AT&T Vice-President of External Affairs
in the North/Central region of California
Dear Kathy, in this challenging economy, what does AT&T do to support local communities and give back to its customers?
We are proud to be a part of the Sacramento community, and we remain committed to supporting programs that create learning and economic opportunities — especially for the underserved.
In 2008, we launched AT&T Aspire—a $100 million national effort to help address the nation’s drop-out problem and workforce readiness. The effort includes local grants to schools and educational organizations, research, support for drop-out prevention summits and a nationwide job-shadow initiative that will give 100,000 students across the nation a chance to see firsthand the type of skills needed to be successful.
Education is our key philanthropy focus because we believe that investing in tomorrow’s workforce may be the single most important thing we can do to help America remain a leader in a digital, global economy.
Giving back to the communities where we live and work is part of our ongoing commitment to philanthropy and service, and that includes the personal commitment of time and effort by our employees and retirees. In fact, approximately 325,000 AT&T employees and retirees volunteer in their communities through the AT&T Pioneers volunteer organization – one of the largest industry-sponsored volunteer organizations in the country.
How is AT&T working to minimize its environmental impact?
We strive to minimize our environmental impact in ways that are relevant to our business and important to the communities we serve. We’re committed to taking meaningful steps to become more energy efficient and to engage our employees in helping us reduce our environmental impact.
Earlier this year, AT&T announced an investment up to $565 million to roll out more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years, including here in California. We also are investing in solar energy and have installed a 1-megawatt solar power system at our San Ramon facility.
What do you like about working in AT&T, what excites you about the position?
I started with AT&T in 1986 in our Operator Services organization. I moved into Marketing, Sales and Sales Operations before coming to External Affairs. I have had the opportunity to work in the Bay area, San Antonio Texas and most recently, Sacramento. I am current Vice-President of External Affairs in the North/Central region of California. Every position I have had has been rewarding and a great opportunity.
One of the most exciting parts of working in a company of 325K employees is getting to know the people that I work with. I have made lasting friendships with many co-workers over the years. We enjoy working together and share common goals around supporting our customers. There is a spirit and energy within the employees of AT&T that contributes to our success in the marketplace.
What is the secret to success in working for a big corporation?
I believe the key to success in any position is knowing how to work together as a team and understanding your goals. When everyone is moving in the same direction we are all successful. It is also very important to have a level of trust with your co-workers so that you know you are supported in any situation. Trust gives you the confidence you need to move forward. It includes both character and competence and trust is the key driver of collaboration and innovation.
What are the most important factors in working with the local communities?
In my position I represent AT&T in the community. It is important to have a good understanding of key issues and strategies so I can share with stakeholders in the community. I think communication and information are critical success factors. If we have the knowledge/information we need we can be more effective. Once we are achieving results we can become more calm and balanced. Handling multi-projects is a must-do in our current environment. Technology requires us to stay current and stay in touch. Since we have easy access to information, our challenge is narrowing down the information to what is essential and focusing on the critical success factors.
In summary, I have had a tremendous career at AT&T. I believe our most critical success factor is our people and the way we work together and trust each other to deliver for our customers. I am excited about the future and the opportunities we have as technology evolves and moves forward.