KUTZTOWN, PA – Kutztown University welcomes Andrea Custis, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Philadelphia, who will present a speech titled “The Truth about What It Takes” at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, in room 103 of the Academic Forum. The event is free to attend and KU students are encouraged to attend to gain an insight into the business industry and its connections to academia.
In her current role with the Urban League of Philadelphia, which is affiliated with the National Urban League, Custis empowers African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.
A seasoned corporate executive, Custis has more than 30 years of sales, marketing, human capital and operations experience with Fortune 50 companies. In 2011, she retired from Verizon Communications Mid-Atlantic region. She was President and COO of Verizon Avenue, providing bundled communication services to multi-dwelling communities nationwide. Custis served as Group President of Sales and Marketing for Advanced Services as well. A change-agent in her own right, Custis led massive culture change efforts across Verizon in various departments.
Throughout her distinguished career with Verizon, Custis was known for her innovative and performance-driven results. She managed a team that was rated first in the nation for three consecutive years in consumer phone, data, and television product sales and services while maintaining the highest customer retention rates nationally. Custis also built strong rapport with several other business executives in the industry, as she remains a close colleague of Bill Ribble, KU alumnus and former COO of UPS.
A respected public speaker, board member and mentor, Custis has established herself as a true public servant. She proudly served as a member of the Urban League of Philadelphia’s Board of Directors for six years, where she sat on the Fund Development Committee. Custis served on the Board of Directors of Verizon Communications of Washington, D.C. as well. She has also shared her talents and enthusiasm for community engagement by sitting on boards for Inroads, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA); Delaware Valley Child Care Council (Philadelphia, PA); Academy of Applied Electrical Sciences Board of Governors (Philadelphia, PA); DC Scores (Washington, D.C.); Atlas Performing Arts Center (Washington, D.C.) and Capitol VoIP Solutions (Washington, D.C.).
A strong advocate for education, Custis is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Lincoln University (PA) and was a member of the Advisory Council for Career and Vocational Education with the School District of Philadelphia. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Custis has been recognized by Ebony magazine as “One To Watch,” one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business,” and “Executive of the Year” by the Consortium of Information and Telecommunications Executives and Hispanic Support Organization.
Custis earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Morgan State University and a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Custis is also a graduate of Boston University’s Leadership Institute, a National Science Foundation Scholar of Princeton University, and most recently, a graduate of Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program.