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AT&T Continues as an Industry Leader in the Inclusion of Diverse Businesses in Its Supply Chain
Dec 09, 2009 (12:12 PM EST)


DALLAS, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AT&T* today announced that it has recently won several prestigious awards for its Global Supplier Diversity initiative that provides information, innovative training and access to diverse businesses so they can compete and win corporate contracts at the highest levels.

AT&T's supplier diversity spending results are among the highest in the nation. In 2008, AT&T spent over $6 billion with minority, women and disabled veterans business enterprises (M/WBE-DVBEs). According to 2008 benchmark studies from the Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies, this spending achievement exceeds the national average for corporate supplier diversity results.

AT&T's aggressive supplier diversity spending achievement and development programs have earned AT&T and its Global Supplier Diversity programs national and regional attention from various prestigious organizations. The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) recently presented AT&T with the 2009 "Corporate Partner of the Year" award during its annual MatchMaker Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, FL. This significant award is a testament of AT&T's commitment to improving business and economic opportunities for minority, women, and service-disabled veteran business enterprises.

"There are mutual benefits that come from the inclusion of diverse business enterprises in our supply chain," said Margaret Rawls, executive director of AT&T Global Supplier Diversity. "Diversity-owned companies are suppliers to AT&T on some of our company's largest, most strategic and ambitious projects. It's a win-win situation - we help them stay competitive in the global marketplace and they help us meet our bottom line by helping us deliver world-class services and products. For 41 years, AT&T's commitment to supplier diversity has been unwavering, through all economic climates, because it's built on tangible business benefits."

The WBE Hall of Fame - a nonprofit organization recognizing exemplary achievement and leadership - recently honored AT&T for pioneering advancements in women business inclusion and diversity. AT&T's Cathy Coughlin, senior executive vice president and global marketing officer, accepted the award during a ceremony that took place on Thursday, December 3, at The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future in Fair Park, Dallas, TX. Inductees were recognized for their years of commitment to fair and ethical business practices, passion for creating opportunity for women to excel in business, and for making outstanding contributions to their community, city, state or nation.

"This year's honorees were the visionaries during the early years when women were fighting to be considered legitimate business owners," said Don McKneely, the WBE Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chairman. "Without these women, men, and corporations - including AT&T - many of the excellent institutions and opportunities we now enjoy would not be available to individuals today."

AT&T was also recognized in Dallas for its strategic contracting with minority business enterprises by the Dallas Fort-Worth Minority Supplier Development Council (D/FW MSDC). AT&T was highlighted during the council's annual E-Awards event for its "MBE Mega-Deals," in particular, its business with minority owned Goodman Networks which provides AT&T cell site development services for mobility operations across several states.

Another significant milestone for AT&T includes being recognized with the "Corporate Leader Award" for its Women of Color Business (WOCB) Growth Initiative - a year-long program launched this summer that coaches and mentors a pilot group of minority-women business owners to achieve seven core competencies necessary to compete for corporate business at "the next level". The unique mentoring program will also help them obtain TL9000 quality certification, an internationally recognized standard of operational excellence and quality.

The award was presented during an event hosted by the Honorable Gwen Moore, President of GEM Communications and former- California Assemblymember, and the Honorable Timothy Alan Simon of the California Public Utilities Commission. The 2009 "Celebrating Diverse Women in Business Excellence" awards were presented to various individuals and corporations on Friday, December 4, in Lakeside, CA, for their efforts to grow contracting opportunities for women of color owned businesses. Rhonda Johnson, AT&T vice president-regulatory affairs, was one of the Gala's keynote speakers.

AT&T Inc. http://www.att.com is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates - AT&T operating companies - are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse(SM) and AT&T |DIRECTV(SM) brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T's Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on (R) magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at .

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CONTACT: Vanessa Astros, +1-713-513-9521, vastros@attnews.us, for AT&T

Web site: http://www.att.com/