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Verizon's Traveling Internal Awards Show

April 2, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

Verizon Excellence Awards Cipriani 42nd Street Monday, 03.25.02, 6 PM to 10:30 PM
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Verizon has its own version of March Madness--and it had nothing to do with college hoops. Rather, March is the month the company celebrates its internal employee recognition program, the Verizon Excellence awards. Verizon hosts its employees at a whopping 32 events in March and early April throughout the country. (In fact, there are 16 in New York alone.) They honor the outstanding service of about 1.4 percent of Verizon's 260,000 employees. All events are being produced by Empire Force Events, whose account managers are racking up frequent flier miles while traveling to Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

The month-long awards program--now in its second year--is a departure for Verizon, which in the past simply hosted one big employee recognition ceremony. “Before, 3,000 traveled to one event,” Dion Magee, Verizon's manager of strategic events, public affairs and communications, told us. “Now we honor people regionally. At smaller events, more people get recognized.” The New York leg of the tour this year included events at some of New York's grandest event spaces, including
Tavern on the Green, Pier Sixty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

On March 25, members of the company's Enterprise Solutions Group were honored at Cipriani 42nd Street, where a cocktail hour included music from a pianist. The substantial hors d'oeuvres bar featured tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella salad; prosciutto; chicken salad; and marinated vegetables served by a tuxedoed wait staff. A sit-down dinner followed, with lobster salad, filet mignon with wild mushroom risotto and cr?me meringue cake. After dinner, the awards ceremony honored employees with individual, team and business awards.

By this event--the 10th in New York--Magee and the Empire Force staff knew how to make sure everything ran smoothly. And at the end of the night, they prepared to do it all over again.

--Erika Rasmusson

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