3. Thomas F. Farrell II 

Chairman, President and Chief Executive of Dominion Resources

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST
Farrell debuted on the Power List at No. 7 in 2006 because he took the helm of Dominion Resources Inc., the state’s largest electric utility, which is just a reminder that there’s power and there’s power. But his ascent — last year he took the No. 1 spot — has more to do with his vision. He’s a big-picture guy, a business leader who doesn’t mind getting elbow-deep in some of the city’s most stubborn issues: schools, regionalism and transportation. What major city effort doesn’t have Farrell’s input, one City Hall insider asks. Farrell sits on the VCU Board of Visitors, which makes you wonder what conversations he and good friend Bill Goodwin (No. 2) are having about the children’s hospital proposal. The projects that Farrell undertakes require the kind of painstaking work for which many go-go-go business leaders don’t have patience, and the rap on Farrell is that he has too much. What can you say, he’s a judicious man. He kicked in $2,500 to Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign, and then gave $5,000 to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign. Farrell is pumped up these days about the renovations to the 85-year-old Landmark Theater. He’s the chairman of the Richmond Performing Arts Center, which is managing its construction and renovation. During the last year, Dominion gave $2 million toward the improvements. With 3,600 seats, it’s the largest theater between New York and Atlanta, and, if Farrell has his way, it’ll juice Richmond with, you got it: star power.

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