Andy Brady serves as Great Lakes Market President for Verizon’s consumer unit. He leads a team of Verizon employees across Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In this role, Andy leverages his deep industry knowledge to inspire his teams as they deliver first-in-class connections to customers every single day. His responsibilities also include operational excellence, financial performance, and the overall customer experience.

Andy started his Verizon career in 2003 as Associate Director of telesales in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, and also served as associate director of SMB and government sales, and strategic sales in Chicago, Illinois.

Tell us more about your role as Verizon’s Great Lakes Market President. What makes Chicago such an important part of Verizon?

I am honored to lead 2,700 employees across the midwest, responsible for all of our consumer business across the area. My job is to help drive the needs of our customers and our employees to ensure we build the connections that matter most.

Chicago plays a big role in our success. It’s why our team is headquartered here. The city has been a huge part of Verizon’s lineage and heritage. Not only was the very first commercial cellular phone call made here in the Windy City forty years ago, Chicago was one of the first cities in the world with 5G. We are so proud of the incredible network we’ve built here – a network that RootMetrics has awarded the best for close to 20 years now.

Culturally speaking, I love the vibrancy of Chicago – a great sports town full of passionate people devoted not just to their favorite teams but to the communities they represent. I’m so excited to help all of Chicago’s thriving communities strengthen their connections with each other.

You’ve been with Verizon for 20 years. What are some of the most exciting ways the telecommunications industry has changed?

We went from making phone calls to sending texts to sharing data on a daily basis. And with each new breakthrough came a new generation of technology. Think 1G, 2G, 3G, etc. I’ve been around for each “G” and I’m excited to see our 5G service making strides in so many industries.  We went from making sure people can hear their phone calls to understanding the critical importance of data connections in the lives of our customers. 

Think about the way data has changed the world.  Think about the amount of companies that have been created because of that data. To play an active role in that technological transformation for 20 years has been nothing short of inspiring.  It’s the kind of technology that, at one time, may have been just nice to have. Today, so much of Verizon’s technology is a must-have for our customers.

Your business is all about connections. What does connecting mean to you? 

It begins with the most important connections in my life.  I’m a husband and a father first, so for me, connecting means being able to talk to my five kids or my wife at any moment. I love being on the family group chat. I love to be able to see what’s going on with my family in real time. I would miss that desperately if I didn’t have access to our chat. It reminds me why I believe so strongly in the connections our company helps create around the world.

I think in many ways the best business connections are similar to the most important personal connections in our lives. The key is making sure we approach our business connections with the same level of humanity. For me, nothing beats connecting with my family. It’s the best part of my day.

Tell us more about the role small businesses play in Verizon’s success. What makes small business connectivity such a vital part of your company vision?

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. Here in Chicagoland, the success of the small business is paramount to the economic health of the city.  I am so proud to see Verizon playing a huge role in helping small businesses thrive.

The small business owner wears many hats. They may be the head chef, the accountant, the marketer and so on. With Verizon, the small business owner has a technological ally. You’ve got the network, the tools and the support of an incredibly motivated team ready to help any business reach its goals.

I love getting to know small businesses in different capacities, and I love solving challenges for people. Sometimes it’s a challenge businesses haven’t even thought of. To be at the forefront of technology and the forefront of the business community means we can provide game-changing solutions across so many business verticals.

What advice would you give those who aspire to work in your industry?

Keep your head on a swivel and be aware of the many technological advancements that could transform the way you do business. So many of us think about progress in a linear fashion. We’re often thinking, “How can I go faster and further?” when we really should be thinking outside the box and look side-to-side at times. Technology is all about being nimble.

Our technology today is so different from what we had even ten years ago, and you’ve got to believe it will feel vastly different ten years from now. We’ve got to continue asking ourselves, “What’s the next step? What’s the next evolution?”

Be thought-provoking and be inquisitive. It’s what will ultimately lead to the very connections that mean the most in your life.