AT&T Operation Hand Salute Mentees Graduate from National 11-Week Entrepreneur Program


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Graduation serves as phase one in three-pillar process to mentor and develop service-disabled
veteran business owners


Dallas, Texas, September 18, 2012

AT&T* announced today the graduates of the education pillar of Operation Hand Salute
(OHS), provided through the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) at John F. Kennedy
University. CEOs participated in the 11-week entrepreneur course via AT&T TelePresence
Solution®. The IEL program was led by Dr. Raul A. Deju, Director of the Institute and featured
guest lectures from IEL’s Assistant Director, Dina Finta, and Bill Wiersma, best-selling author
of “The Power of Professionalism”. Topics included developing a competitive assessment,
preparing a business and management plan, and developing a sales and finance strategy.
The graduates also extensively interacted with world class CEOs that acted as mentors. In
addition to the completion certificates, graduates received a formal recognition from the
City of San Francisco and a Congressional Recognition from Congressman George Miller.
The groundbreaking supplier diversity program mentors and develops Service-Disabled
Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises (SDVOBEs). The year-long program invites SDVOBE
business CEOs to go back to school and learn from the best to improve their business and
enhance their ability to win valuable corporate contracts.

AT&T and JFK University assisted the Operation Hand Salute participants in addressing the
challenges faced in the marketplace and provided them with the necessary tools to improve
business operations – including a strategic redefinition of their business, website redesigns,
realignment of business objectives, and a detailed business plan.

OHS consists of three pillars for success—education, mentoring, and opportunity. First,
CEOs attended the 11-week Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. In the second pillar, CEOs
were paired with mentors and suppliers with successful worldwide operations including face
to face meetings and events. Finally, the CEOs will have the opportunity to participate in
AT&T Matchmaker event “Fast Pitch” sessions with a panel of experienced CEOs and AT&T

AT&T is committed to developing and promoting service-disabled veteran-owned businesses
while acknowledging their service to our country – through Operation Hand Salute. AT&T’s
goal is to spend 1.5 percent of its total spend with SDVOBEs, a group of businesses that have
historically proven to be valuable business solution providers in AT&T’s supply chain.
In 2011, AT&T spent $12 billion with certified diverse businesses— 23 percent of the
company’s total spend and has been answering the call since 1993 to address the challenges
service-disabled veteran business owners face in the marketplace. Operation Hand Salute is
an initiative of AT&T’s Global Supplier Diversity organization. Other AT&T supplier diversity
initiatives include the Prime Supplier Program, which aims to increase the use of diverse
businesses through subcontracting and value-added reseller arrangements, and the Meet
the Primes Matchmaker Program, which provides a forum for qualified prospective diverse
suppliers to meet with and discuss contract opportunities with AT&T suppliers and business

Learn more about JFK University’s IEL program at For a list of this year’s
OHS graduates, please log on to the AT&T Operation Hand Salute website.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T
Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T
Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

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