Community Partner Chat: United Way of Southwest Virginia

One of the most rewarding aspects of our community engagement work is the opportunity to partner with many non-profit organizations and support innovative programs that help advance the diverse communities we serve.  In May 2020, we launched our Verizon Community Partnerships Initiative to celebrate community organizations supported by Verizon and highlight their important work. 

Today, we feature Travis Staton, President and CEO, United Way of Southwest Virginia.

Below we share a conversation with Travis about United Way of Southwest Virginia’s work in uplifting Southwest VA residents.

Forbes: Unlocking Corporate Diversity Efforts To Get More Employees, Sales And Shareholder Value

Mobile telecommunications may be the most equalizing of technologies. Through competition, innovation, and market-led regulatory policies, mobile operators have been able to empower nearly every person on the earth with a device and connectivity. This has accomplished more in measurable quality of life than any government subsidy program. It is fitting that mobile operators are leading the discussion about the next level of empowerment through technology and market development.

View full article in Forbes.

A Discussion On Diversity In Tech

The technology sector creates millions of high-wage, meaningful jobs across the country but diverse representation in the technology sector remains low. There is a clear need to activate change and transformation to ensure diverse and inclusive workplaces in the technology sector. Join US Tech Future and leaders from Washington State for a thoughtful conversation about overcoming the barriers to leveraging a diverse workforce in tech, including a framework to guide action including accountability, risk management, data and systems, and coalition forming.


  • Azmeena Hasham, Executive Director, Community Engagement, Verizon


  • Michael Schutzler, CEO, Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA)
  • Kim Vu, Global Head of DEI, Remitly
  • Amanuail Ambaye, CEO, LendMe, Inc.
  • Heather Foster, Senior Director of Public Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, Lyft

Learn more and register.

Protecting the Sacred: Balancing & Embracing Technology in Indian Country

As 2020 has been a challenge for many communities, national conversations have often forgotten about the impact this year has had on tribal populations across the country. Verizon State Government Affairs in conjunction with the Native Americans of Verizon (NAV) Employee Resource Group will host an online discussion with key tribal thought leaders on important technological issues their communities are facing today. Conversation will focus on ways to improve digital equity, the impact of COVID-19, and how non-tribal organizations can engage with tribal communities focused on a common purpose.

Moderated By:

  • Rima Qureshi, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Verizon

Remarks By:

  • Ku’ulei Jakubczak, Director of Local Government, Community Affairs, and Tribal Nations, Verizon


  • Fawn R. Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI); President, Quinault Indian Nation
  • Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Chief Technology Officer, Santa Fe Indian School

Learn more and register.

Telepharmacy Services Help Patients During COVID-19

SmartScripts is an online retail pharmacy delivering services directly to patients and consumers in an entirely virtual format. Pharmacists are able to connect with patients through the phone and videocalls to ensure they are receiving the information they need. Hear more about Telepharmacy services from SmartScripts Founder & CEO Todd Thompson:

Using Tech To Improve Livestock Production

Performance Livestock Analytics, part of Zoetis was founded to provide a digital platform for the livestock industry. Livestock production plays a critical role in the agriculture industry, but had been underserved by ag technology providers, particularly when compared to the row crop industry. Performance Livestock Analytics, part of Zoetis used their our own livestock experience, practical insights from producers, technical expertise of data engineers and previous Silicon Valley experience to create the livestock industry’s first cloud-based platform. Dane Kuper, CEO of Performance Livestock Analytics, part of Zoetis discusses how tech-enabled livestock production has improved the industry.

Improving Access To Care Through Telehealth

Certintell is a care management company that enables safety-net providers to make a lasting impact on the health of underserved patients through telehealth. Benjamin Lefever is responsible for leading the Certintell team and continued success, all while ensuring the culture the company was founded on continues to empower national community health centers.

Inspiring Girls To Explore Opportunities in STEM

STEMBLAZERS inspires girls to visualize themselves in science, technology, engineering, and math professions. Their long term goal is to reach 1 million girls and influence them to pursue a career in stem. And envision a world where women are equally represented in the stem workforce. Hear from Wendy Merchant, Founder and Executive Director of STEMBLAZERS, discuss how her organization is empowering girls to explore opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

Technology in the New Classroom: Supporting the Whole Child

The COVID-19 pandemic uprooted the entire education system. Students and teachers are now starting to return to school, and whether the setting is a physical classroom, virtual, or hybrid model, the new school year will be a big adjustment. Education in a pandemic has highlighted, along with the importance of internet connectivity and computing devices, issues of relevant curriculum, varying pedagogical approaches, and wellness concerns for both teachers and students. Join US Tech Future and our event partner, Central Area of the Links, Incorporated, for a discussion on these issues and possible solutions that families and educators can use in navigating the new classroom.


  • Steven Shaw, Community Engagement Director, Verizon


  • Alex Servello, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Verizon
  • Carla Adkison-Johnson, Ph.D., LPC, Interim Department Chair and Professor, Western Michigan University
  • Gwendolyn B. Lee, PhD, School Achievement Coach, Newleaders for New Schools

Learn more and register.

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