For more than a decade, Dennis Bone has been the face of Verizon in New Jersey. He has long championed the importance of Verizon’s broadband communications networks and their integration with emerging technologies as being a key driver for New Jersey’s economic growth.
Just as important, he has been the go-to guy for numerous governors in the area of economic and workforce development. He was co-chair of Gov. Chris Christie's Economic Development Transition Team, which led to the formation of Choose New Jersey, which Bone chairs. He has also been active in strengthening the state's workforce system as chairman of New Jersey's State Employment and Training Commission.
Earlier this month, the Verizon New Jersey president announced he was retiring from the company effective July 6, ending more than three decades of service. Jim Gerace, who currently heads Verizon's government and external affairs functions for the New York and Connecticut region, will assume responsibility for the company's efforts in New Jersey.
"Dennis has been a champion for Verizon's shareholders, customers and employees in the public policy arena as well as in the business and nonprofit communities," said Colleen McCloskey, Verizon senior vice president of state government affairs. "He has not only ensured that he did what is best for Verizon, but also what is best for the people of New Jersey.”
"He's one of the very few business leaders in the state who has been so willing to give his time to one governor after another. No other business leader in the state is more respected by both parties and all administrations," Al Koeppe, CEO of the Newark Alliance and former CEO of New Jersey Bell, told NJ Biz.
"I am grateful for my tenure with New Jersey Bell, Bell Atlantic and Verizon, and all that I have learned during my career,” said Bone. “I've been fortunate to work with talented and caring people - both inside and outside of Verizon. During this time, we have experienced and helped shape the dramatic changes in the competitive telecommunications marketplace."
During his career, Bone served as the chairman of two state chambers of commerce. He is the immediate past chairman of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce and formerly served as the chairman of the West Virginia State Chamber. Bone is on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Newark Alliance, the Liberty Science Center, the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Aviation Research and Technology Park. Bone serves on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
His Verizon career started in 1979 as an engineer for New Jersey Bell, a Verizon predecessor company. After a variety of jobs with increasing responsibilities in operations, regulatory, external affairs and public policy positions, he was named president of Verizon New Jersey in June 2000.
Gerace, a New Jersey resident, has led Verizon's government and external affairs initiatives in New York and Connecticut since 2010. He is responsible for Verizon's corporate interests - including public policy, government and external affairs, regulatory matters and philanthropy - in the two states. Prior to that position, he was vice president for corporate communications at Verizon Wireless.