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  • Member Spotlight: Interview with Don Sadler, Director - Public Affairs FL, Puerto Rico at AT&T

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    May 06, 2016
    Q: We always start our interviews by asking you to provide us with a bit of personal background.

    A: Born in South Carolina, we lived in Columbia and Greenville before moving to Jacksonville when I was 10.  When I was 12, my father was transferred to Miami and we lived in what is now the City of Pinecrest where I attended Miami Palmetto Junior and High School.  Upon graduation I went to college in GA and after graduation I returned to Miami in 1979 to work with Southern Bell.  Raised in a family of telephone company employees, I have worked in the Marketing and Legislative Affairs Departments of Southern Bell, BellSouth and now AT&T.  Appointed to my current position after AT&T’s acquisition of BellSouth in 2007 I will soon be celebrating 37 years with the Bell System.   
    Q: You have been with AT&T all of your career dating back to BellSouth…what are a few of interesting changes you have seen over these many years?

    A: Coming to work with AT&T as a third generation employee, I was aware of the many technology advancements like TelStar, one of the first communications satellites launched in the early 60’s, Direct Distance Dialing, Touchtone and Custom Calling Services.  The biggest change happened when in 1968 the FCC said a third party provider could connect a non-AT&T device to the AT&T network as long as it did no harm.  This opened the telecommunications marketplace to 3rd party vendors of equipment and was the beginning of the hyper competitive telecommunications marketplace we enjoy today.  While I was aware of the technology changes, AT&T’s long standing leadership on social issues was a pleasant surprise to me.  AT&T was one of the first companies to integrate their workforce and AT&T established LEAGUE, a GLBT Employee Resource Group, the first established in Corporate American in 1987. AT&T is a leader in addressing GLBTQ issues and has been named to Diversity Inc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity List annually since 2007. Recently, we claimed the No. 4 spot, rising from No. 7 in 2015.
    Q: As an ally of the LGBT market, what makes supporting diversity so important to you?

    A: First of all, supporting Diversity and Inclusion is the right thing to do!  It is also important to AT&T because our global customer base is as diverse as the world's population.  At AT&T we recognize the value of multicultural consumers and that diversity and inclusion are essential to our culture and our success. It drives innovation by allowing a wide range of viewpoints to be heard and considered.  Our company focuses on connecting with our diverse customer base in culturally relevant ways.

    Q: AT&T has been an Award Sponsor of MDGLCC’s annual gala since 2006…what makes this event worthy of your brand support?

    A: The Chamber has shown business leaders in our community the value of diversity and inclusiveness and promotes a philosophy that believes that you serve your customers better when you build diversity into all you do. AT&T believes that a diverse workforce and inclusive culture are essential to our success by allowing us to attract and retain the best and the brightest.  The Chamber highlights this same positive message and through this event showcases how forward looking and thinking companies succeed using diversity and inclusion as a successful business model.  

    Q: As a Corporate Partner member of MDGLCC, what makes the Chamber worthy of your support?

    A: The Miami Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce filled a critical void in our community using a business focused outreach to a population previously unrecognized by most traditional Chambers. AT&T's diversity and inclusion strategy aligns with our business goals and leadership priorities in key areas, including workforce inclusion, community impact, multicultural marketing and supplier diversity.  The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce work in our community aligns perfectly with this strategy. 
    Don Sadler, Director - Public Affairs Florida, Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands - AT&T
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