Commencement 2011 : Keynote Speaker

Dominion Resources CEO Farrell to deliver Commencement address at UVa-Wise

Thomas Farrell II

Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources, will deliver the keynote address during Commencement exercises at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise on Saturday, May 14.
Mr. Farrell, former rector of the University of Virginia, joins the ranks of Virginians who have been invited to speak at Commencement as part of the “Distinguished Virginians Series.” Delegate Clarence Phillips ’74, Governor Timothy Kaine, Senator John Chichester, Leonard Sandridge and Marcia Gilliam ’83 have been featured in the series.
The public is invited to attend the Commencement ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. on the Lawn by the Lake on the UVa-Wise campus.
Mr. Farrell, a member of the UVa-Wise Board, chairs Governor Bob McDonnell’s Commission on Higher Education Reform and has served as co-chairman of the Governor’s five-member transition committee, as a member of the Governor of Virginia’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, as chair of the Management Roundtable and as a member of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
As chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources (NYSE), Mr. Farrell has emerged as a leading expert on national energy issues and as an advocate of a cohesive national energy policy.  In 2011, he will become chairman of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the industry’s national trade association.  
Headquartered in Richmond, Va., Dominion is one of America’s largest energy companies, with a market capitalization of approximately $24 billion and operations in 14 states.  In 2010, Dominion was ranked among the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility magazine, which graded the nation’s 1,000 largest public companies based on their efforts in the areas of environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, financial performance and governance.  The company achieved a No. 1 rating in Corporate Governance. Dominion was also ranked among the world’s most admired companies, according to Fortune magazine. Fortune’s 2010 list of most admired electric and gas utilities ranked Dominion fourth.
In addition, during Mr. Farrell’s tenure Dominion has been awarded both the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, and United Way’s national Summit Award for exceptional volunteerism.
Under his leadership, Dominion is investing more than $3.5 billion in environmental upgrades and safeguards to its operating facilities, and has achieved 35 percent growth in operating earnings per share and more than 30 percent growth in the company’s dividend rate.  Dominion has also doubled its philanthropic giving since Mr. Farrell became CEO.
Mr. Farrell joined Dominion in 1995 and served in several senior management positions at the holding company and its subsidiaries. Among his first accomplishments were leading Dominion’s expansion into international electric generation and distribution markets.  He directed a successful public offer for East Midlands Electricity in the United Kingdom in 1997 and also oversaw Dominion’s growth as a major U.S. power producer in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Belize.
As Dominion refocused itself domestically in 1999, Mr. Farrell led the company’s simultaneous divestiture of foreign assets and the successful acquisition of another major U.S. energy company, Consolidated Natural Gas.  The combined company became the nation’s largest integrated natural gas and electric power company.  Since then, under his direction, Dominion has initiated a series of profitable domestic acquisitions to expand its operating base into the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Today, Dominion is one of the nation’s largest power generators, with more than 27,600 megawatts of production capability.  It is one of the nation’s largest and most efficient nuclear power operators with facilities in three states.  The company’s Dominion Virginia Power electric utility franchise is ranked one of the nation’s most efficient.
Mr. Farrell was named president and chief executive officer effective Jan. 1, 2006. He was elected chairman of Dominion’s board of directors in April 2007.
He is a member of the Business Roundtable and a member of the board of directors of Altria Group, Inc. He has served on the Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia, where he was Rector.  He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Mr. Farrell serves on the boards of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, Bon Secours Richmond Health System and Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering Foundation.  He is vice chair of EEI. Mr. Farrell also was a member of a Council on Foreign Relations independent task force that produced the June 2008 report, “Confronting Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Foreign Policy.”
Mr. Farrell has appeared on CBS, CNBC, Fox Business News and other national networks, testified before Congress, spoken at major industry forums, and contributed opinion pieces to national and regional newspapers and magazines.
He received both his B.A. in Economics and law degree from the University of Virginia.