The 2002 AWIB Corporate Leadership Award Winner - Jeannie H. Diefenderfer
A native of Seoul, South Korea, Mrs. Diefenderfer immigrated to the US when she was 13 years old and attended public school in Queens. She received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University, and an MBA from Babson College.
She joined NYNEX, the predecessor company to Verizon, in 1984 as a management trainee in the Equipment Installation department and took on increasingly higher positions as project manager of Network Services, director of EEO/AAP, director of Engineering & Construction, and executive director of Equipment Installation.
In her present position, Jeannie is responsible for performance assurance of billing and operations processes, as well as systems and service quality for the Advanced Services Group, including Verizon Online.
Prior to her current assignment, Jeannie was group president - Advanced Networks, accountable for the planning, engineering and deployment of Verizon's long distance voice and data networks. She spent 3 years as Senior Vice President of Corporate Sourcing and among her duties was MWBE procurement.
Jeannie has been able to move up the corporate ladder because of her communication skills, political perceptiveness and her ability to take risks, or as she states "close your eyes and plunge". She is able to balance her family life with professional success and states, "everyday you try but it does not mean it works." You hope "to give up the right things".
Jeannie serves on the boards of Citizens Funds, the International Center in New York and Tufts University School of Engineering. Internal to Verizon, she has served on the boards of the Minority Multicultural Association of NYNEX, Women's Association of Verizon Employees, and the Asian Focus Group. She was featured in the 1999 Crain's New York Business "40 under 40," as one of 40 young "rising stars" and was a member of the 1999 class of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program. In addition, she received the 1999 Corporate Achievement Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans and the 2001 Star Award from the New York Women's Agenda.
Jeannie lives in Stamford, Connecticut with her husband George, daughter Mia, 3 years old, and son Derek, 8 years old.