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BellSouth Florida President, Joe Lacher, Announces Retirement
[April 01, 2005]

BellSouth Florida President, Joe Lacher, Announces Retirement

ATLANTA, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Corporation today announced the retirement of Joe Lacher as the president of BellSouth's Florida operations, bringing to a close a distinguished 38-year career in the telecommunications industry. Lacher will remain active in his current position until May 15, 2005.

"Joe provided great leadership during a time of transformation in the communications industry," said Duane Ackerman, chairman and CEO of BellSouth. "In a market filled with new technology and competition, Joe maintained a focus on serving our customers and our communities. His commitment to the state of Florida is reflected in the strong relationships he built with partners throughout the state. We will miss his leadership, and we wish him much happiness in his future endeavors."
Lacher, a Florida native, grew up in Bradenton and received a B.A. from Belmont Abbey College. He also earned an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a Sloan Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
For the past 15 years, he has led the Florida operations for BellSouth, the largest telecommunications provider in the state. Lacher began his career in 1967 as a management assistant for Southern Bell in Charlotte, N.C. After holding various positions, he was transferred in 1975 to AT&T's corporate headquarters in New York. Following his return to Southern Bell in 1978, Lacher held positions of increasing responsibility in Atlanta and Florida before entering the Sloan program at MIT in 1983. In 1984 he was appointed secretary/assistant treasurer of Southern Bell and in 1988 was named vice president of Southern Bell's North Carolina operations. In 1990, Lacher returned to Florida as head of Southern Bell's Florida operations.
Lacher is well known for his involvement and leadership in many state and civic affairs. He serves as chairman of Great Florida Bank and director of Perry Ellis International. He is past chairman and current board member of the Miami Business Forum and is a member of the Florida Council of 100 and Enterprise Florida, Inc. He also served as chairman for the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida TaxWatch. In addition, Lacher has served on the Orange Bowl Committee since 1991. Governor Bush appointed Lacher to serve as vice chairman of the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, to help Floridians rebuild after last year's devastating hurricane season.
Marshall Criser III, vice president of Regulatory & External Affairs for BellSouth in Florida, has been named to succeed Lacher and elected an officer.
Criser, also a Florida native, has 25 years of service with BellSouth. In his most recent position he was responsible for the advocacy of BellSouth's policy and business objectives before the Florida Public Service Commission and other key external stakeholders. Previously, Criser led the strategic development of BellSouth's expansion into new lines of business in Latin America and served as director of State and Agency Relations for BellSouth in Washington, D.C.
A graduate of the University of Florida, Criser has completed the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD in Fontainebleau. He is past president and a board member of the Florida Telecommunications Industry Association and current chairman of the Florida Research Consortium. In addition he is president of the Florida 4H Foundation Board, vice chairman of IT Florida and a member of the boards of Florida TaxWatch, the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the World Class School's Foundation.
"Marshall has deep roots in Florida and extensive experience in the policy arena," said Margaret Greene, president of Regulatory & External Affairs for BellSouth. "He will keep our Florida operations focused on the communications needs of our customers and communities."
Criser's successor will be named at a later date.

About BellSouth Corporation

BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and a parent company of Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless voice and data provider.
Backed by award winning customer service, BellSouth offers the most comprehensive and innovative package of voice and data services available in the market. Through BellSouth Answers(R), residential and small business customers can bundle their local and long distance service with dial up and high speed DSL Internet access, satellite television and Cingular(R) Wireless service. For businesses, BellSouth provides secure, reliable local and long distance voice and data networking solutions. BellSouth also offers online and directory advertising through BellSouth(R) and The Real Yellow Pages(R).
More information about BellSouth can be found at .
BellSouth Corporation

CONTACT: Marta Casas-Celaya of BellSouth Corporation, +1-305-347-5659

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