THEN : In 1987, Mike Hassett was the account executive for Bell Atlantic in West Virginia. After completing a 700-location data network in support of the launch of the West Virginia State Lottery, he spent the rest of the year adding state office locations to a multinode Centrex system. He also was beginning to look at videoconferencing pilots to facilitate distance learning applications between a handful of state colleges. But the boring truth is that I spent most of my days in heated Centrex vs. PBX battles with AT&T and interconnects (a cute term that no one uses anymore), he says. At the end of 1987, his first son was born and he was transferred to Washington, D.C., to start what turned out to be a series of marketing assignments over the years. Back then I think I had a total of three direct reports, and the state account had annual billings of about $8 million, he recalls. Some of my peers might say that my most significant accomplishment that year, having been born in New York and living in West Virginia for eight years, was that I finally learned how to “mosey” (a form of walking that does not require you to put one foot directly in front of the other in order to make progress).
Hassett still has a letter from former West Virginia Gov. Arch Moore hanging in his Basking Ridge office thanking him for servicing the state account.
NOW: Hassett is senior vice president for business marketing within Verizon Telecom, which includes revenue accountability as well as segment, product and channel strategies for SOHO/SMB/SME customers. His team manages the Verizon Solutions Partner Program and agreements with MDU owners and developers to facilitate the sale of FiOS data and video services. Today, I manage a team of about 2,000 sales and marketing professionals who wake up every day with the mission of helping small business customers use our technology to better serve their customers and grow their business, he says. So, a lot has changed for me and around me.