absolutely the future.”
“We are tremendously excited and proud to be part of this team that was the first ever to deliver 8k content over 5G,” said Verizon engineer Arleny Valle. “Not only that, we had actual players sit with us and comment about how groundbreaking this truly is and how they would love to bring that content home with them.”
A shocking speed test result
We put T Mobile’s 5G network to the test - an actual speed test - against our 4G LTE network.
That’s right, their 5G vs. our 4G LTE. It shouldn’t be close and it wasn’t.
Our 4G LTE network blew T-Mobile’s 5G away, showing once again that you can call your network whatever you want, but only our Verizon 5G network is truly built right. That’s how we’re offering best-in-class 5G fan experiences in cities across the country.
That includes Miami, the host of this year’s Super Bowl, where customers with 5G-capable smartphones can access our 5G Ultra Wideband network in places like Hard Rock Stadium, Miami’s Bayfront Park, as well as around airports and parts of downtown. For the first time, customers will be able to access a 5G network with a commercially available 5G device inside the stadium during the Super Bowl.
The lesson here? 5G? 4G? Worry less about the number and more about the carrier.
A path to 5G on the EasyMile autonomous shuttle.
“What is that?”
That thought may have crossed your mind if you’ve seen the rather unique looking vehicle motoring around the Basking Ridge, NJ, campus. That’s the EasyMile autonomous shuttle, designed to take folks from HQ to The Ridge meeting and events space a half mile down the road. And yes, “autonomous” means there is no one actively driving the vehicle, though as a safety precaution there is always a human on board monitoring the ride.
The EasyMile, which can carry up to seven passengers (including the “driver”), is special in a number of other ways.
“What gets me excited about the autonomous shuttle is that we’re using it in a live environment,” said Rob LoMonaco of the Sourcing team. “Other competitors out there are all in a remote, hermetically-sealed track.”
However, the EasyMile serves another important purpose beyond moving people: It also functions as a rolling high-tech 5G lab.
“Right now we have a 5G stream on the shuttle,” said Nicki Palmer, Chief Product Development Officer “That’s a great example of something that can be used on autonomous buses and other shuttles, and for some of our major enterprise customers that have similar needs. Over time, we plan to introduce multi-access edge computing to this platform and different types of infotainment that are a little more interactive.”
For now, our self-driving shuttle is one-of-a-kind, but Nicki knows it won’t be forever. “I think our children and our children’s children will be living in a much different vehicular world. This starts to get you thinking what that world will be like and how Verizon will be a part of it.”
Coining Our New Purpose
V Teamers Inspire Change by Sharing Purpose Coins
In November, Hans announced a new social responsibility platform and purpose at the Leadership Forum: We create the networks that move the world forward. With a focus on digital inclusion, climate protection, and human prosperity, he also announced a collective goal of 2.5 million volunteer hours by Verizon employees by 2025. Then, Hans handed each leader a purpose coin and told them to pass it along to an individual who they believed was moving the world forward.
In the past three months, those coins have been transferred over 330 times all around the world. With each exchange is a story of a Purpose Champion who is building human networks, fostering community, and working to make the world a better place. At the Verizon store in La Quinta, CA, Vincente Arzola was given a coin by Robert Fisher for his customer-centric attitude. Denise Scholz received a coin from Dirk Schlotter for her work in helping to increase international renewable power coverage from 40 to 75 percent. Whether it’s sustaining community relationships or creating sustainable solutions, the good deeds of Purpose Champions are being recognized everywhere.
Do you know someone who deserves a purpose coin? While the coins are making their way from V Teamer to V Teamer, we’re looking for stories of purpose-driven actions and employees working to make a difference. Send an email to email@example.com, and share your story on social media with the hashtag #ForwardTogether.
Upcoming BUILD event celebrates service and activism.
This Friday, BUILD by Yahoo is presenting “Inspiring Activism,” a live-stream event celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and discussing Verizon’s ever-increasing commitment to social responsibility. The broadcast will feature a panel of industry leaders and activists who are making positive changes in the world: Christy Pambianchi, Verizon’s Chief Human Resources officer; Cindy Trinh, a photographer, visual journalist, and podcast host; Karine Jean-Pierre, Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn and NBC political analyst; and Anastasia Kuznetsova, mental health advocate and co-founder of Made of Millions. Tune in this Friday, Jan. 17, at 2 PM ET to BUILD’s livestream page to watch the event.
Feeling inspired this upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend? If you’re interested in volunteering or getting involved in your community, check out verizon.com/volunteer to find out how you can give back.
More Than a Tagline!
“5G Built Right.”
They’re the words we’ve used since we were the first in the world to launch 5G less than a year ago. But what do they really mean?
“5G Built Right is more than just a tagline,” said Chief Marketing Officer Diego Scotti. “We said that we were going to build the most powerful 5G experience for America, and that’s what we’re doing.”
At the same time, our competitors are making noise with similar claims about their own 5G networks. Does that mean they’re offering the same thing?
“T-Mobile is technically offering real 5G,” said Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady, during our 2020 Kickoff Webcast. “The only thing is that it’s like a basketball game: It’s easier to make layups than three-pointers. We’re trying to make three-pointers. They’re looking for an easy way to deploy 5G initially, but if you look at the customer benefit it’s not a lot -- if any -- over what we’re offering with 4G.”
“We’re proud of our network,” said Verizon Network Operations Senior Manager Jon Edwards,” said Verizon Network Operations Senior Manager Jon Edwards. “It shows every day, when you open up your phone and download a movie or talk to your friends across the country.”
In 2020, you can expect more of the same as we build out our networks, including 5G, 4G LTE, fiber, and even the connections between us, the people behind the networks.
That’s because those words -- “Built Right” -- are at the center of all we do, as we continue to create the networks that move the world forward.
For a closer look at our 2019 milestones and our visions for 2020, click here.