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Eric Kimes, Pennsylvania Entrepreneur, Is Winner of Verizon's 'Hardest Working Small Biz Dad' National Contest

News Release

NEW YORK – September 15, 2011 –

Eric Kimes, the owner of a Web design and hosting agency in Henryville, Pa., and the father of three young children, is the winner of Verizon's Hardest Working Small Biz Dad contest.

Kimes will receive the grand prize of $5,000 in cash and cleaning service for a year (valued at $2,400) for his blog post entry that explains how he balances raising his children and running his company, Webleaps (www.webleaps.com), with his wife, who is also his business partner.  The prize is particularly meaningful to Kimes, who recently suffered a family hardship. 

"I never win anything, and this winning from Verizon came at the perfect time that helped to bring my wife and me out of our grief," said Kimes. "The money will help with some home-improvement projects we have in mind.  It's definitely great to be recognized."

Kimes uses Verizon's smartphone and landline phone services to run his home-based business.

David Wasserman, director of small-business product management for Verizon, said: "It certainly wasn't easy choosing the hardest-working dad.  We congratulate Eric and commend all the men from across the country who entered the contest.  The best part of this contest was the feedback we got from our customers on how they use Verizon's products and services to help grow their businesses."

Kimes will also receive a six-month subscription to either Verizon Websites powered by Intuit, which enables businesses to quickly and easily design and set up their own website, or Intuit WebListings Premium, which places company websites onto popular search sites.

Kimes said that businesses, especially smaller ones, need a website so they can compete effectively and be found on search sites.  He recommends updating websites as often as once a week to keep them current, which helps to generate buzz - the best way to get unpaid organic results in all search engines. Smaller businesses that can't afford frequent updates should consider doing them at least once a month, in addition to a complete redesign of the website once every three years, he said. 

Verizon's Hardest Working Small Biz Dad contest, which was held earlier this year, was open to Verizon and Verizon Wireless customers. (Click here for a video of Wasserman introducing the contest.)   Contestants submitted a brief video on the Verizon Small Biz Facebook page or made a post to this blog post on the Verizon Small Biz Blog. 

For exclusive insights from Verizon, news, tips and more, follow Verizon Small Biz on Twitter (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz); become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonsmallbiz); or read the Verizon Small Biz Blog (www.verizon.com/smallbusinessblog).

In addition to Internet, TV and phone service, Verizon also offers small businesses many cloud-based, or online, services such as encryption and security solutions, plus an easy do-it-yourself website design application, and additional discounts on supplies and shipping. Visit the Verizon Small Business Center at http://business.verizon.net for more information.

More information on Verizon's products and services for small businesses is available by calling 1-888-481-0387 or visiting www.verizon.com/smallbusiness.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

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Media Contact:

Ellen Yu, 908-559-2818

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