Dominion Honors Nine in 15th Annual Strong Men and Women Educational Series

January 20, 2005

RICHMOND, Va. – Nine renowned African-Americans, recognized for their accomplishments and leadership, will be honored Thursday by Dominion at its 15th annual “Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership” educational series.

“Strong Men & Women” highlights the accomplishments of selected African-American role models and converts their stories into an educational series that is distributed during Black History Month to more than 12,000 schools across Dominion's natural gas and electric franchise service areas in Virginia, northeastern North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

A team of company employees selects each year’s “Strong Men & Women.” Judges look for candidates who have demonstrated leadership and courage in public life.

The 2005 honorees are:

  • Valerie Daniels-Carter – Founder and chief executive officer of V&J Holding Co., the largest African-American restaurant franchise; Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Christine Mann Darden, Ph.D. – Assistant director for planning at NASA Langley and a leader in the field of sonic boom technology; Hampton, Va.
  • Marita Golden – Novelist, essayist, teacher and lecturer. Author of the best seller, Long Distance Life; Michellville, Md.
  • Erich Jarvis, Ph.D. – Assistant professor at Duke University Medical Center and world-renowned neurobiologist; Durham, N.C.
  • George L. Miles Jr. – President and chief executive officer of WQED Multimedia; Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Laura W. Murphy – Director of the Washington National Office of the American Civil Liberties Union and first African-American to head the ACLU Legislative Office; Washington, D.C.
  • Ozzie Newsome - First African-American general manager in the National Football League and former player for the Cleveland Browns; Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Eddie Reed, M.D. – Director of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center whose research is crucial in drug therapy for ovarian cancer; Morgantown, W.Va.
  • Retired Col. Porcher L. Taylor Jr., Ph.D. - First African-American full colonel at Fort Jackson, S.C.; Petersburg, Va.

African-American high school students also participated in the “Strong Men & Women” program. In September, seniors were invited to write essays about an African-American leader that was featured in the “Strong Men & Women” series. Winners receive a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond, and their schools receive a $1,000 cash award.

This year’s essay winners are:

  • Anthony Roberts
    Maggie Walker Governor’s School - Richmond, Va.
  • Reshaud Rich
    Norview High School - Norfolk, Va.
  • Rebecca Williams
    Stonewall Jackson High School - Prince William County, Va.
  • Forest C. Carter
    Buckingham High School - Buckingham, Va.

Information about “Strong Men & Women” can be found on the Internet at, keyword “strong.”

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with an energy portfolio of about 28,340 megawatts of generation. Dominion also serves retail energy customers in eight states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at


Attention: Biographies of the honorees and copies of the winning essays will be available at the awards ceremony. Video b-roll, sound bites and media kits will be available for television stations.


Media: Daisy Pridgen, 804-771-6115