verizon essence

Verizon Wireless executives mix and mingle at special brunch they hosted at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans to welcome media journalists (Photo by Chris Mitch)

*New Orleans, LA — As one of the major returning sponsors of the Essence Festival that took place during the July 4th celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA), Verizon Wireless once again reigned supreme with festival goers by hosting many amazing activities and presenting the hottest talent in music, film and sports at its well-attended booth at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in NOLA.

Visitors to the popular booth freely rubbed shoulders, posed for pictures, and received autographs from celebrated stars such as Jill Scott, Charlie Wilson, Marvin Sapp, Laz Alonso, Raheem DeVaughn, Mint Condition, Marvin Sapp, Luke James, PJ Morton, Chrisette Michele, Biz Markie, Jonathan Slocumb, and many more.

Visitors to the Verizon Wireless booth also enjoyed impromptu performances and lots of giveaways as well as informal talks with Verizon Wireless representatives in which they learned about America’s largest 4G LTE network and how it helps you stay connected.  The Verizon booth also showcased their newest technologies that festival goers took to, lovingly.

Many visitors to the booth wanted to know about the wildly popular and sleek looking Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Tab® 2 (7.0).  They learned that Galaxy Tab 2 customers will have access to the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network which covers more than 75 percent of the U.S. population and will soon be available in more than 400 markets nationwide.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) features power and portability with its 4G LTE connectivity and 7-inch display making mobile entertainment easy.

On a lighter side, the premium communications company hooked up an intimate brunch bash at NOLA’s Dooky Chase’s Restaurant led by world famous Chef Leah Chase, and featuring an astonishing array of Creole and soul food in a restaurant atmosphere filled with local art.  The invitational only brunch was attended by special guests, VIPs, specially selected journalists assigned to cover the Essence Festival, and several top echelon Verizon Wireless representatives that included Cameka Crawford, manager of community relations and multicultural communications,  Elva Lima, executive director of community relations and multicultural communications, Kim Collins, director of multicultural marketing, and Torod Neptune, vice president of corporate communications.

Prior to a delectable dining experience, highly regarded and successful movie director/producer Will Packer and singer Chrisette Michele joined Neptune in a brief discussion about Verizon Wireless’ excellent products.  Neptune eloquently spoke about new Verizon Wireless products while Packer and Michele shared their positive Verizon Wireless experiences as consumers.

One of the many new things Neptune spoke about was Motorola’s newest Droid for Verizon Wireless featuring a thin, light and sleek look.  “The Droid Razr HD by Motorola is an Android smartphone for those wanting the best.  Its modern design embodies beauty and strength.  Its HD display is vivid enough to resemble an HD TV,” stated Neptune.  “And its’ Verizon 4G LTE power and long–lasting battery are made to keep up with your social life and entertainment needs.”  LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

“If you’re tired of your exercise routine and need a little something to kick-start your motivation, check out the Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker.  It’s much more than a pedometer; in fact, it’s loaded with tons of cool features despite its diminutive size,” Neptune explained.  “Track your steps, distance walked and calories burned, and automatically sync them to your Fitbit profile on your computer and Bluetooth 4.0 smartphones and tablets.  Connect up to 10 Wi–Fi enabled devices at one time in 4G and 5 devices at one time in 3G.”

“Global Ready supports GSM data roaming in over 200 countries.  Interactive OLED Display lets you easily check connection status and view SMS usage alerts,” Neptune concluded.

Then with help from the Verizon elves (volunteer workers), each journalist was presented with a Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Tab. 7.7 tablet as part of their participation in the 2013 Essence Festival.  The joyful junketeers attending this year’s Essence Festival — well-organized by Sheila Eldridge, president & CEO of Miles Ahead Entertainment, and her highly proficient staffers Dee Dee Faison (project manager) and Sean Patrick Gary (project coordinator) — were rendered speechless!

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless was the first national wireless provider in the United States to build and operate a large-scale 4G LTE network — the most advanced wireless network technology available, with speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G.  Verizon Wireless is technology that powers your life, connects your world.

ford essence

Ford’s Michelle Matthews-Alexander (center) is pictured at dinner the premium car company hosted at New Orleans hot spot Adelaide for media journalists covering Essence Festival in New Orleans (Photo by Chris Mitch)

*Ford Motor Company returned to the Essence Festival in New Orleans July 4-7 for the fifth consecutive year as the exclusive automotive sponsor and joined in the explosive celebration of the festival’s 19th triumphant year as a cultural celebration featuring a mix of bold names, exciting newcomers and cherished festival favorites.  This marked the premium car company’s commitment with the festival in both an organic and hands-on way that enabled consumers to experience and learn more about the company’s newest products in a fun and meaningful atmosphere

“The ESSENCE Festival occupies a special place in the hearts of African Americans and particularly African American women,” said Shawn Thompson, manager, Ford multicultural marketing.  “This relationship continues to allow Ford to go further as a company when it comes to not only our products but also our communities.”

The Essence Festival is one of the nation’s biggest Independence Day celebrations and festival-goers anxiously look forward to Ford bringing its A-game each year.  And so they did!  Ford returned with some of the company’s signature events and added a few new attractions including a Ford-sponsored exclusive live broadcast with “Steve Harvey Morning Show” inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; a consumer ride-and-drive experience; an opportunity for one consumer to win the keys to a 2013 Ford Fusion as part of the “Mr. Matchmaker” Game Show Experience with actor and Ford partner Boris Kodjoe; Ford’s initiatives tied to breast cancer awareness; a live one-hour stream of the Ford-branded Super Lounge; and a chance for attendees to learn more about Ford’s cars and take a drive in some of the newest vehicles such as the 2013 Ford Escape, 2013 Ford Focus ST, 2013 Fusion and 2014 Ford Fiesta.

In addition to these vehicle engagement experiences, the premium car company afforded attendees the chance to win some cool prizes at the Ford booth as part of the brand’s continued partnership with Sirius XM and obtain celebrity autograph signings.  Sirius XM conducted live interviews from the Ford booth with artists including Shaunie O’Neal, Kym Whitley, Anthony David, Chrisette Michele and Charlie Wilson throughout the weekend.

Other activities included a media ride & drive experience in which members of the elite media squad hand-picked to attend the festival for coverage in their diverse media outlets got a chance to ride and drive in one of the newest vehicles from Ford.  Sheila Eldridge and the flawless staff of Miles Ahead Entertainment coordinated all media activities.

Ford also hosted a media welcome dinner at the trendy Café Adelaide inside of the Loews Hotel attended by a handful of Fords top executives including Shawn Thompson manager, Ford multicultural marketing, and Michelle Matthews-Alexander, director, multicultural public relations, Ford & Lincoln Brands.

Following a scrumptious dinner of chopped salad; choice of Harris ranch Black Angus tournedos of beef or pan roasted gulf fish or cast iron seared chicken; and finished off with vanilla bean crème brulee & chocolate trifle duo, the media junketeers headed for the convention center for Showtime at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets.  Contact her via: [email protected]

audrey bernard

Audrey J. Bernard