Monica Azare's journey began with a bold move—securing a position as a legislative intern while still navigating the halls of high school. Since then, she has wielded her voice and no-nonsense communication style to become a respected leader within the telecommunications industry.

Azare was recently on campus as a guest in Denny Strigl’s course Leadership Development for Business. Strigl, the former president, CEO, and COO of Verizon Wireless, met Azare when she first joined Verizon’s Government Relations Group. Reflecting on their 25 years of collaboration Strigl recalled an early encounter. 

“I was called to testify before a Congressional Committee," Strigl said. "She thoroughly counseled me before, during, and after my testimony. She was a dedicated and trusted lawyer who quickly advanced in her career at Verizon, ultimately becoming a Vice President and Deputy General Counsel."

Azare's audacity was evident from her earliest interactions with Strigl and Verizon's leadership. During preparations for the Congressional hearing, she fearlessly voiced her concerns about their strategy, prompting Strigl to extend an unexpected invitation: to ride to the hearing with him. At that moment, Azare braced herself for the potential of being fired, yet found herself pleasantly surprised as Strigl not only listened but integrated her insights into their approach.

A gifted storyteller, Azare weaved her narrative from humble beginnings in Abbeville, Louisiana, to her current standing as an industry expert. She urged the students to look for unintended consequences, get points on the board, take on the project no one wants, and use their voices. Her story not only inspires but also imparts invaluable lessons on navigating the complexities of business and life.