Business & Finance

Women Business Leaders Share Ways to Empower Themselves

Leecia Eve, third from left, poses with members of the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce at the annual Women's Leadership Summit on Friday in Somerset. Credits: Matthew Hersh

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - As the theme of the 15th-annual Women’s Leadership Summit on Friday was to “Empower Yourself,” a Verizon executive underscored the need to be healthy, both professionally and personally.

“Life is short; incredibly fleeting,” said Leecia Eve, vice president of government affairs for Verizon in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. “We have only one opportunity at life and need to make the most of it we can, in how we choose to live and lead our lives every day.”

Eve made her keynote remarks in front of about 140 women professionals who are members of the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce and involved in its “Women in Business Committee.” Eve was among 14 business professionals who addressed the group during a day of presentations, panels, breakout sessions and plenty of networking.

Sign Up for E-News

Eve spoke candidly of her career before joining Verizon in 2013, as she was on a track for a lifetime of high-level public service. Among many high-profile positions, she had served as chief economic advisor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the first woman and the first person of color to hold such a powerful position.

“I loved the power associated with the job, as there were innumerable ways in which I was able to improve lives and strengthen communities across the region,” Eve said. Then, as she was approaching 50 years of age, Eve said, she was given an opportunity to work for Verizon in a senior leadership position.

“The leap was made easier because of my brother, Eric,” she said. “He had worked in the Clinton White House and then joined Verizon. He spoke of the fondness for those of whom he worked with at this company. For me, joining Verizon was an opportunity to play a pivotal role in the region. There are 15,000 employees in New Jersey and Verizon invests billions of dollars in the region. They are terrific, hard-working professionals. Verizon is the only corporation where I could see myself ever working.”

Eve said she enjoys the pace and spirit of Verizon, which is constantly evolving and changing the technology industry. “We are now the disruptor in this business; we are even disrupting ourselves,” she said.

Eve spoke of the 5G network that is to be introduced in the coming year, bringing a level of upload speed that is 30 to 50 times faster than what is offered with 4G. Very soon, a two-hour movie could be downloaded in seconds.

Eve also spoke of the “Internet of Things,” in which it is expected that 20 billion devices will somehow be connected to one another for many purposes.

There is telemedicine, in which a doctor can monitor a patient’s glucose levels from another part of the world. There is “smart cement,” which can track traffic patterns and unsafe driving conditions. There are “smart garbage cans” that can alert the trash company when it is time to come by. And there are many, many ways in which IOT will change our lives that we have yet to fathom.

In this year of technological change, Eve said, every woman in the room is empowered.

“There are too many women around the world who are not empowered,” she said. “They do not have a privileged life like we do here. They can’t fathom being empowered. They are putting their lives at stake and their children’s lives at stake every day and have no choices. I don’t know what you earn, but I believe everyone in this room is empowered, no matter what.”

Eve added, “This is the greatest nation on the Earth and the greatest democracy on the Earth. But we can do better. There are too many smart kids in bad schools. We need men and women to be empowered to collectively work and address the issues that truly matter.

“They need to feel empowered to do so.”






TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 24, 2018


STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, New Jersey has really high taxes. And, yeah, it is super expensive to live here. So, yet another study is out, with the American Legislative Exchange Council ranking New Jersey second-to-last among states in economic performance and 46th in economic outlook, ROI-NJ reports. The study, called "Rich States, Poor ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 23, 2018


STATEWIDE - First, there was a turkey in every pot. Then there was the "Square Deal," the "New Deal" and now Sen. Cory Booker says it is time for government to offer a, uh, great deal: A job to anyone who wants one. He is proposing federal grants that would select 15 "local areas" in which adults could get a job at $15 an ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018


ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018


PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018


PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 17, 2018


AT THE POLLING BOOTH - Guess what? New Jerseyans don't like the Trump tax plan. It's also not surprising that a potential voter revolt could flip all five of the state's Republican House seats, according to a new Monmouth University poll. reports that the new federal tax bill disproportionately hurts taxpayers in New Jersey ...

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.


Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...