Chairman, Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black, Roanoke
Hall of Fame member
A former University of Virginia defensive back and high school athlete from Lynchburg, Cardwell has built a career in labor law. After graduating from Washington & Lee University School of Law, he worked at the Department of Labor’s Benefits Review Board before joining Woods Rogers, the Roanoke-based law firm (now Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black, after a 2022 merger), in time becoming the firm’s first Black partner and then its chair.
Cardwell credits his success partly to a philosophy of bringing positivity to his life and work: “If there’s someone around you who is vexatious to your spirit, who is not uplifting you … that’s a person who you don’t want to spend much time around.”
Immediate past president of the Virginia Bar Association and a member of the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference board, Cardwell underscores the importance of mentoring and supporting others: “I want to be sure that young professionals are given every opportunity to succeed.”
Making strides: Virginia Business 2023 Black Leaders Award winners