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AT&T New York Marissa Shorenstein
Marissa Shorenstein
President — AT&T New York

Marissa Shorenstein, president AT&T New York, is responsible for the company’s regulatory, public policy and community relations initiatives across the state.

AT&T New York Blog

AT&T Supports Local Innovation in Western New York

Posted by Marissa Shorenstein on December 18, 2015

Dear Colleague,

As the global economy rapidly evolves, AT&T has kept pace transforming from a traditional telecommunications company into an industry leading technology enterprise featuring a first rate network experience and cutting edge mobile solutions. We’re particularly proud to support the resurgence of Western New York’s innovation economy by helping startups and technologists launch their services and products right here in their own backyard.

In addition to providing a best in class mobile network in the region, AT&T’s commitment to fostering local innovation throughout New York and supporting the regional technology and startup community is evident through our support of local organizations and our efforts to bring those organizations together for social good.

NYinnovationWe created the AT&T WNY Civic App Challenge, a two-month virtual competition that culminated in December 2014, and engaged more than 170 participants. This competition led to the creation of at least one company and the development of many active civic mobile apps for the benefit of the community.

Since then AT&T has had a busy year supporting local innovation by collaborating with the University at Buffalo, Fredonia State University of New York, Fredonia Technology Incubator, InfoTech WNY, Z80 Incubator Labs, Dig Buffalo, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, among other regional technology champions, on events, forums and programming that provide resources for promising local talent and that demonstrate how technology and entrepreneurship are revitalizing the region.

AT&T has also been involved in many of Western New York’s premier tech and startup events this year such as Buffalo Startup Weekend, Girls Develop It Hackathon, the first all-woman hackathon in the region, University at Buffalo’s and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’s Picture Yourself on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus!, the Buffalo UnConference, Fredonia State University of New York’s Computer Science Department Student Expo and the campus-wide entrepreneurial competition, WNY Civic Hackathon powered by AT&T and the University at Buffalo’s Global Entrepreneurial Week. AT&T also provided Dig Buffalo co-work space with mobile phone booths.

We also supported the University at Buffalo’s and Canisius College’s ARTY program and Computers for Children’s STEM Summer Program to interest the next generation in the fields of science and technology and to help prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

With 2015 quickly coming to an end, AT&T is already exploring ways of becoming more involved in the Western New York technology and innovation community in the coming years. We wish you all the best for a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to continuing to work together to promote local innovation and economic revitalization.

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Melissa Shorenstein
President — AT&T New York 

Connect Ability Celebrates 25 Years of the ADA and DIRECTV are now ONE!

Posted by Marissa Shorenstein on August 17, 2015

Dear Friends,

AT&T’s Connect Ability Challenge, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, culminated earlier this week with $100,000 in awards presented for amazing new technology solutions for individuals with disabilities. The $25,000 grand prize went to Kinesic Mouse, a software solution that uses a 3D camera to detect facial expressions and head rotations, allowing users to operate their personal computers hands-free.

The three month long technology challenge focused on spurring innovation for people with physical, social, emotional and cognitive disabilities. By the end, the global challenge received 63 submissions -- software, wearable and other technology solutions aimed at enhancing the lives of people with disabilities -- by developers from 16 states and 15 countries.

To best engage the user community, the Connect Ability Challenge used an innovative Exemplar model. Developers had the opportunity throughout the competition to interface directly with people with diverse disabilities who shared the challenges they face and helped guide innovators to find solutions. 

“The promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act was to remove barriers that people with disabilities face – it’s clear from these extraordinary submissions that technology can play an important role in fulfilling the law’s mission,” said Marissa Shorenstein, President, AT&T New York. “The winning solutions address specific challenges that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in our society. We hope that this unique competition spurs further innovation in this area and highlights how much mobile technology can improve people’s daily experiences.” 

Connect Ability demonstrates AT&T's commitment to help all of our customers and employees communicate everywhere they live and work and to advancing technology to make our world better.

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Kinesic Mouse won the $25,000 grand prize.


Marissa Shorenstein
New York State President, AT&T

AT&T and DIRECTV are now ONE!

Posted by Marissa Shorenstein on August 16, 2015

AT&T and DIRECTV are now one!AT&T Inc. has completed its acquisition of DIRECTV. The newly combined company — the largest pay TV provider in the United States and the world — will offer millions of people more choices for video entertainment on any screen from almost anywhere, any time.

Current customers of AT&T and DIRECTV do not need to do anything as a result of the merger. They’ll continue to receive their same services, channel lineups and customer care.

Customer account information, online access and billing arrangements remain the same.

The integration of AT&T and DIRECTV will occur over the coming months. In the coming weeks, AT&T will launch new integrated TV, mobile and high-speed Internet offers that give customers greater value and convenience.

With the completion of its DIRECTV acquisition, AT&T will continue to deploy its all-fiber GigaPower Internet access service — the company’s highest-speed Internet service, which allows you to download a TV show in as little as three seconds. When the expansion is complete, AT&T’s all-fiber broadband footprint will reach more than 14 million customer locations.

“Combining DIRECTV with AT&T is all about giving customers more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and high-speed Internet service,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen."

“This transaction allows us to significantly expand our high-speed Internet service to reach millions more households, which is a perfect complement to our coast-to-coast TV and mobile coverage,” Stephenson said. “We’re now a fundamentally different company, with a diversified set of capabilities and businesses that set us apart from the competition.”

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Picture Your Life; Picture How Quickly It Can Change

Posted by Marissa Shorenstein on August 15, 2015

Silence Your PhoneBehind the wheel, everything can change in the blink of an eye. A post, a selfie, a text, a scroll, an email — one look is all it takes. And shockingly, research we released a few weeks ago found that seven in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving!

It’s hard to envision a moment like that — until you experience it. And we don’t want that to happen. So we’re bringing it to life — virtually.

As part of AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign, we launched a new virtual reality (VR) experience that simulates in an immersive, but safe, 3-D setting the potentially deadly consequences of glancing at your phone while driving. With Samsung, Bose and Google as collaborators, we’re taking the virtual reality (VR) experience on a tour of more than 100 cities before year-end.

In addition to the VR tour, our new ad campaign will help broaden recognition that the smartphone distracted driving problem is bigger than texting. Through slow-motion cinematography, viewers are able to see the jarring aftermath of taking their eyes off the road to glance at or tap on a smartphone while driving.

The 30-second spots will be featured in national TV programming and on Visit our YouTube page to view the 30-second spots and the full-length feature.

We need your help. We need your commitment. Now more than ever, we are urging you to pledge to keep your eyes on the road and not on your phone!

To learn more about the It Can Wait campaign, visit And remember no post, view, email, search or text is worth a life.

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No Post is Worth a Life

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