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business enterprises.  The company has a Supplier Excellence Award Program that recognizes those suppliers of products and services who achieved overall performance excellence during the previous year.  

Verizon’s external Web site enables suppliers to participate in the company’s web-based registration process.  The Web site registration places interested suppliers in the supplier diversity database.  

Verizon was recognized at the White House as one of the top American corporations for women’s business enterprises, as well as being a charter member of the billion dollar roundtable.

Susan Clark, Esquire—Radey, Thomas, Yon, and Clark

Ms. Clark provided some brief comments as a preface to the presentations made by Florida Power & Light, Progress Energy, Tampa Electric Company, and Gulf Power Company.  She told Commissioners that while methods and techniques may differ, each company is doing an excellent job of increasing their use of goods and services from small businesses and increasing opportunities for small businesses, including diverse business enterprises (minority and women-owned businesses, and also veterans, those owned by veterans and service-disabled people).  

She said within each company there is a commitment to small business development toward the end of increasing the pool of high quality suppliers with whom they do business.  Companies are using the Internet and company Web sites to educate small businesses on the utilities’ purchasing policies and also using the Web sites to make it easier for small businesses to do business with those utilities.  

Paul Seiler, Manager, Contract Labor, Florida Power & Light Company

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