15th Annual Champion Awards Honors Verizon: Jim Gerace
President – New York Region
Jim Gerace is president – New York region for Verizon. He is responsible for the company’s corporate interests—including public policy, government and external affairs, regulatory matters, and philanthropy—in New York and Connecticut.
Gerace began his telecommunications career with NYNEX Mobile Communications in 1986 as manager of employee communications. At NYNEX Mobile, he held a variety of communications positions, and was named director of public relations in 1991.
In 1995 he directed the announcement of the merger between Bell Atlantic Mobile and NYNEX Mobile, then the largest merger in the wireless industry. He was named vice president-public relations, and a member of the senior staff of the new business. In 2000 he directed the communications for the merger of Bell Atlantic Mobile and AirTouch that launched the Verizon Wireless brand.
Gerace is an industry leader on wireless customer-friendly policies including the Verizon Wireless 30-day network test drive pledge that pays for calls if a customer isn’t satisfied and switches to another carrier. Additionally, he champions initiatives concerning customer privacy, local number portability and safe driving.
Under his direction, Verizon Wireless distinguished itself as the first wireless company to recycle customers' no-longer-used phones and donate them to victims of domestic violence through the launch of its HopeLine community service program. Established in 1995, the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program puts wireless products and services to work to help prevent domestic violence and raise awareness of the issue. The program also encourages and facilitates the environmentally safe recycling of old wireless phones.
Gerace is a former board chairman of The Wireless Foundation, a non-profit organization that oversees programs designed to put wireless technology to work addressing the challenges of society. An advocate for domestic violence prevention, Jim is also a board member of Jersey Battered Women’s Service, Inc., a private, non-profit agency that provides valuable life-saving services to victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Gerace is on the board of Inroads of the New York/New Jersey Region, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and placing talented minority youth in business preparing them for corporate and community leadership.
Gerace received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo.