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JFK University Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership Selected to Lead Education Effort in AT&T's Operation Hand Salute

June 18, 2012

PLEASANT HILL, CA – John F. Kennedy University’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) has been selected by AT&T to lead the education pillar of its 2012-2013 Operation Hand Salute (OHS) mentoring program (OHS). This groundbreaking supplier diversity program is designed to mentor and develop Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business Enterprises (SDVOBEs) and consists of three pillars for success – Education, Mentoring, and Opportunity.

“We are delighted to be working with AT&T and these service-disabled veteran business owners who have given so much to our country. The program aligns perfectly with the Institute’s mission of business and job creation,” explained IEL Director Dr. Raul Deju.

As the lead of the education pillar of Operation Hand Salute, JFK University is providing a 10-week entrepreneur course to the CEO’s participating in the program via AT&T TelePresence Solution®. Topics include developing a competitive assessment, preparing a business and internal management plan, and developing a sales and finance strategy.

The program, led by Dr. Deju, features guest lectures provided by Dina Finta, assistant IEL director, and Bill Wiersma, best-selling author of “The Power of Professionalism.” The course will conclude with the group visiting San Francisco in mid-September to participate in a “Fast Pitch” session with a panel of experienced CEOs and AT&T executives.

AT&T and IEL will assist the CEOs in addressing the challenges they face in the marketplace and provide them with the necessary tools to improve their business operations and subsequently their ability to win corporate contracts. AT&T’s goal is to spend 1.5 percent of its total contracting expenditures with SDVOBEs, a group of businesses that have historically proven to be valuable business solution providers in AT&T’s supply chain.

The Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership offers a Certificate in Entrepreneurship open to interested businesses. The program covers many of the same topics offered in AT&T’s Operation Hand Salute mentoring program. Learn more about JFK University’s IEL program at For a list of this year’s OHS participants, please log on to the AT&T Operation Hand Salute Website.


About John F. Kennedy University
Founded in 1964, John F. Kennedy University was among the first institutions of higher education in California committed to lifelong learning for adults. Today, the University’s three Colleges and Continuing Education division provide innovative higher education opportunities to more than 2,000 professionals who, despite a full range of life responsibilities, are determined to advance their education and improve their future. The Continuing Education division provides professional development education to more than 2,500 individuals per year. A pioneer of education that integrates theory and practice, John F. Kennedy University and its students touch the lives of more than 30,000 people in Bay Area communities every year through their support of outreach centers and public programs. For more information, visit

About the National University System
The National University System was established to meet the emerging challenges and demands of education in the 21st century. The System is uniquely aligned to connect a diverse population of students to a network of innovative educational programs that are relevant to their lives, careers, and the marketplace and are delivered in a format that respects competing life priorities. Dr. Jerry C. Lee has served as the System’s Chancellor since it was founded in 2001. In addition to John F. Kennedy University, the affiliates of the National University System are National University; National University International; the Division of Pre-College Programs consisting of National University Virtual High School and National University Academy; Spectrum Pacific Learning; and WestMed College. Entities related to the System include the National University System Institute for Policy Research, the National University Golf Academy, and the Center for Integrative Health. For more information, visit:

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates - AT&T operating companies - are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T DirectTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at