Dominion Energy and the Library of Virginia Honor Six Leaders as 'Strong Men & Women in Virginia History'

  • 11th annual program recognizes African American leaders and their contributions to the Commonwealth
  • This year's honorees include an Air Force Pilot, a Nuclear Engineer, a CEO, and a Farmer
  • Four high school student winners of creative contest also recognized

RICHMOND, Va., June 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Energy and the Library of Virginia are pleased to announce the 2023 Strong Men & Women in Virginia History honorees and Student Creative Expressions Contest winners.

This annual program recognizes notable African American business and community leaders who have overcome obstacles to make significant impacts across the state.

"Each generation builds on the achievements of the one before. That's why we are proud to honor Strong Men & Women in Virginia History who have used their talents and efforts to improve communities for the present and future generations," said Bill Murray, Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Communications at Dominion Energy.

Members of the armed forces, engineers, authors, community leaders, educators, journalists, judges, and politicians have been celebrated throughout the program's history.

"These amazing men and women have proven that hard work and determination can shape one's destiny and the world. Throughout time, African American leaders have used their unique skillsets and unwavering passion to mentor leaders of the future. It's important to honor their efforts and their legacy," said Sandra G. Treadway, Librarian of Virginia.

The 2023 honorees:

Kendall Holbrook 
CEO and Mentor, Fairfax County

Ora Scruggs McCoy 
Farmer and Community Activist, Appomattox County

Wendell Oliver Scott (honored posthumously)
Stock Car Driver, Danville

Col. Quentin Joseph Smith Jr. (Ret) 
Air Force Pilot and Mentor, Hampton

Sheila Bowen Taylor 
Nuclear Engineer and Mentor, Norfolk

Rev. Raymond Rogers Wilkinson (honored posthumously)
Baptist Minister and Civil Rights Leader, Roanoke

The leaders were celebrated at a gala on Thursday in Richmond. Each honoree was provided the opportunity to choose a non-profit to receive a $5,000 grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. Along with the event, the Library of Virginia will host a traveling exhibition featuring each of the honorees and their biographical information. The exhibition will be on display at various community, business, and educational institutions throughout the year so that Virginians can learn about these outstanding leaders and their contributions to the Commonwealth.

In 2013, Strong Men & Women in Virginia History was born when Dominion Energy and the Library of Virginia began a new educational initiative that merged two phenomenal Black History Month programs: Dominion Energy's 22–year–old series, Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership and the Library of Virginia's eight–year–old program, African American Trailblazers in Virginia History.

As part of the initiative, high school students from each region of Virginia are invited to participate in a contest to honor outstanding African Americans and share stories they feel may be missing from the mainstream narrative. 

The 2023 Student Creative Expressions Contest winners:

Jonah Burton
Henrico High School, Richmond

Alexa Koeckritz
Grafton High School, Yorktown

Lily Vietmeyer
Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington

Maria Turner
Patrick County High School, Stuart

The student winners will each receive an Apple MacBook Air laptop and $1,000 for their schools.
For more information on Strong Men & Women in Virginia History, photos and full honoree biographical information, go to the Library of Virginia's website: Strong Men & Women in Virginia History - Library of Virginia Education.

View the Spanish version of this press release.

About the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation  About 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D). Through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs, Dominion Energy contributed $45 million in 2022 to community causes. The Foundation supports nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education, and encourage community vitality. Please visit to learn more. 

About the Library of Virginia The Library of Virginia is the state's oldest institution dedicated to the preservation of Virginia's history and culture. Our online offerings attract nearly 4 million website visits per year, and our resources, exhibitions and events bring in nearly 100,000 visitors each year. The Library's collections, containing more than 130 million items, document and illustrate the lives of both famous Virginians and ordinary citizens. The Library is located in downtown Richmond near Capitol Square at 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Learn more at

SOURCE Dominion Energy

For further information: For further information: Peggy Fox, 703-796-9308,