BLN Spotlight – Interview with David Kerr from AT&T
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Q: As a League Business Leader, you interact regularly with local and state officials. How have these relationships helped you and your firm?
A: AT&T’s involvement in the PML through the Business Leaders Network has given us a great opportunity to interact with municipal leaders throughout the Commonwealth both in formal and informal settings. We have used our involvement to not only highlight a number of projects we are undertaking in communities but to also gain valuable insight into our initiatives. For example, we’ve been able to talk to municipal leaders about the substantial investments we’re making in our infrastructure in Pennsylvania – around $1.1 billion from 2011 to 2013. These infrastructure investments help keep communities connected, while driving economic growth in our cities and towns. We have also teamed up with Mayors and council members from around the Commonwealth as part of our It Can Wait campaign, which is designed to stop texting while driving. We never miss an opportunity to remind Pennsylvanians about this issue and encourage them to visit www.itcanwait.com to get involved. The insight and information sharing feedback we get helps us to better communicate our message to our stakeholders and municipal leaders’ constituents.
Q: What is the favorite aspect of your job?
A: I like the fact that each day when I wake up there is a different challenge facing me. The diversity of the issues I face and the challenges that come up are what keep me motivated to work hard. I might be working one day on a zoning issue in a community and another day on broad human resources policy issue in Harrisburg. I also enjoy working with my fellow employees on projects in the communities where they live and work. Our employees donate a great deal of their time and talent to help inspire more Pennsylvania students to prepare for STEM careers, for example. We are also contributing to worthy organizations across Pennsylvania to encourage students to stay in school. We are doing our part to prepare the next generation of leaders in our communities.
Q: How long have you been in your current role?
A: I have been affiliated with AT&T for almost twelve years. I have held my current position as Regional Vice President for External Affairs since the spring of 2008.
Q: What did you do prior to your current role at ATT?
A: Prior to joining AT&T, I served in a number of roles in state government beginning as an Executive Assistant in the PA Department of Community Affairs through my role as Policy Director for Governor Mark Schweiker. While in state government, I worked in a number of positions in tax and telecommunications policy as well as a program and project manager for economic development programs including the original Keystone Opportunity Zone tax free development program. I have enjoyed travelling the state in previous jobs and in my current job.
Q: What advice do you have for other firms and other Business Leaders to make the most of their membership in the League’s Business Leaders Network?
A: The public and private sectors must work together to take on the challenges we face as a Commonwealth, in our businesses and in our cities and municipalities. Together government and businesses, large and small, must create opportunities for the continued growth and development (or in many cases redevelopment) of our communities. We have found that our membership in the PML helps us achieve our combined goals.