Former President of Verizon New Jersey Dennis Bone, Rutgers MBA '84, inducted into Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni

Rutgers alumnus Dennis M. Bone, MBA '84, has been inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni for his leadership in telecommunications technology, as president of Verizon New Jersey. Bone, one of the state’s highest-profile business leaders, has worked to advance and strengthen the state’s labor pool by leading New Jersey to the forefront of broadband telecommunications in the nation.

Asked to explain the secret to his success in business, Dennis M. Bone invokes the hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be,” Gretzky famously said, explaining his own path to renown.

As president of Verizon New Jersey, a company with more than 15,000 employees, Bone RBS ’84 has kept a sharp eye on the future—his company’s and the state’s. He’s guided the company through unprecedented advances in telecommunications technology, including a fiber-optic network that transformed the way the company delivers internet, television, and phone service. And as the chair of both the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission and Choose New Jersey, a statewide business-recruiting campaign, Bone is working to strengthen the state’s labor pool as well as New Jersey’s overall business climate.

Rutgers MBA Verizon President Dennis Bone

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“We are a terrific state for so many industries,” Bone says. “What we’re doing is all the work—the market research—trying to understand exactly how to position the state. We’re working to polish the image of New Jersey and to bring out its strengths.”

One of New Jersey’s highest-profile business leaders, Bone also volunteers to serve on the boards of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Liberty Science Center, the state Chamber of Commerce, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Bone went to work for New Jersey Bell in 1979 and became president of its eventual successor, the Newark-based Verizon New Jersey, in 2000. Maintaining his ties to Rutgers through the years, he delivered the commencement speech to Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick in 2005 and served as co-chair of the 2008 gala that celebrated the 100th anniversary of Rutgers–Newark.

When he addressed the business school’s graduating class in 2005, Bone offered insight into preparing for a changing world “because the business world has changed dramatically over time,” he says. “What I have learned over the years about the most successful people is their flexibility to change course quickly and to have a mindset that’s open and curious.”

And, of course, looking to the future. Bone is particularly proud of a recent Kauffman Foundation survey that ranked New Jersey’s broadband telecommunications industry number one in the nation. “I know my company has had a lot to do with that in our investment and the networks we’ve built,” Bone says. “It’s been an exciting ride to help position the company for investment and growth in New Jersey.”

(This story is excerpted from “5 Star Alumni” in the Spring 2012 issue of Rutgers Magazine.)

*Dennis Bone retired from his position as Verizon New Jersey president on July 6, 2012.

TAGS: Alumni MBA Thought Leadership Verizon