Did you know AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the world when measured by revenue? That it is the largest provider of fixed telephone service and the second largest provider of mobile telephone service in the U.S.? By any measure, AT&T is a large, multinational company with a strong presence in New Jersey and a longtime NJBIA member dating all the way back to 1953.
NJBIA’s membership consists of 20,000 companies with approximately 1.1 million workers in the state, but few have the size and presence of AT&T. The fact that they’ve achieved such status today is a testament to their ability to be ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation and technology, which quite frankly has practically been in their “organizational DNA.” That’s because AT&T can trace its origins back to the original Bell Telephone Company, which was founded by Alexander Graham Bell after he invented the telephone. American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) was one of that company’s subsidiaries and was formally established in 1885.
AT&T’s work in the public affairs area in the state is especially important to them, and they have a resource to turn to with NJBIA’s government affairs department, which is on top of all the regulatory and legislative activities that are happening in Trenton. Tax issues, arbitration and research and innovation are areas of interest that AT&T pays close attention to.
Charlene Brown, AT&T’s Regional Vice President, NJ External Affairs, whose office is based in Trenton, knows that NJBIA is the best advocate for business in the state and if there’s an issue they are concerned about they can work together with us and other members to be proactive or to fight challenges that arise.
Charlene is very well-respected in Trenton and across the state, and has served on many Boards and organizations, including NJ PRO and Innovation NJ. She is a strong advocate for diversity and is proud of the fact that AT&T has brought a diverse perspective to the organization by hiring so many women scientists.
She has been in her position for more than 10 years and not only has changed with the times, but has embraced them. For example, she values social media and the fact that you can get information now right as it happens, which is certainly important in her line of work.
As technological advances seem to occur all the time, it’s hard to anticipate what will happen in the future. When asked if AT&T is concerned about what the next technical horizon will hold for the company, Charlene replied, “We (AT&T) are part of what the next horizon is. Whether it’s the Internet or other new technologies, we are on the cutting edge looking at how to make a difference and how to make those changes in society and make life better.” That’s exactly why AT&T has been around for so long and will continue to be a prominent company for many years to come: they’re always ahead of the curve.
AT&T is just one of 20,000 companies that comprise NJBIA’s membership, which is very diverse with representation from an amazingly large and wide spectrum of fields, industries and professions. Look for more unique stories about NJBIA members in future issues of “Beyond 10 West Lafayette,” NJBIA’s membership blog.