Dominion to Honor President and Mrs. Obama in 20th Annual Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership Educational Series

Jan 21, 2010, 15:30 ET from Dominion

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion, one of the nation's largest energy producers, today will honor the nation's first African-American President and First Lady for their accomplishments and leadership through its 20th annual Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership educational series.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be recognized during the company's 20th annual Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership educational series. The event will be held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Richmond. President and Mrs. Obama are unable to attend.

During the evening, Dominion also will recognize five Virginia and North Carolina high school student essay-writing contest winners. The students will read their winning essays during the event.

"The 2008 presidential election marked the beginning of a new chapter in our nation's history," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and chief executive officer.  "In choosing Barack Obama as president, the American people broke down old barriers and demonstrated the growing importance of diversity and inclusion in our society.  

"Dominion is proud to sponsor this popular series as part of our commitment to excellence in education," Farrell said. "If, after being exposed to the compelling life stories contained in the Strong Men and Women materials, young people are motivated to say, 'I can do that, too,' we know we have hit the mark.  We have planted a seed of hope and belief in a future full of possibility."

Strong Men & Women highlights the accomplishments of selected African-Americans and tells their stories in an educational series distributed each year during Black History Month. In addition, high school juniors and seniors in five states each year are invited to participate in the Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership student writing contest.  

In January and February, more than 25,000 sets of learning materials are sent to schools and libraries in northeastern North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Students are invited to write essays about one of the Strong Men & Women honorees. Winners receive a laptop computer, and their schools each receive a $1,000 cash award.

This year's essay winners are:

  • Teresa Danso-Danquah

            Henrico High School

            Richmond, Virginia

  • Wesley Chavis

            Frank W. Cox High School

            Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Kanchana Sthanumurthy

            Potomac Falls High School

            Loudoun County, Virginia

  • Blake Rogers

            Turner Ashby High School

            Bridgewater, Virginia

  • Shanell Byrd

            Washington High School

            Washington, North Carolina

More information about Strong Men & Women can be found at: A graphic image of the individuals being honored is available at: Video b-roll, student essay winner interviews and media kits will be on hand and a downloadable image of the honorees' portrait is available at:  

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 12 states.  For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at

SOURCE Dominion