17 execs setting a high bar for success
Black History Month traces its origins to an annual weeklong observance started in 1926 by historian and scholar Carter G. Woodson, a Virginia native. And since then, the February celebration of Black history makers and events has been intertwined with commemorating successful business icons like fellow Virginia-born greats Maggie Walker and Booker T. Washington.
With this in mind, Virginia Business presents our 2023 Virginia Black Business Leaders Awards, recognizing a reader-nominated group of some of the state’s most accomplished Black executives. On this inaugural list are 17 leaders, chosen from 108 nominated executives in finance, federal contracting, higher education, law, technology and other sectors. Our editorial team selected the 17 winners, scoring nominations based on factors including overall professional achievement, community impact and mentoring.
Additionally, Virginia Business’ editors selected four of these 17 award-winning executives for additional recognition as inaugural members of our Virginia Black Business Leaders Hall of Fame, celebrating their outstanding careers and general excellence in business leadership. Our 2023 Hall of Fame members are: Gilbert Bland of the Urban League of Hampton Roads; Victor Branch of Bank of America; Victor O. Cardwell of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black; and Warren Thompson of Thompson Hospitality Corp.
In this feature, you’ll read about our winners’ influences, what they’ve learned in the professional world and how they continue to pay that knowledge forward to others.
Congratulations to all the winners of our 2023 Virginia Black Business Leaders Awards!
Click on the names to read more about our winners.
CEO, Astyra Corp., Richmond
Founder and CEO, STEMBoard, Arlington
President and CEO, Activation Capital, Richmond
President, Tidewater Community College, Norfolk
Senior executive vice president and chief regulatory and risk management officer, TowneBank, Suffolk
FLOYD E. MILLER II
President and CEO, Metropolitan Business League, Richmond
ANGELA D. REDDIX
Founder, CEO and president, ARDX; founder, Envision Lead Grow, Norfolk
President, BWXT Nuclear Operations Group Inc., Lynchburg
FRED THOMPSON JR.
Chief administrative officer, Thompson Hospitality Corp.; co-founder, Opportunity Scholars and the Global Good Fund, Reston
RICHMOND VINCENT JR.
President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, Roanoke
KEVIN M. WIDEMAN
CEO, Koniag Government Services, Chantilly
JOSEPH D. WILKINS
President, Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, Chesterfield County
CATHY T. WILLIAMS
Business diversity and government administration manager, Ferguson Enterprises Inc., Newport News
VIRGINIA BLACK BUSINESS LEADERS HALL OF FAME
President, chairman and CEO, Urban League of Hampton Roads; founder and chairman, The GilJoy Group, Norfolk
Richmond market president, Bank of America, Richmond
Chairman, Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black, Roanoke
Founder, president and chairman, Thompson Hospitality Corp., Reston