RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion, one of the nation's largest energy producers, today celebrates its 21st annual Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership educational series by honoring six prominent African Americans.
"Strong Men & Women" highlights the accomplishments of selected African-American role models and tells their stories in an educational series that is distributed during Black History Month to schools across Dominion's retail electric and natural gas service areas in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. More than 200 African-American leaders have been honored in the program's history.
"The life stories and interests of these exceptional men and women are incredibly rich and diverse," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion president and chief executive officer. "They uplift and serve as shining examples of commitment, vision and what it means to push through hardship and succeed. These are the kind of role models our youth deserve."
The awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, where the VMFA African Art Collection is housed in the new Dominion Resources Gallery. Dominion Resources is also the presenting sponsor for the international landmark exhibition Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria that opens to the public Feb. 12.
Dominion will begin tweeting from the event at 7 p.m. Dominion's Twitter handle is @DomVApower, accessible at: www.twitter.com/domvapower, hashtag #SMSW.
The 2011 honorees are:
- Leon D. Bibb* – first African-American prime-time broadcast news anchor, Cleveland, Ohio.
- Lillian Lincoln Lambert – first African-American woman to earn a Harvard MBA, Mechanicsville, Va.
- The Honorable Cleo E. Powell, J.D. – first African-American woman judge, Virginia Court of Appeals, Richmond, Va.
- Gary G. Thomas – first African-American artist with work on display in three national sports museums, Shaker Heights, Ohio.
- The Honorable Jay Williams* – first African-American and youngest mayor of Youngstown, Ohio
- Dorothy Cowser Yancy, Ph.D. – first woman president (Emerita) of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.
*Attending Cleveland, Ohio, ceremony Feb. 11
Also to be honored are four Virginia student essay-writing contest winners. High school juniors and seniors each year are invited to participate in the Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership program by writing essays about any of the past honorees. Winners receive a laptop computer and their schools each receive a $1,000 cash award. About 25,000 sets of learning materials are sent to schools and libraries in five states.
The student essay winners are:
- Starr Shands
Dinwiddie High School
- Basil Badalla
Frank W. Cox High School
Virginia Beach, Va.
- Atif Javed
Fairfax High School
- Benjamin Stoll
Grace Christian High School
More information about Strong Men & Women is available on Dominion's website at: http://www.dom.com/about/education/strong/index.jsp; a drawing of the individuals being honored is available at http://www.dom.com/about/education/strong/2011/images/2011_lg.jpg .
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
Follow the Strong Men and Woman event on Twitter using hashtag #SMSW