The 2023 Heavy Hitters list
Virginia’s 50 most powerful and influential execs
Virginia Business’ annual list of the commonwealth’s 50 most powerful and influential leaders provides our editors’ take on the heaviest-hitting of heavyweights in business, government, nonprofits and higher education. Think of it as an executive committee for the leaders populating our annual Virginia 500 issue — the top 10% of the state’s power elite.
And while this is admittedly a subjective exercise, it’s not too difficult to decide that leaders such as Gov. Glenn Youngkin or Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, who leads a global workforce of 738,000, belong on this list.
That said, our 2023 list brings notable changes. Absent this year is bitcoin whale Michael Saylor, who transitioned from MicroStrategy Inc.’s CEO to executive chairman in August 2022 as the company reported a $1.98 billion impairment loss on its bitcoin holdings. Also gone is Washington Commanders co-owner Dan Snyder, who’s reportedly shopping around the NFL team and has been unable to secure Virginia legislative support for a new football stadium amid high-profile controversies, including a 2009 sexual assault allegation that came to light last year.
New entrants to the list include Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo, who also became global CEO for MullenLowe Group in November 2022, and Dave Calhoun, CEO of the Boeing Co., which moved its headquarters to Arlington County this year.
Read on to learn which executives made the cut this year and how they’re adding to Virginia’s bottom line.
Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke
Power and influence: Agee, who started out in 1973 as a nurse, has led the $2.3 billion nonprofit health system Carilion Clinic, which serves more than 1 million people in Virginia and West Virginia, since 2011. Carilion includes seven hospitals and a physician group with more than 1,000 physicians, plus outpatient clinics and pharmacies. The system partners with Virginia Tech on the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and with Radford University on Radford University Carilion, which offers degrees in health sciences. Agee chairs the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.
Recent developments: In June 2022, Modern Healthcare named Agee one of its 50 most influential clinical executives, and she serves on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s medical advisory team. Last year Carilion announced plans to move its outpatient mental health clinic to Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke County by fall 2023. The 37,000-square-foot space will span two floors and include room for group therapy, clinician offices and telemedicine.
John C. Asbury, CEO, Atlantic Union Bankshares Corp., Richmond
Power and influence: With more than three decades of banking experience, Asbury has led Atlantic Union since 2016. Atlantic Union Bank has 114 branches in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. The American Bankers Association’s 2022-23 vice chair, Asbury also serves on the boards of the Virginia Port Authority and the Greater Richmond Partnership. He also chairs educational nonprofit Virginia Learns. A Radford native, Asbury earned his business degree from Virginia Tech and has an MBA from William & Mary.
Recent developments: In January, Atlantic Union transferred its common stock and depositary shares listings from the Nasdaq to the New York Stock Exchange. At the end of 2022, the bank had total assets of $20.5 billion, an approximate 2% increase from the end of 2021, and it made $14.4 billion in loans. Atlantic Union sold part of Dixon, Hubard, Feinour & Brown Inc., a Roanoke-based wealth management firm, to Cary Street Partners in June, although the bank maintains a minority ownership stake.
G. Robert Aston Jr., executive chairman, TowneBank, Suffolk
Power and influence: Since Aston helped launch TowneBank from his garage in 1998, it has grown into one of the largest banks headquartered in the commonwealth, with more than 40 banking offices throughout Eastern and Central Virginia and North Carolina. Aston served as the bank’s chairman and CEO until 2018, when he transitioned to executive chairman. Aston got his start in banking in 1964 as a runner at Citizens Trust Co. in Portsmouth. By 1981, he was the bank’s president and CEO. He went on to lead Commerce Bank and BB&T of Virginia. Aston is a board member of Virginia Wesleyan University and the Virginia Business Higher Education Council.
Recent developments: TowneBank purchased Windsor-based Farmers Bankshares Inc. for $56 million in January, creating a combined company worth $17.5 billion in total assets and adding Isle of Wight and Southampton counties to TowneBank’s service area. The bank also saw a shuffling of leadership at the end of 2022. William I. Billy Foster III succeeded the retired Brad Schwartz as president and succeeded J. Morgan Davis as CEO.
Thomas I. Barkin, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Richmond
Power and influence: The Fed was in the news for much of 2022 as it raised interest rates to levels not seen since 2008’s Great Recession, combating sky-high inflation. Barkin has led the bank’s Fifth District since 2018, overseeing monetary policy and security of the financial system for a region that includes Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and the Carolinas. Barkin previously worked as chief risk officer for global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and serves on the board of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.
Recent developments: At a November 2022 stop in Winchester a week after the Fed approved its fourth 0.75-point rate hike for the year, Barkin said the central bank would do what’s necessary to tame inflation. In January, he acknowledged the inflation rate falling to 6.5% was progress, but said he hopes to see it settle around 2%. This year, Barkin serves as an alternate member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which votes on interest rate changes. He will rotate onto the panel in 2024.
Gilbert T. Bland, president, chairman and CEO, Urban League of Hampton Roads Inc.; founder and chairman, The GilJoy Group, Norfolk
Power and influence: Bland has owned and operated dozens of fast food restaurants, primarily Burger King and Pizza Hut franchises, through his company The GilJoy Group (named for him and his wife, Joyce). He also serves as leader of the Urban League of Hampton Roads Inc., which runs community service programs helping Black residents, including a new initiative on racial health disparities in partnership with Riverside Health System. Bland sits on boards for Sentara Healthcare, Randolph-Macon College, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Virginia Learns.
Recent developments: In November 2022, the Norfolk-based Civic Leadership Institute presented Bland with the 2022 Individual Darden Award, which celebrates individuals who have had a significant impact in the Hampton Roads area. The same month, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced an initiative to address learning loss through a tutoring partnership that includes the Urban League and four Virginia HBCUs. Also in 2022, Youngkin appointed Bland to Norfolk State University’s board.
Robert M. “Bob” Blue, chair, president and CEO, Dominion Energy Inc., Richmond
Power and influence: Blue became CEO of the Fortune 500 utility in October 2020, when Dominion was entering an era with a stronger focus on wind and solar energy aligned with Virginia’s clean energy mandates, including reaching net-zero carbon energy generation by 2045. The utility is now developing a 2.6-gigawatt, $9.8 billion commercial offshore wind farm 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Dominion, which garners about $14 billion in annual revenue, delivers energy to more than 7 million customers in 16 states. Blue serves as vice chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute and on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the University of Virginia.
Recent developments: The State Corporation Commission in August 2022 approved Dominion’s offshore wind farm, with construction expected to be completed in 2026. The project is likely to be Dominion’s largest single project as well as its largest capital investment. The company also is looking into building small modular nuclear reactors in Virginia, and it recently proposed 23 new solar and energy storage projects that could power 200,000 Virginia homes.
Jennifer Boykin, president, Newport News Shipbuilding; executive vice president, Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., Newport News
Power and influence: Boykin is the first woman to lead the shipyard, the largest industrial employer in the state, with 25,000 employees, and the only U.S. builder of nuclear aircraft carriers. Boykin began her career at the company’s nuclear engineering division in 1987 and held several executive positions before being named president in 2017. She serves on the boards of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, which named her its 2021 alumna of the year, and Old Dominion University’s Women’s Initiative Network.
Recent developments: Parent company HII reported that Newport News Shipbuilding earned $5.8 billion in revenue in 2022, up from $5.6 billion in 2021. In March 2022, the shipyard agreed to a new five-year labor contract with members of United Steelworkers, which will remain in place until February 2027. In October, the USS Gerald R. Ford, an aircraft carrier built by NNS for the Navy, left Naval Station Norfolk on its maiden deployment.
Victor Branch, Richmond market president, Bank of America Corp., Richmond
Power and influence: The first Black president of Bank of America’s Richmond region, Branch has worked for Bank of America for nearly four decades. Serving as president since 2015, Branch oversees about 2,000 employees at 25 locations. He’s credited with being influential in the bank’s commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. A native of Dinwiddie County and a first-generation college graduate, Branch has for years supported Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), a nonprofit that works to ensure equal access to housing. In 2022, Branch told Virginia Business that he’s passionate about his work because it provides the opportunity “to deploy the bank’s resources into underserved communities to help lift people up and out of poverty.” He sits on several boards, including the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
Recent developments: Last year, Branch rotated off the board of visitors at William & Mary, his alma mater. In 2022, Bank of America gave $1 million to Virginia Union University to help prepare students for careers in the financial industry. Branch was named to Virginia State University’s board last year by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
David Calhoun, president and CEO, Boeing Co., Arlington County
Power and influence: A Virginia Tech alum, Calhoun leads the second largest defense contractor in the state and the third largest in the world, with more than 140,000 global employees and $61.4 billion in fiscal 2022 revenue. Boeing made headlines in May 2022 when it announced it would move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, where 400 employees already work. Boeing has pledged $50 million to Tech’s Alexandria-based Innovation Campus.
Recent developments: In August 2022, federal regulators allowed Boeing to resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner jets after nearly two years. In December 2022, United Airlines placed an order for 100 Dreamliners, a deal worth around $25 billion. And in February, Boeing landed a $45.9 billion deal to sell jets to Air India in Boeing’s third largest sale of all time. Early this year, Boeing ended production of its iconic Boeing 747 jumbo jets, and in late 2022, the company consolidated eight divisions of its Defense, Space and Security unit into four, and finalized its $3.2 billion Artemis contract with NASA.
Kristen Cavallo, CEO, The Martin Agency; global CEO, MullenLowe Group, Richmond
Power and influence: The Martin Agency won Adweek’s Agency of the Year twice under Cavallo’s leadership; the agency’s clients include Geico, Old Navy and DoorDash. From day one of her tenure as CEO, Cavallo has emphasized inclusivity and diversity in hiring, as well as shrinking pay gaps among women and people of color. Her ad career started in 1994 at Mullen, where she would go on to serve as its chief strategy officer. She bounced between Mullen and Martin, until she was named Martin’s CEO in 2017.
Recent developments: In November 2022, Cavallo was also named global CEO of MullenLowe Group, taking on additional leadership duty of 12 advertising firms. Still based in Richmond, Cavallo travels between 20 offices worldwide. At New York Fashion Week in September 2022, Martin joined forces with financial services company TIAA and womenswear brand Fe Noel to debut “The Dre$$,” a gown stitched with artificial money to highlight the gender wage gap.
Richard Cullen, counselor to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Richmond
Power and influence: Former chairman and senior partner of McGuireWoods, the state’s largest law firm, Cullen joined Youngkin’s administration in January 2022. No novice to public service, Cullen served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia from 1991 to 1994 and as Virginia’s attorney general from 1997 to 1998. He was on President George W. Bush’s legal team during the 2000 Florida recount and represented then-Vice President Mike Pence during special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In 2018, Cullen led the McGuireWoods team that secured a $501 million judgment against North Korea for the torture, hostage taking and death of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier.
Recent developments: In January, Virginia Democrats criticized Youngkin for reportedly removing the state from consideration for a $3.5 billion Ford Motor Co. electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in partnership with a Chinese company. Cullen told The Washington Post the plant involved “national security risk-type technology and [Youngkin] stopped that.”
Rick Dreiling, CEO, Dollar Tree Inc., Chesapeake
Power and influence: Dreiling was named CEO of the Fortune 500 discount retailer in late January, replacing former CEO and President Mike Witynski, who had served in the role since 2020. The former CEO and chair of competitor Dollar General, Dreiling was named executive chair of Dollar Tree’s board in March 2022 as part of a settlement with an activist investor group. Dollar Tree operates more than 16,000 Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores in the United States and Canada. It employs more than 200,000 workers.
Recent developments: Dreiling was named to lead Dollar Tree following a tumultuous period that saw a shake-up of the retailer’s C-suite starting in June 2022. In late 2021, Dollar Tree announced a controversial price increase to $1.25 for most items in its stores, resulting in backlash. Dollar Tree’s third quarter 2022 sales grew 8.1% year over year to $6.93 billion, but rival retailer Dollar General’s sales rose 11% to $9.5 billion during the same period.
Barry DuVal, president and CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Richmond
Power and influence: DuVal has led the state’s chamber of commerce since 2010, and he previously served as state commerce secretary and mayor of Newport News. As head of the Virginia Chamber, DuVal has led the creation of Blueprint Virginia, a state strategic plan that outlines business priorities for Virginia’s economic prosperity.
Recent developments: In June 2022, DuVal attended the signing ceremony for a state bill that allows small businesses to create health insurance consortiums to help them bargain for more affordable health care plans — a change for which DuVal had advocated since 2018. The chamber also announced in June the establishment of the Virginia Small Business Health Alliance, a grouping of small companies that will operate as a self-funded insurance group. A Republican, DuVal also is aligned with Gov. Glenn Youngkin in calling for Virginia’s exit from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate effort to reduce carbon emissions; DuVal wrote an op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch last fall bemoaning the program’s regulatory burden on the commonwealth.
Stephen Edwards, CEO and executive director, Virginia Port Authority, Norfolk
Power and influence: Edwards joined the Virginia Port Authority, which oversees the Port of Virginia, in January 2021, succeeding John F. Reinhart, one of the port’s most transformative leaders. Edwards previously served as president and CEO of California-based port terminal services company TraPac LLC. For fiscal year 2022, the Port of Virginia processed a record 3.7 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo, up 14.7% from fiscal year 2021. As CEO, Edwards also serves as a nonvoting member on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s board.
Recent developments: In May 2022, the port and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers formalized their collaboration on the Norfolk Harbor dredging project to deliver the East Coast’s widest and deepest channels by 2024. On Jan. 1, the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal began receiving electricity from solar installations, a step toward the port’s goal of going completely carbon-neutral by 2040. Also in January, the port finalized its agreement to purchase five ship-to-shore cranes for $61.6 million.
Jason El Koubi, president and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Richmond
Power and influence: VEDP’s board unanimously picked El Koubi to lead the state’s economic development authority in March 2022 after he served in an interim basis following the departure of Stephen Moret. El Koubi joined VEDP in 2017 as executive vice president and was part of a leadership team that helped bring Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 East Coast headquarters to Arlington County. Previously, El Koubi served as assistant secretary for economic development in Louisiana under Moret and as president and CEO of One Acadiana, a Lafayette, Louisiana, regional economic development organization.
Recent developments: El Koubi has been vocal about increasing Virginia’s inventory of large, ready-to-build industrial sites to land megaprojects. From 2015 through 2022, Virginia landed just one megaproject — the $1 billion Lego Group plant in Chesterfield County — while other Southern states that had invested more in site preparation secured 120 major projects. Last year, Virginia dropped to third place on CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business rankings after being in first place for an unprecedented two consecutive years.
Richard Fairbank, co-founder, CEO and chair, Capital One Financial Corp., McLean
Power and influence: Fairbank and Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris disrupted the then-staid credit card business by using data to target market different credit card plans to a variety of customers. During Fairbank’s 29-year tenure as CEO, the company’s tagline “What’s in your wallet?” has become one of the most ubiquitous ad slogans ever. One of the nation’s 10 largest banks, Capital One was the third largest issuer of Visa and Mastercard credit cards in 2021. The company ranked 108th on the Fortune 500 last year. A billionaire, Fairbank made about $20.5 million in total compensation in 2021.
Recent developments: Capital One earned $34.3 billion in net revenue for 2022, an increase of 13% from 2021, along with $333 billion in deposits and $455.2 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, 2022. In January, the bank laid off about 1,100 tech workers amid a wave of similar layoffs nationwide.
W. Heywood Fralin, chairman, Retirement Unlimited Inc., Roanoke
Power and influence: A University of Virginia grad, Fralin is known for his support of Virginia Tech, where he, his wife, Cynthia, and their family trust donated $50 million toward the establishment of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC in 2018. In 2012, the couple donated their collection of American art to U.Va., and he has served on the U.Va. and Virginia Tech boards of visitors. Fralin practiced law before joining family businesses Retirement Unlimited Inc. and Medical Facilities of America Inc. He chaired the latter before Richmond-based Innovative Healthcare Management bought it in 2021. Retirement Unlimited Inc. operates 19 senior independent living, assisted living and similar communities in Virginia and Florida.
Recent developments: Fralin and Michael Friedlander, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s founding executive director, are set to receive the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award from Research!America in March. The award recognizes people who increased the level of advocacy for health-related research in their communities or on larger levels.
Amy Gilliland, president, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Falls Church
Power and influence: Gilliland oversees General Dynamics’ IT business — with more than 30,000 global employees, including 8,500 in Virginia — and also is helping eliminate stigma around seeking mental health support in an industry known for requiring government clearances. After an employee died by suicide, Gilliland launched the “How are you, really?” campaign. GDIT has also focused on building community through employee resource groups that have included focuses on mental health and social justice. She serves on the BNY Mellon board and is board vice chair for the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Gilliland has also helped raise more than $500,000 to research Rett syndrome. Her 10-year-old daughter, Ashley, has the rare genetic mutation, which affects brain development in girls.
Recent developments: In July 2022, GDIT won a $908 million contract to support IT and network systems operated by the Air Force in Europe, a month after the Government Accountability Office sided with Leidos over a $11.5 billion defense contract that GDIT protested. More recently, GDIT formed a 5G and edge computing accelerator as part of a coalition including Amazon Web Services, Cisco and Dell Technologies.
William F. “Billy” Gifford Jr., CEO, Altria Group Inc., Henrico County
Power and influence: In 2020, after 25 years at the tobacco products manufacturer, including as president and CEO of subsidiary Philip Morris USA, Gifford was promoted to CEO. Cigarette sales are declining, and Altria reported $25 billion in net revenues in 2022, down 3.5% from 2021. However, Altria is focusing on alternatives to cigarettes, including three smoke-free categories: heated tobacco, e-cigarettes and oral tobacco. Gifford serves on the boards of Anheuser-Busch InBev — in which Altria has a 10% stake — and Catalyst Inc., a nonprofit that supports the advancement of women as business leaders.
Recent developments: In October 2022, Altria announced a $150 million partnership with Japan Tobacco Group to sell heated tobacco products in the U.S. and worldwide. The deal places Altria in direct competition with Juul Labs Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc. In 2018, Altria sank $12.8 billion into a 35% stake in Juul, then the nation’s e-cigarette leader. In September 2022, Altria ended its noncompete deal with Juul, after its investment value had fallen to $450 million. As of Dec. 31, 2022, it had declined to $250 million.
C. Todd Gilbert, speaker, Virginia House of Delegates, Woodstock
Power and influence: A member of Virginia’s House of Delegates since 2006, Gilbert is a former Shenandoah County prosecutor who has wielded the House gavel since the GOP took control last year. Gov. Glenn Youngkin often attends Gilbert’s Bible studies during the General Assembly session; the two politicos have faced the Democratic-controlled Virginia State Senate’s “brick wall” against many social issue bills favored by conservatives. Gilbert was named the Family Foundation’s “Legislator of the Year” in 2013, and in 2017 the National Rifle Association presented him its Defender of Freedom Award. Gilbert has a private law practice in Woodstock.
Recent developments: Gilbert helped shepherd several legislative wins through the General Assembly for Youngkin in 2022, including a biennial budget that provides about $4 billion in tax cuts, eliminates the 1.5% grocery tax and invests $150 million into site development. During the 2023 session, he championed Youngkin’s proposed $1 billion in tax cuts and increasing industrial site development funding to $600 million. House Republicans this session abandoned about 20 constitutional amendments, including a ban on abortions after 15 weeks, acknowledging the amendments had no chance in the Senate.
Jonathan P. Harmon, chairman, McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond
Power and influence: A nationally recognized trial lawyer, Harmon has led the state’s largest law firm since 2017, the first Black man to do so. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he was president of his basic training class and served in Operation Desert Storm before earning his law degree from the University of Texas. Although his clients include Fortune 500 companies, he also has done prison ministry work, serves on the board of the Pro Bono Institute and volunteers with Faith Landmarks Ministries.
Recent developments: In May 2022, Harmon wrote a column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the lessons he learned about leadership and selflessness while grieving the untimely deaths of his mother and his wife. Harmon’s wife, Rhonda Harmon, also a West Point graduate and an attorney who worked on a team that won a historic discrimination case involving redlining, died in 2022 of leukemia.
Victor Hoskins, president and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Fairfax County
Power and influence: Hoskins often mentions that he’s saving households when a job is saved, and that drives his passion for his work. He came to Fairfax in 2019 from Arlington County, where he landed Amazon.com Inc.’s multibillion-dollar HQ2 East Coast headquarters. Hoskins also co-founded the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance. In 2022, Fairfax worked with 146 business that announced 12,647 jobs. Hoskins also serves on the President’s Innovation Advisory Council at George Mason University and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce board.
Recent developments: Fairfax County scored a big win in 2022 when Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. announced it was renewing its headquarters lease for another 15 years in McLean, with plans to invest $50.3 million and add 350 employees. Also last year, Alarm.com Inc. announced its plans to expand its research and development division, creating 180 jobs.
Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy, Amazon.com Inc., Arlington County
Power and influence: A former trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and associate general counsel for the Federal Trade Commission, Huseman leads the goliath e-tailer’s federal lobbying efforts. He left Intel Corp. in 2012 to join Amazon as its Americas public policy director before assuming his current role in 2016. He is heavily involved in Amazon’s $2.5 billion-plus HQ2 East Coast headquarters campus in Arlington County and often serves as HQ2’s public face.
Recent developments: The two towers that constitute HQ2’s first phase, Metropolitan Park, are expected to open this year. In June 2022, Amazon bought the property for HQ2’s 12-acre second phase, PenPlace, from developer JBG Smith for $198 million.
Sheila Johnson, CEO, Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Middleburg
Power and influence: Johnson was known first for co-founding BET Networks, but today she is the owner of Salamander Resort & Spa, named the No. 2 hotel in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report last year, as well as other resorts outside Virginia. She also founded the decade-old Middleburg Film Festival, which draws celebrities to the horse and hunt capital, and she holds a stake in three Washington, D.C., professional sports teams through Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Johnson is also president and managing partner of the Washington Mystics WNBA team.
Recent developments: In 2022, Forbes ranked Johnson No. 22 on its list of America’s Self-Made Women, a leap from her previous ranking at No. 39. Johnson co-chairs the Greater Washington Partnership’s Inclusive Growth Strategy Council, which in June released a 10-year plan to increase equity and create a more inclusive economy from Richmond to Baltimore. Salamander, which already operates resorts in Jamaica, South Carolina, Florida and Colorado, expanded to Washington, D.C., in 2022 with the purchase of the former Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Dr. J. Stephen Jones, president and CEO, Inova Health System, Falls Church
Power and influence: Jones has led Inova Health System since 2018, after previously serving as the Cleveland Clinic’s president of regional hospitals and family health centers. Inova operates Northern Virginia’s only Level 1 trauma center. Its five hospitals have 1,952 licensed beds and employ more than 20,000 workers. A urologist, Jones is a professor of urology for the University of Virginia and editor-in-chief of the American Urological Association’s Urology Practice journal. He is chair-elect of the American Medical Group Association and serves on the boards of the Greater Washington Partnership and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Recent developments: Jones penned an April 2022 op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, writing that criminalization of mistakes in health care would have a chilling effect on practitioners, and he has also raised awareness of the issue of workplace violence against health care workers. In May, he oversaw the opening of the Inova Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center in Fairfax. That same month, demolition of Alexandria’s former Landmark Mall began, clearing the way for the new $1 billion Inova Alexandria Hospital, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in December 2022.
Christopher D. Kastner, president and CEO, Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., Newport News
Power and influence: Kastner is starting his second year leading the state’s largest industrial employer. Fortune 500 military shipbuilder HII employs 44,000 people worldwide, including about 25,000 who work for Newport News Shipbuilding, the only U.S. builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Kastner serves as vice chair for WHRO Public Media, Hampton Roads’ public broadcasting station, and on the board of trustees for Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Recent developments: HII has diversified into technological solutions and invested in unmanned systems and artificial intelligence. In April 2022, HII’s mission technologies division launched Odyssey, an open-architecture platform that can turn any ship or vehicle into an intelligent, autonomous system; the technology is being incorporated into an unmanned mine-sweeping surface vessel. HII also landed a potential $3.2 billion contract to design and build the Navy’s next amphibious warship.
Nazzic S. Keene, CEO, Science Applications International Corp., Reston
Power and influence: One of the state’s most powerful and well-compensated women CEOs, Keene leads approximately 26,000 employees at Fortune 500 federal contractor SAIC, which saw revenues of about $7.4 billion in fiscal year 2022. Joining the company in 2012 as a sector president, Keene became CEO in 2019, just two years after being named chief operating officer. A native of Libya, Keene previously worked as senior vice president and general manager for U.S. Enterprise Markets at CGI Inc., a Quebec-based IT and business consulting firm. Keene sits on the Inova Health System board and is a member of ADP’s board of directors.
Recent developments: In 2022, SAIC received more than $500 million in Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2)-related contract awards from the Department of Defense. In November 2022, SAIC won a $757 million contract to provide software development and management for the Army’s Enterprise Service Desk.
Roger A. Krone, chairman and CEO, Leidos Holdings Inc., Reston
Power and influence: Since 2014, Krone has led the $13.7 billion Fortune 500 federal contractor, which employs 43,000 people worldwide. In February 2022, Leidos won an $11.5 billion contract to consolidate enterprise IT services for 370,000 users across 22 Department of Defense agencies and field activities in 500 sites worldwide. Krone joined Leidos after more than two decades with Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas.
Recent developments: While Leidos had already extended support to Ukrainians through D.C-based humanitarian aid organization Project HOPE soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Leidos announced a continuing partnership in August 2022 to keep the support going indefinitely. In November 2022, Leidos completed its $215 million acquisition of Cobham Aviation Services, adding the Australian airborne surveillance and search-and-rescue missions company to its portfolio, and a month later, Leidos won a $334 million contract to help the Air Force develop its Mayhem hypersonic aircraft. On Feb. 27, Leidos announced Krone’s retirement May 4.
Charles “Chuck” Kuhn, founder and CEO, JK Moving Services, Sterling
Power and influence: Founded in 1980 in Kuhn’s parents’ basement, JK Moving Services is the largest independent moving company in the nation. Kuhn is also chairman of CapRelo, an employee relocation services business. The two companies employ about 1,100 people. However, Kuhn is just as well known for his land conservation efforts and his push for data centers. A leader in philanthropy, Kuhn launched JK Community Farm in 2018. The Kuhn family has also placed more than 22,000 acres of land under conservation easement.
Recent developments: The American Trucking Association named JK Moving Services its MSC Independent Mover of the Year last year. In 2022, Kuhn passed responsibility for day-to-day operations of the moving company to David Cox, who was promoted to president. JK Land Holdings LLC, owned by the Kuhn family, is partnering with the Yondr Group, a Netherlands-based company, to build data centers in Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Aubrey L. Layne Jr., executive vice president of governance and external affairs, Sentara Healthcare Inc., Norfolk
Power and influence: A native of Hampton Roads, Layne served as state finance secretary in the Northam administration. He stepped down in 2021 to join Sentara, one of the state’s largest health care systems, where he focuses on legislative affairs, the Sentara Foundation and the Sentara College of Health Sciences in Chesapeake. He also chairs the Virginia Port Authority’s board of commissioners, which oversees the Port of Virginia. Layne previously served as the state’s secretary of transportation under Gov. Terry McAuliffe and was president and principal broker of Great Atlantic Properties in Virginia Beach.
Recent developments: Layne has been a force behind the merger between Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University, which will create the Eastern Virginia Health Sciences Center at ODU after passage of state legislation this spring. He also works as an unpaid special adviser to the Youngkin administration and in January was named a board member for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Mary McDuffie, president and CEO, Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna
Power and influence: McDuffie took the helm of the world’s largest credit union in 2019. With 22,500 employees at 355 branches, Navy Federal had about $157 billion in assets at the end of 2022 and more than 12 million members globally. McDuffie joined the credit union in 1999 as vice president of marketing. Previously, she worked as senior vice president of marketing for Star Systems Inc. A Wellesley College graduate, McDuffie sits on the board of directors of the Baltimore office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Recent developments: This year McDuffie will help the credit union celebrate its 90th anniversary. Navy Federal ranked in 2022 as one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Women, and about 66% of employees and 60% of the management team are female. Navy Federal also made Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the 11th year in a row. The credit union plans to open five new branches in the United States this year. In January, a federal judge dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit against Navy Federal related to fraud on the Zelle app.
Jim McGlothlin, chairman and CEO, The United Co., Bristol
Power and influence: McGlothlin was building a career as an attorney when he bought a Buchanan coal company for $25,000 at auction in 1970. He went on to launch The United Coal Co., a business that expanded into steel, oil and mining equipment. Instrumental in getting casinos legalized in Virginia, he is a developer and co-owner of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, which opened in a temporary space in July 2022. Casino revenues have so far exceeded expectations, with adjusted gross revenues of more than $67 million earned from July to November 2022. The permanent, $400 million Hard Rock casino is set to open in 2024. McGlothlin and his wife, Frances Gibson McGlothlin, are also major American art collectors and philanthropists.
Recent developments: In December 2022, McGlothlin was named Virginia Business’ 2022 Person of the Year. That same month, Hard Rock broke ground on the permanent Bristol casino, which will include a 3,200-seat theater and a 20,000-person-capacity outdoor entertainment venue. The McGlothlins also donated nearly $60 million to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in March 2022, a gift that includes 15 American artworks and will support a new 170,000-square-foot wing.
Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., McLean
Power and influence: Since 2007, Nassetta has led Hilton, the Fortune 1000 hospitality company with a portfolio of 7,000 properties in 123 countries and territories. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Nassetta sits on the advisory board for the school’s McIntire School of Commerce and on the board of CoStar Group Inc. He also serves on the Arlington Free Clinic’s community council and is chairman emeritus of The Real Estate Roundtable.
Recent developments: In August 2022, Hilton announced plans to expand its global headquarters in Fairfax County, adding 350 jobs over the next five years. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin approved more than $6 million in state grants to support the $50.3 million deal. After the pandemic hurt the hotel industry, Hilton dropped off the Fortune 500 list in 2021 and ranked No. 538 on the 2022 Fortune 1000 list. Nassetta was Virginia’s third highest-paid CEO in 2021, with total compensation of $23.2 million.
Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO, General Dynamics Corp., Reston
Power and influence: Ranked No. 30 on Forbes’ 2022 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list (just behind Oprah Winfrey and Nancy Pelosi), Novakovic has led the world’s fifth largest aerospace and defense company since 2013. With more than 100,000 employees, General Dynamics reported net earnings of $3.4 billion in 2022, up 4.1% from 2021. In 2021, Novakovic earned about $23.55 million in total compensation, making her the second highest-paid Virginia CEO. She serves on the board of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and chairs the Association of the U.S. Army.
Recent developments: In April 2022, Novakovic was included on a list of executives and other leaders “denied entry to the Russian Federation on an indefinite basis.” Russia imposed the sanctions in response to U.S. sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In August 2022, subsidiary General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded an order from the U.S. Army worth up to $1.1 billion to deliver battle tanks to Poland, and GD’s Electric Boat received a $5.1 billion contract modification for Columbia-class submarines in December.
Buddy Rizer, executive director, department of economic development, Loudoun County
Power and influence: Rizer is the architect behind Loudoun’s reputation as “Data Center Alley.” In 2022, data centers accounted for at least $6.6 billion in new economic development announcements in Loudoun, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. A former radio DJ, Rizer chairs the Northern Virginia Community College Foundation board and is a nonvoting member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council board.
Recent developments: Metro opened its long-awaited $3 billion Silver Line extension in November 2022, adding stops in Loudoun that are expected to fuel more development. Last June, Irish energy management company Hanley Energy announced an $8 million expansion in Ashburn, expected to create 343 jobs. Meanwhile, opposition to data centers is growing in Virginia, chiefly over environmental and noise concerns. Loudoun County supervisors have made moves to prevent construction of data centers in rural areas, but the county also added 3 million square feet of data centers in 2022.
Horacio D. Rozanski, president and CEO, Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp., McLean
Power and influence: A native of Argentina, Rozanski got his start in 1991 as an intern at Booz Allen’s Buenos Aires office, and in 2015 he was named CEO of the Fortune 500 global technology and consulting company. Rozanski had earlier helped the company separate its government and commercial businesses into two distinct companies. For fiscal 2022, Booz Allen posted $8.4 billion in revenue, 6.4% more than the previous year. Outside work, Rozanski chairs the Children’s National Medical Center board and sits on the boards of Marriott International Inc. and CARE USA.
Recent developments: In November 2022, Booz Allen Hamilton held a ribbon-cutting for its Washington, D.C.-based Helix Center for Innovation, a space where clients can learn about global defense, national security and climate resilience technologies. Booz Allen is a prime contractor on more than 150 AI projects for the federal government, and last year it started a venture capital fund to invest in AI companies.
James E. Ryan, president, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Power and influence: Previously dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Ryan has led Virginia’s flagship public university since 2018 and is a graduate of its law school. Launched by Ryan in 2019, U.Va.’s $5 billion “Honor the Future” capital fundraising campaign raised more than $4.3 billion as of last spring. The university’s board of visitors has unanimously voted to extend Ryan’s contract to 2028. He has also been instrumental in launching U.Va.’s Karsh Institute of Democracy and its School of Data Science. In April 2022, U.Va.’s athletics department announced its largest single gift, $40 million from an anonymous former student-athlete.
Recent developments: Ryan invited an external review of the November 2022 shooting by a student who killed three members of the Cavaliers football team and injured two other students after a class field trip. In January, U.Va. announced plans for a $300 million biotechnology institute to produce new medical treatments, funded in part by a $100 million donation by Charlottesville residents Paul and Diane Manning, one of the largest individual gifts in the university’s history.
Mike Salvino, president, chairman and CEO, DXC Technology Co., Ashburn
Power and influence: Salvino is leading the Fortune 500 information technology services and consulting company through a multiyear “transformation journey” to become better focused and more cost-effective. He was also Virginia’s highest compensated CEO in 2021, earning more than $28.7 million, a 32% jump over the previous year.
Recent developments: Salvino’s pay went up at a time when DXC’s financial performance has lagged behind previous years. The company posted $16.265 billion in 2022 revenue; it reported $17.729 billion in 2021. In February, the company reported $3.57 billion in revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2023, down 12.8%, compared with the prior year period. Salvino has said the company missed some revenue goals after encountering unexpected costs and disruptions tied to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the company withdrew business from Russia. In October 2022, Hong Kong’s Baring Private Equity Asia Ltd. approached DXC about potentially acquiring the company, and in February, Salvino said DXC remains in “preliminary discussions” about the deal.
Timothy D. “Tim” Sands, president, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
Power and influence: Nicknamed “the Sandsman” (a reference to the Hokies’ football anthem, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”), Sands became Virginia Tech’s 16th president in 2014. An engineer and researcher, Sands is considered an expert in light-emitted diodes. As Tech’s president, he has overseen the establishment of the university’s $1 billion Innovation Campus set to officially open in Alexandria next year. State leaders are looking to the new campus as a pipeline to fill a much-needed gap in highly skilled tech workers. Sands chairs the board of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.
Recent developments: Last August, Tech’s board of visitors voted unanimously to extend Sands’ contract through the 2027 academic year. In 2022, the university increased its Boundless Impact fundraising goal from $1.5 billion to $1.872 billion. Announced in 2019, the campaign has already raised more than $1 billion. In September 2022, Tech received a record $80 million grant to lead a climate-smart farming pilot program, and in November 2022, its real estate program became the Blackwood Department of Real Estate.
Stu Shea, chairman, president and CEO, Peraton Inc., Reston
Power and influence: Shea oversees one of Northern Virginia’s biggest federal IT contractors, which was founded in 2017 after private equity fund Veritas Capital bought Harris Corp. Government Services. In 2021, Peraton bought Perspecta Inc. and Northrop Grumman’s federal IT services businesses for a total of $10.5 billion. A national security legend, Shea helped build the CIA’s earliest computer systems and came out of retirement to lead Peraton, which now has 19,000 employees. He also founded the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and in 2016, Shea received the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion. Last year, Shea received an honorary doctorate from George Mason University.
Recent developments: In December 2022, a Peraton subsidiary won a $2.25 billion contract to perform background investigation field work for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. Peraton’s corporate headquarters recently moved from Herndon to Reston Town Center.
Travis Staton, president and CEO, United Way of Southwest Virginia, Abingdon
Power and influence: The United Way of Southwest Virginia’s leader since 2005, Staton has an outsized influence as an advocate for regional solutions to health, education and economic issues challenging one of the poorest areas of the state. Recognized among the nation’s most innovative United Way affiliates, UWSWVA has been through eight mergers and acquisitions under Staton’s leadership, and it now represents 17 counties and four cities — a footprint covering 20% of the state. In 2021, UWSWVA launched Ready SWVA, an initiative to increase the region’s child care options, a key barrier to work. Staton also serves on the Region One Council for GO Virginia, a state economic development initiative fostering private sector growth and job creation.
Recent developments: Last year, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced $1.24 million in new grant funding for Ready SWVA, which had previously received $3.5 million from the General Assembly. The funding will place 100 new teachers in early child care centers over the next two years.
Julie Sweet, CEO and chair, Accenture, Arlington County
Power and influence: Ranked No. 9 on Forbes’ 2022 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list (Vice President Kamala Harris is ranked No. 3), Sweet joined the Fortune Global 500 professional services company in 2010 as its general counsel and was promoted to CEO in 2019 and board chair in 2021. Working out of Accenture’s Arlington office, Sweet leads a company that employs 738,000 people across 120 nations. She also chairs the board of Catalyst Inc., a nonprofit that promotes women-friendly workplaces, and serves on boards for the World Economic Forum, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Bridges from School to Work.
Recent developments: Accenture reported $61.6 billion in fiscal 2022 total revenue, an increase of 26% from the previous year. Following the devastating February earthquakes that killed more than 40,000 people in Turkey and Syria, Sweet said that Accenture, which has a presence in Turkey, would donate $1 million in humanitarian aid, in addition to launching a “global giving campaign with 100% matching funds, to add to the efforts being made to quickly reach those most in need.”
Eric Terry, president, Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, Richmond
Power and influence: Terry has led the state association advocating for the restaurant, hotel and travel industries for nearly a decade, bringing more than three decades of experience in the entertainment, hotel, casino resort and events industries. A graduate of Virginia Tech’s Hospitality and Tourism Management School, he previously was a vice president for Texas-based Redstone Companies Hospitality.
Recent developments: During the 2022 General Assembly session, Terry successfully championed legislation extending to-go cocktails at restaurants through July 2024.
Bruce L. Thompson, CEO, Gold Key | PHR, Virginia Beach
Power and influence: A Norfolk native and Virginia Business’ 2021 Person of the Year, Thompson is best known for developing the Cavalier Resort, which includes the restored historic Cavalier Hotel as well as two new hotels, restaurants and residences on 21 acres at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Thompson’s Gold Key | PHR reports annual revenues exceeding $140 million and employs more than 2,400 people. The politically connected Thompson has chaired inaugural galas for both Democratic and Republican governors, including Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Recent developments: In August 2022, the city of Virginia Beach revealed proposals from several development groups for the undeveloped Rudee Loop property. Gold Key | PHR’s proposal included plans for a seven-acre park, multifamily housing, a parking garage and possibly a boutique hotel. The city is still evaluating the proposals after collecting citizen input.
Warren Thompson, founder, president and chairman, Thompson Hospitality Corp., Reston
Power and influence: A Windsor native, Thompson decided that he wanted to work in the restaurant industry while eating at a Shoney’s with his parents at age 12. Following graduation from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, he worked for Marriott International Inc. for several years before launching Thompson Hospitality Corp. in 1992. Today, the company is the largest minority-run food and facilities management corporation in the nation. On top of operating dining services for companies, universities and hospitals, Thompson Hospitality owns several restaurant chains, including Milk & Honey and Matchbox. Thompson also serves on the board of Performance Food Group Co.
Recent developments: In September 2022, Thompson penned an op-ed in The Washington Post, speaking out against Initiative 82, a measure to gradually increase the tipped minimum wage in Washington, D.C. “As restaurants recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the elimination of the tipped wage would force restaurants to reduce staff, increase menu prices and implement policies that would ultimately affect restaurant employees’ earning potential,” he wrote. Even so, D.C. voters overwhelmingly passed the initiative. Thompson Hospitality formed a partnership with Loudoun-based Velocity Restaurant & Hospitality Group in December 2022.
Jim VandeHei, co-founder and CEO, Axios Media Inc.; chair, Axios HQ, Arlington County
Power and influence: In a December 2022 Axios newsletter encouraging entrepreneurs to launch or join a startup, VandeHei called himself “among the most unremarkable, underachieving, unimpressive 20-year-olds you would have stumbled across in 1991.” After a quarter century, and with a résumé much improved upon from his 1.491 grade point average, VandeHei, a Politico co-founder and former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reporter, launched Axios as an inside-the-Beltway, bullet-point news site in 2016. Axios is also aiming to fill the void left by the contraction of local media outlets and is now offering newsletter coverage in 26 cities, including Richmond and Washington, D.C. VandeHei serves on the board of the Partnership for Public Service.
Recent developments: In August 2022, Axios was sold to Cox Enterprises Inc. for $525 million, and the company expected to reach $100 million in revenue last year. VandeHei retains a seat on the media arm’s board and also became chair of Axios HQ, the company’s software division that was spun off in September 2022.
Poul Weihrauch, president and CEO, Mars Inc., McLean
Power and influence: A Denmark native, Weihrauch leads Virginia’s largest private company, a global candy and pet food manufacturer that employs about 140,000 people worldwide. In September 2022, Weihrauch succeeded retiring CEO Grant F. Reid, who grew Mars’ annual revenue by more than 50% to nearly $45 billion during his eight-year tenure. Weihrauch, who joined Mars in 2000, previously served as president of Mars Petcare, the company’s pet food and veterinary health division. He had also led its European confectionary business. Weihrauch serves on the foundation board of the International Institute for Management Development, a Swiss executive training school.
Recent developments: Mars filed plans in April 2022 to expand and update its downtown McLean headquarters. In January, Mars announced it had partnered with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to sequence the genomes of 10,000 cats and 10,000 dogs to advance pet health care.
Kathy J. Warden, chairman, president and CEO, Northrop Grumman Corp., Falls Church
Power and influence: A James Madison University alum, Warden became CEO of the world’s fourth largest aerospace and defense contractor in 2019 after serving as president and chief operating officer. Ranked No. 38 on Forbes’ 2022 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list, she worked for General Dynamics Corp. and Veridian Corp. before joining Northrop Grumman in 2008. Warden serves on the boards of Merck & Co. Inc. and the Aerospace Industries Association.
Recent developments: Northrop Grumman reported $36.6 billion in 2022 revenue, up 3% from 2021. In August 2022, Northrop Grumman received a nearly $3.3 billion contract from the Missile Defense Agency for work on the next Ground-based Midcourse Defense Weapon System program. In November 2022, NASA launched its Artemis I unmanned moon mission, for which Northrop Grumman provided solid rocket boosters and motors. The Fortune 500 contractor will continue to support Artemis flights under a $3.19 billion contract through 2031.
Pharrell Williams, musician, producer, developer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Miami/Virginia Beach
Power and influence: The music superstar has won 13 Grammys, and his triple-platinum single “Happy” was named the most played song of the 2010s. Even so, Williams never forgot about his hometown of Virginia Beach. Williams is partnering with Virginia Beach-based Venture Realty Group on the $350 million Atlantic Park surf park and entertainment center development being planned for the Oceanfront area. Meanwhile, the city of Norfolk is negotiating with Wellness Circle LLC, a group of developers that includes Williams, on a proposal to redevelop Norfolk’s Military Circle Mall with an arena, office space and a hotel, as well as residential properties.
Recent developments: In November 2022, Williams hosted the Mighty Dream Forum in Norfolk, a three-day conference focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in business. During the conference, he announced that his Something in the Water music festival would return to Virginia Beach in late April. Williams moved the event to Washington, D.C., in July 2022, citing the “toxic energy” of Virginia Beach leaders and their handling of the investigation into his cousin’s 2021 killing by a Virginia Beach police officer. In February, French luxury brand Louis Vuitton tapped Williams as the next creative director of its menswear collection.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin, governor of Virginia, Richmond
Power and influence: Born in Richmond and raised in Virginia Beach, Youngkin took office in January 2022 in a near sweep by Republicans, who won the attorney general and lieutenant governor seats, as well as control of the House of Delegates. Formerly co-CEO of The Carlyle Group private equity firm, Youngkin spent much of 2022 stumping for GOP candidates in other states — spurring talk that Youngkin was setting the stage for a 2024 presidential bid, a rumor he has neither confirmed nor denied. His first year in public office included a big economic development win (the Lego Group’s announced $1 billion Chesterfield County factory) and some legislative losses on culture wars topics, including Youngkin’s proposed ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. In January, respondents to a survey by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Civic Leadership gave Youngkin a 50% approval rating, with 59% also saying they didn’t want him to run for president in 2024.
Recent developments: Youngkin was criticized by Democrats for taking Virginia out of the running for a $3.5 billion Ford Motor Co. electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Pittsylvania County because of the project’s ties to a Chinese company. In February, Ford announced the plant would be locating in Michigan, with production to begin in 2026.