Erica Warley Cunningham

Erica Warley Cunningham

Work History

Work History
May 2006 - Present

Senior Consultant, Corporate Benefits Communications

Verizon Communications

Selected into new role based on outstanding achievements in building strategic alliances with communities, government officials and businesses to develop internal / external communication platforms that engage and mobilize 230,000+ employees on corporate Health and Wellness vision. Develop and implement enterprise-wide health and wellness communications and awareness campaigns, and annual wellness initiatives focused on reducing costs and improving overall health of Verizon employees. Establish proactive media relations, award submissions and corporate legislative strategies on healthcare reform to position Verizon as a though leader. Plan, define and develop communication tool kits, and oversee and coordinate efforts of 33 local HR Business Partners in executing onsite health and wellness events and campaigns nationally across the enterprise.

Selected Achievements:

  • Positioned company to capture the Best Employer Healthy Lifestyle Award from National Business Group on Health (NBGH) for 2 consecutive years, based on outstanding performance in encouraging workers to live healthier lifestyles.
  • Pivotal role in enabling Verizon Communications continued placement on distinguished Working Mother Magazine’s “One of the Best Places to Work” list by strengthening work / life programs across the enterprise.
  • Elevated Verizon as a thought leader in health and wellness through executive participation in national coalitions. Developed strategic and tactical communications, talk points, testimonies and presentations for key executives on Health IT, and wellness and health reform.
  • Re-branded Be Well / Work Well Program to increase awareness and participation by employees. Partnered with WebMD to build Verizon Health Zone portal, increasing adoption of programs by 30% within 3 years.
  • Created and piloted BioMetrics Screening and Quit-Net initiatives at Employee Resource Groups Conferences
May 2004 - May 2006

Senior Consultant, Public Affairs

Verizon Communications

Chosen into high-profile public affairs management role within Verizon Information Systems (VIS) business unit to create and launch highly visible volunteerism, grass roots community relations, and foundation programs focused on generating free media coverage and enabling competitive advantage within the national marketplace. Developed, implemented, expanded and managed all aspects of special events, educational and philanthropic programs, and strategic partnerships to showcase the impact of Verizon products and services in increasing effectiveness of communities throughout the nation.

Selected Achievements:

  • Partnered with office of the Mayor, Durham , NC to launch James Earl Jones Black History Month Program to penetrate the Raleigh-Durham market. Coordinated poetry event with local school that achieved front-page coverage in Durham Herald Sun newspaper and television coverage with all major networks; and the 1st minority-business event, which delivered an 18% increase in minority advertisers.
  • Developed and launched the Dallas Verizon SuperPages Read To Achieve Rally, a partnership between Fort Worth Independent School District, businesses, Dallas Mavericks Basketball team, James Earl Jones and Verizon focused on encouraging a life-long love of reading. Literacy event received extensive newspaper, radio and television coverage throughout the marketplace. Additionally, planned and organized special practice Mavericks basketball game for local businesses and independent school districts to enhance ticket sales at games.
  • Built relationships with sales and regional operations teams to expand Season Greetings Program, increasing book donations by 10% within 1st year. Interfaced with team to increase employee participation in volunteer events; and developed communication plans, nomination guides and judging criteria for Verizon Excellence Awards.
Jan 2004 - May 2004

Manager, External Affiars

Verizon Communications

Promoted and given full accountability for planning, directing and expanding community, government and business relationships and programs throughout Washington, DC to establish an optimal business and policy environment to enable revenue and market growth. Developed signature technology programs, established strategic partnerships, and managed a $1 million dollar foundation budget.

Selected Achievements:

  • Conceptualized, recommended, defined strategy and project managed the deployment of infrastructure to provide Internet access to 139 Washington, DC public schools and 27 libraries. Program greatly enhanced awareness of Verizon’s philanthropy efforts through extensive media coverage.
  • Built a profitable business relationship between Verizon External Affairs and Verizon Multi-Cultural Marketing team to develop integrated cause-related marketing strategies for local and national sales events hosted in Washington, DC; increasing product penetration by 11% and 903 new customers within 2 years.
  • Launched an effective communication campaign to increase awareness and employee participation with Verizon volunteer programs, elevating employee count from 600 to 800 volunteering 62,000 hours to non-profit groups.
Aug 1999 - Jan 2004

Specialist, External Affairs

Verizon Communications

Brought in to define communication strategies to increase awareness of Verizon’s community outreach and corporate philanthropy programs throughout Washington, DC and provide a framework to capture the long distance marketplace. Developed Verizon Foundation grant criteria; identified and launched new volunteering programs and events; developed corporate broadcast messages to advise employees of upcoming volunteer opportunities; and delivered market intelligence to Verizon business units on sales and event sponsorships to increase competitive advantage.

Selected Achievements:

  • Completely transformed and grew the Summer Youth Works program from 20-30 students working internally for Verizon to 100 students across 50 organizations throughout Washington DC.Collaborated with Mayor and City Council to establish partnerships with local businesses; defined communication strategy; and organized press conference to launch program at the Verizon Wireless office in Washington, DC
Sep 1996 - Aug 1999

Community Relations Coordinator

Ahold, Giant Food

Community Relations Coordinator / Team Leader

Recruited and credited with orchestrating a major expansion of the Apples for the Student PLUS Marketing program to drive revenue growth. Developed business case, defined strategy, and developed effective partnership, advertising, and marketing programs to increase awareness and adoption of receipt tape redemption loyalty program across educational institutions and community organizations throughout Washington, DC.Following success, assumed role as Team Lead of 10 Community Relations Coordinators to introduce and grow program servicing 2,000 schools throughout Washington, DC, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Selected Achievements:

  • Established partnerships with local businesses to allow employees to participate in program, increasing overall program participation by 20% within one year and $1.2 million in increased grocery store sales.
  • Spearheaded the growth of loyalty program by 9% within 3 years by launching effective marketing, communication and community outreach programs. Initiated and collaborated with schools and local civic / social groups to organize events and promotions to increase awareness of company’s philanthropic initiatives.
  • Primary writer of the Apple’s monthly newsletter and literature for 3,300 participating  schools.

Summary

  • Results-oriented leader with a dedicated 14-year career planning, defining and launching innovative internal/external communication programs for Verizon Communications and Giant Food. 
  • Change agent recognized for ability to identify needs and issues, design effective plans and initiatives, and build key relationships to improve quality of life, heighten brand recognition, garner desirable media coverage and enable competitive growth.
  • Facilitator successful in developing, organizing, and managing all aspects of government / business relations, community engagement, philanthropy, sponsorship and employee volunteerism initiatives.
  • Natural communicator and team leader with strong motivational and relationship-building skills. Proven ability to interact with people of all ages and multi-cultural backgrounds.

Objective

Seeking management opportunites with large or medium size corproations that align with my more than 14 years of corporate communications experience with Fortune 100 Companies.  Throughout my career I have been responsible for:

  • developing diverse employee awareness and public relations campaigns including the use of emerging social, digital and on-line media
  • print and online communications pieces for internal and external audiences 
  • executive speech writing 
  • acted as company spokesperson

I also have in depth experience in; corporate philanthropy, public affairs, and event planning.

Education

Education

Bachelor of Arts

Bennett College

Master of Arts

Towson University
Oct 2012 - Dec 2012

Certification

Strayer University
Oct 2012 - Dec 2012

Certification

Strayer University

Creating Winning Strategies Executive Certification.  Skills to conduct executive presentations and to more ideas to strategic initatives. 

Oct 2012 - Dec 2012

Certification

Strayer University

Creating Winning Strategies Executive Certification.  Skills to conduct executive presentations and to more ideas to strategic initatives. 

Certifications

Certifications

Corporate Community Involvement Management Certification

Certification
2006

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Healthcare & Group Benefit Plans