Leecia Eve, Verizon Communications

Leecia Eve

Central to the
Fabric of New York

Editors’ Note

Leecia Eve assumed her current post in July of 2013. She was formerly the Deputy Secretary for Economic Development for New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. She previously served in the Cuomo administration as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Empire State Development. Among her prior roles, Eve served as Counsel and Homeland Security Adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton when she served as U.S. Senator, and as Counsel to Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. when he was a senator and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She also served as Vice President for Policy of the No Limits Foundation. Eve began her legal career as law clerk to New York State Court of Appeals Judge Fritz W. Alexander II. She practiced at the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and was elected partner of the law firm of Hodgson Russ in Buffalo. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College, a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a law degree from the Harvard Law School.

Company Brief

Verizon Communications Inc. (Verizon.com), headquartered in New York City, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government, and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 104 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information, and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries. A Dow 30 company with more than $120 billion in 2013 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 177,000.

Would you talk about the history and heritage of Verizon’s relationship with New York?

The relationship between Verizon and New York dates back more than 100 years, given the existence of our predecessor company. We have always been one of the largest private-sector employers in this state, and we remain so today: we employ 22,000 New Yorkers across the state, with 12,000 in New York City alone. We’re one of the largest property owners and taxpayers in the state, and in terms of our financial commitment, our FiOS build here in New York City is the single largest telecommunications project in any city in U.S. history. To date, we’ve spent $3.5 billion. I am proud to represent a company that has such an unprecedented commitment to New York.

So we have been central to the economic fabric of the city and state in terms of the people that we employ and the investments we have made, as well as the thousands of families and tens of thousands of retirees that we continue to support with pension payments and robust sets of benefits.

We also play a central role in New York because, just as society focuses on transportation infrastructure and water infrastructure, we literally provide the communications backbone and infrastructure for the city and state of New York and its residents, and we’ve done so for decades.

In my view, we’re the leading technology company of our time, whether it’s with our traditional telephone service, our best-in-class 100- percent fiber FiOS service, the millions of Verizon wireless customers, or the services that we provide to individuals, schools, families, communities, and businesses. I can’t even envision New York without the communications and broadband infrastructure we provide. We are integral to the financial growth of the city and our networks are transforming the way New Yorkers communicate, live, are educated, work, and play every day, and increasingly, even how we become and remain healthy.

One of the things I’m learning, being new to Verizon but also to our industry, is about all the products and services that we’re enabling in the healthcare space. There are devices that can monitor and measure a person’s health and vital signs, and then have those measurements transmitted miles away via wireless technology. It is one of the many ways that our world-class communications infrastructure helps to improve lives.

With regard to our philanthropic efforts, in any given year, we have provided millions of dollars in support to nonprofits across the city and state. There is also the support that our thousands of employees provide every single day to nonprofits across the city and state through their volunteer efforts. For their volunteer hours, Verizon provides matching financial contribution to that particular nonprofit.

How broad is the reach of Verizon across the country today?

We provide telecommunications, broadband, and entertainment services in the city and state of New York, and a good chunk of the Northeast and the middle Atlantic states, as well as other areas in a variety of other states.

But in the vast majority of the country, we don’t provide traditional telephone service. Instead, most people across the country know us as a provider of wireless services for cell and wireless data usage, or through our leadership role in cloud computing and security services for both private sector and public sector customers.

Some of our most significant customers are not only the more than 104 million Verizon Wireless customers we have, but also small and large businesses, and governmental entities including, most proudly, the city and state of New York, the federal government, and city and state agencies across the country.

For many of those entities we provide traditional telephone services, but we also provide data services – both wireline and wireless -- and cloud and security services as well.

Our telecommunications heritage continues to be a vital part of what we do, but wireless has fast become central to our daily lives and will only become more so in the future. Our wireless infrastructure enables, if not enhances, what we do every day. I am so proud that Verizon is the leader in the wireless industry. There is no company in this country or in the world that has a more robust wireless network than Verizon.

How deep is philanthropy ingrained within the culture and is it aligned with the business strategy?

Verizon has historically taken pride in being an extraordinary corporate citizen. This includes our philanthropic efforts, which are across the board in a number of areas, but our focus is most significantly on education, healthcare, and sustainability.

The focus may have changed over the course of decades, but we have always been a leader in terms of supporting organizations within the communities in which our customers and employees live and work. This ranges from traditional philanthropic efforts with monetary support to more nontraditional efforts that include volunteers, mentors, and other in-kind support.

Because of these philanthropic efforts and our extraordinary investments and commitments, I believe there is no stronger corporate partner than Verizon for the city and state of New York.