BALTIMORE, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Maryland Public Service Commission met on Tuesday (July 17) with Verizon and several other companies to discuss supplier diversity initiatives statewide. The following statement should be attributed to Karen I. Campbell, Verizon's Mid-Atlantic vice president of state government affairs:
"At Verizon, diversity is as much about good business practice as it is the right thing to do. And we're proud to be recognized as a company that sets the standard in American business when it comes to supplier diversity.
"Verizon serves some of the country's most diverse markets. So, diversity always has been a part of our culture and an integral part of our business strategy. Verizon depends on the unique talents and experiences of all our employees and suppliers to maintain our premier network and best meet our many customers' needs.
"Verizon has long operated a successful and robust supplier diversity program in Maryland and around the country. And we first formally stated our commitment in a voluntary memorandum of understanding with the Maryland Public Service Commission more than 17 years ago. No other Maryland telecommunications company had made that commitment.
"In addition, Verizon actively and voluntarily participated in the commission's working group to develop cooperatively the current memorandum to replace our earlier one – despite the notable absence of most of our competitors from this process."
Verizon is a charter member of the elite Billion Dollar Roundtable, an organization of companies that spend more than $1 billion annually with certified minority and women-owned business enterprises. Last year, the company spent $3.8 billion with diverse suppliers bringing its total spend to more than $17.9 billion over the past five years. Verizon has been recognized nationally and regionally for its commitment to supplier diversity. Most recently, the National Minority Supplier Development Council honored Verizon at the Minority Business Leadership gala for Verizon's successful, long-term collaboration with the minority-owned marketing and advertising firm, AdAsia. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognized Verizon as a Million Dollar Club member for integrating Hispanic businesses into the company's sourcing and procurement process. LATINA Style and Hispanic Business magazines have named Verizon as one of the top companies for Hispanics to work for and do business with. Hispanic Business also named Verizon as one of the best companies for supplier diversity. Black Enterprise Magazine has included Verizon on the list of 40 Best Companies for Diversity – labeling the company a top employer and leader in corporate diversity. In recent years, Verizon earned the No. 1 spot on DiversityInc magazine's list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity. The Women's Business Enterprise National Council has named Verizon to its list of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises. And, DiversityBusiness.com has ranked Verizon among the top 50 corporations for multicultural business.