AT&T Launches 2012-2013 Class of Operation Hand Salute Mentoring Program

A national program for service disabled veteran CEOs helping them improve their business operations and enhance their ability to win corporate contracts

Questions contact:

Shari Martinez

AT&T Global Supplier Diversity


DALLAS, May 16, 2012

Last summer, we graduated our first class of graduates from Operation Hand Salute, our AT&T Supplier Diversity mentoring program for Service Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBEs). Operation Hand Salute is something we’re passionate about – it offers us an opportunity to give back to our veterans for their military service, while helping to grow and develop their businesses by providing mentorship opportunities and enhancing their ability to win corporate contracts. Today we’re at it again – we are proud to announce the 2012-2013 Operation Hand Salute Mentoring Program.

AT&T recognizes that service disabled veterans in business can face unique challenges, which is where Operation Hand Salute comes in. After an extensive process, 15 of the brightest service-disabled veteran business CEOs are embarking on a 10-week program through JFK University where they’ll learn everything from entrepreneurship to growing a management team.

Each participant will receive the support of a “blue ribbon” taskforce comprised of other service-disabled veteran owned business mentors, AT&T executives and industry experts. They will also “Fast Pitch” their business to a panel of experienced CEOs and AT&T executives.

Operation Hand Salute is a great opportunity for service disabled veteran business owners, who have proudly served our country, to grow their business with the help of a mentor relationship and guidance that only AT&T can provide. It’s a win-win—the more we can help service-disabled veteran business owners succeed, the more quality products and services we can continue to offer our customers.

Let’s welcome this year’s Operation Hand Salute participants as they begin their journey toward a brighter future.

John McKinley, President & CEO

Allegiance Supply Incorporated

Amber Peebles, President

Athena Construction Group

James E. Kimble, President

Boersma Travel

Johnny Dillard, PhD, President

Central Research Inc.

David Johnson, President & CEO

Concise Inc.

Peter Penzell, CEO

Epsilon Inc.

Michael E. Jones, President & CEO

Global Technology Solutions Inc.

Adam Pattisall, President & CEO


Charlie McCarty, President


Jay H. Van Dyne, COO

Phalanx Energy LLC

James M. Terhune, President & CEO

T&T Materials Inc.

Christopher Bumgarner, CEO

Ventura Telephone

William J. Puopolo, President

Verissimo Global

Theresa Blackwell, President & CEO

Virtuo Group Corporation

Phyllis W. Newhouse, President & CEO

Xrteme Solutions Inc.



Dear Wall Street in the Black documentary supporters:

     On April 27, NYSE Euronext, United Athlete’s Foundation (UAF),
Museum of American Finance, and Expanding Communities with Economic
Literacy (EXCEL), our newly formed nonprofit organization, hosted
students from Westfield University in celebration of Financial
Literacy Month 2012. The students participated in EXCEL’s most popular
educational program “Executive for the Day.” The program began at NYSE
Euronext where students attended a panel discussion hosted by UAF. NFL
legends Ray Lewis, Jim Brown, Sam and Wilma McNabb, the parents of
NFL’s Donovan McNabb, were in attendance. The panel discussion was
moderated by Gordon Brown, one of our interviewees in the Wall Street
in the Black documentary and author of Gordon’s Way: Ethic and Morals
of Making and Spending Money. Teaching our Youth How To: Earn Money,
Invest Smart and Spend Wisely.
     EXCEL’s educational program continued with a power lunch session
in the main dining hall of NYSE Euronext. The students enjoyed a
memorable discussion with Ray Lewis, Jim Brown, and Gordon Brown on
the importance of financial literacy and investment education.
     After lunch the students visited the Museum of American Finance
for a guided tour on U.S. financial and business history. The tour
concluded at NASDAQ OMX, where students watched Stuart Weissman
Productions, Inc. (SW Productions) and several celebrities ring the
NASDAQ Stock Market closing bell in celebration of Broadway Bowl, a
football game between celebrities, current and retired NFL athletes,
members of NYFD and NYPD, and friends of SW Productions.
     The students and professors from Westfield University found the
tour educational and exciting. Special thanks to all of our corporate
partners, including, Valentino Carlotti at Goldman Sachs, Gordon
Brown, NYSE Euronext, Reggie Howard, Kristin Aguilera, Jameel
Aalim-Johnson, Diana Tass, Associate Professor David Bakuli, student
Shawn Snow, guest speaker Jullien Gordon, and L’Hava Israel, one of
our executive members from EXCEL.
     Along with our guided tours, EXCEL offers a variety of
educational programs, including financial literacy, investment
knowledge, and business support services. We look forward to
introducing more students to financial institutions in the near

Thank you,

Drunia Duvivier
Founder and Director of EXCEL

Testimony from one of our guests from the tour:


     Thank you for the amazing tour! It went exceptionally well, from
start to finish. We received a warm welcome from everyone we met at
the NYSE. The lunch at the NYSE member services dining room, far
exceeded anything I could have ever expected. We got to meet a
legendary athlete, Jim Brown, who was a perfect gentleman, and even
took time to meet and take questions from Westfield students.  He was
just one of many super talented guests that we had the privilege to
interact with.
     The trip to the Museum of American Finance was very informative,
and to cap the day off with the closing bell countdown, at NASDAQ, was
awesome! Once again, thanks for everything Drunia!




NFL Legends Ray Lewis and Jim Brown Host

4th Annual United Athlete Foundation’s Charity Weekend


Star-studded events include financial literacy, awards gala celebration and community events;

Major announcement of new initiative with non-profits CESI and Builders of Hope;

Fans can attend gala event or register online to win autographed memorabilia


NEW YORK CITY (April 16, 2012) – NFL Legends Ray Lewis and Jim Brown are hosting multiple events in New York City on April 27 - 28 to raise funds and awareness for the United Athlete’s Foundation (UAF), a non-profit organization whose mission it is to leverage the celebrity status of professional athletes to impact positive change in their communities. Fans will have an opportunity to attend the Awards Gala Celebration, as well as register online to win autographed memorabilia.


During the event, sponsors of the Charity Weekend – Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI) and Builders of Hope – will announce a partnership with UAF that will change the lives of many low income families by helping them find high-quality, safe affordable housing and manage their finances in major markets such as Atlanta and Baltimore.


Reggie Howard, who played seven seasons in the NFL and intercepted Tom Brady in Super Bowl 38, founded UAF and serves as its President & Executive Director. “As a veteran of the NFL, I fully understand and appreciate the ability of professional athletes to positively influence and impact society,” said Howard. “This weekend celebrates all the hard work that these athletes do throughout the year to give back in their communities.”


Held in New York City, the weekend includes activities for children and adults, including:

  • ·         Financial Literacy Symposium
  • ·         Awards Gala Ceremony
    • Pat O’Conner, CEO MiLB – Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Cathy Harbin, Executive Director, Golf 20/20 – Athlete of Year
    • Melvin Ingram

Past award recipients include Alonzo Mourning, Hank Aaron, Jerry Rice and Dominique Wilkins. 


  • ·         Community Event – Youth Financial Literacy Symposium, S


“This charity weekend is an opportunity for me to begin passing the torch to the next generation of professional athletes, such as Reggie Howard and Ray Lewis from UAF, who are committed to giving back to their communities,” said Jim Brown, who founded the Ameri-I-Can Foundation in 1988. “It’s an honor to work with these leaders from UAF, because they are making a significant positive impact for inner-city families. I look forward to our organizations continuing to work together to make a positive difference together for years to come.”


UAF, CESI & Builders of Hope Rebuilding Communities

CESI and Builders of Hope are partnering with UAF to help achieve the UAF mission of “Empowering Athletes to impact communities through education and social development.”  The first initiative of this new partnership will be announced at the UAF Charity Weekend. 


CESI, Builders of Hope and UAF will work together to renovate and rebuild neighborhoods by creating affordable housing and financial literacy though the Builders of Hope “Upcycle” neighborhood revitalization program and CESI’s Pathways to Homeownership program.


“We are proud to join with Builders of Hope and UAF to make a difference in communities across the United States,” says Dr. Diane Chen, CEO of CESI. “This initiative features the best organizations providing a holistic approach to financial literacy and affordable housing.”


Builders of Hope is an established and innovative leader in creating and rebuilding neighborhoods by providing high-quality, safe and sustainable workforce housing through the reuse of vacant or abandoned housing inventory. Individuals and families moving into the rehabilitated housing will learn techniques and skills from CESI that are necessary to live on a budget that will allow for rent/mortgage payments as well as cost of living expenses and savings.


“We believe the awareness that UAF Athletes can bring to the problem of blighted and vacant housing in our cities will help us provide safe, sustainable and truly affordable housing while rebuilding neighborhoods and transforming lives,” said Nancy Welsh, CEO of Builders of Hope.


Get Gala Tickets, Register to Win Autographed Memorabilia

For more information regarding the limited tickets available to the public for the Awards Gala Celebration, call UAF at 404-981-4470 or visit online at To register to win autographed memorabilia or to learn more about the CESI, Builders of Hope and UAF partnership, please visit beginning April 25.


“We encourage fans to visit our event website and partnership site to learn more about how these organizations are joining forces to impact change, as well as register to win autographed memorabilia,” said Howard. “This is an easy way for fans to connect with these legends and make a difference in the lives of many families.”



About United Athletes Foundation

The United Athletes Foundation is a 501c3 public non-profit organization created in 2008 by a group of professional athletes who understood their unique role in improving the lives of both the athlete fraternity and society in its entirety. To date, there are more than 100 professional athletes associated with the UA Foundation including members of the NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA and professional boxing. Founded by former NFL player Reggie Howard, the UAF Board of Directors/advisors includes Ray Lewis, Hank Aaron, Julius Erving and Ambassador Andrew Young.  For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website at


About CESI

Consumer Education Services Inc. is a not-for-profit organization for consumers who want financial freedom. CESI offers a complete life cycle of services: credit counseling, debt management, housing counseling, financial education and            bankruptcy counseling.  Since its inception in 1998, CESI has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide improve their money management skills and experience debt free living.  CESI’s Homeownership Center supports the delivery of a wide variety of housing counseling services to potential homebuyers and current homeowners. Counselors provide guidance, advice, and advocacy to help families and individuals meet their financial responsibilities and improve their housing conditions and choices. The division helps families facing foreclosure and financial crisis as well as clients looking to purchase their first home.  For more information, please visit


About Builders of Hope

Builders of Hope is a non-profit organization, 501(c)3 based in Raleigh, N.C. that provides safe, affordable housing to working families through a comprehensive model that incorporates economic benefits, environmental stewardship and social solutions. The organization helps families who otherwise couldn’t afford it, purchase a home of their own or rent quality housing. Builders of Hope saves homes slated for demolition and recycles them using its “Extreme Green Rehabilitation” model for residential construction. The patent-pending process creates beautiful, healthier homes that are energy efficient and less costly to maintain. In Dallas, Builders of Hope operates under the name EcoLogical Community Builders.


About Amer-I-Can

The Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change, Inc. was founded in 1988 by Jim Brown upon the belief that self-esteem is the key to improving one’s decision-making process and achieving success through self-determination. The Amer-I-Can Life Skills Training program has been successfully implemented in prisons, jails, juvenile probation camps, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, businesses and communities. For more information please visit the Foundation’s website at



Abercrombie & Fitch


A&F Statement 
March 23, 2012 
Yesterday, A&F was made aware of counterfeit websites that used racial epithets to describe product associated with their brand. Abercrombie & Fitch has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination and they do not condone racism, racist language and other bias behavior. This information went viral on twitter. The company took action and put a statement out on the Abercrombie & Fitch Facebook page. Their Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Todd Corley, also sent a message from his twitter page (@corleytodd).
The A&F Diversity & Inclusion team, in collaboration with the A&F Legal team and Brand Protection team has begun a process to enforce any penalty appropriate by law. Please follow Todd (@corleytodd) to learn more on any new developments. To learn more about the A&F diversity initiative, please visit