Living Legends: BENJAMIN J. ‘BEN’ DAVENPORT JR.
CHAIRMAN, DAVENPORT ENERGY INC., CHATHAM
Davenport is chairman of Davenport Energy, the company his late father started as Chatham Oil Co. in 1941. Davenport Jr. also founded and leads waste management business First Piedmont Corp.
Davenport Energy employs 150 people and supplies propane and fuel oil to more than 30,000 customers in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia. It also supplies gasoline and diesel fuel to more than 200 convenience stores.
Davenport is a graduate of Hargrave Military Academy and Virginia Tech, and also served in the Coast Guard. He serves on Hargrave’s board and is a past rector for Tech, which in 2016 awarded him the university’s highest honor, the William H. Ruffner Medal.
Often included on Virginia Business’ annual list of the most influential Virginians, Davenport also serves on boards for GO Virginia and The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
He and his wife, Betty, donated $1 million to the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education in 2016. In March, he was named chairman of the foundation, which works to increase access to Virginia’s community colleges through tuition support and providing access to technology, transportation and child care.