RICHMOND, Va., April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion is recognizing the exceptional dedication of its employees, who volunteer their time and energy to help in their local communities and in other countries, by honoring 13 individuals from Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as the 2013 "Volunteers of the Year."
"These remarkable individuals demonstrate the qualities we hold high by giving generously of their time and dedication, strengthening their communities and brightening the lives of the people who live there," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This is a special time of celebration and appreciation, and I extend my sincerest thanks for all they do and the example they set for Dominion."
A wide range of organizations have benefited from the time and talent of these volunteers. Among them are the Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Causes such as domestic violence, literacy and poverty also have received a helping hand.
The volunteers will be recognized at awards ceremonies April 16 in Richmond and April 25 in Akron, Ohio.
This year's winners are:
- Don Campbell, an administrative services supervisor in Pittsburgh, Pa., serves as vice president, coach and dance coordinator for the Adaptive Sports Organization in Washington County, Pa. The organization provides special needs individuals the opportunity to play sports. Campbell and other parents of children with disabilities founded the group, which began with soccer and has now expanded to include other activities, such as baseball, dance, bowling and tennis.
- Chesley Delans, a fuels operations consultant in Richmond, Va., participates in a variety of ministries, from Richmond area projects to others as far away as Honduras. He organized a Hurricane Sandy relief trip to New Jersey and plans to return this spring. He has participated in various building and disaster restoration projects in locations ranging from Petersburg and Mechanicsville to Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Bertie, N.C.
- Bob Doniel, a contractor resource specialist in Fredericksburg, Va., annually invests more than 1,000 hours as a volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America. He also is a project leader for Dominion's annual "Putting Our Energy to Work for the Environment" program. In 2012, he recruited a contingent of Scouts to join Dominion employees in eradicating invasive tree species at Mason Neck State Park. His other volunteer efforts include Wreaths Across America, Fredericksburg Food Bank, "Stuff the Bus" campaign and Pet Assistance League.
- Neil Durbin, a senior communications specialist in Cleveland, Ohio, has been involved with Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland for nearly 23 years. In addition to serving on the board, he teaches weekly JA classes and last year accomplished a personal goal of teaching JA in all nine grades, K-8. An Eagle Scout, he has served as assistant scoutmaster, merit badge counselor and Eagle Scout adviser with his old Troop 177 in Stow, Ohio. Durbin also served as den leader and cub master for the Cub Scouts.
- Dan Emery, a nuclear training supervisor at Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin, serves as president of Kewaunee County's Violence Intervention Project. VIP is a non-profit agency offering free services to any individual who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. He also has helped the Door Kewaunee Business Education Partnership programs during their annual fundraising initiatives. The partnership – consisting of local trades people, high school technical education students, building supply companies, a local technical college, and community volunteers – build a home that is sold at the end of the school year.
- Joi Gilliam-Norris, a customer service team lead for Dominion Hope in Clarksburg, W.Va., founded Singles 40+, a group that provides members an opportunity for fellowship and friendship with other adults, while helping them deal with a wide variety of everyday challenges, such as working too many hours in stressful jobs, shuttling children from one event to another, living with or caring for aging parents. Gilliam-Norris also volunteers with the Harrison County Child Advocacy Program, which provides education and other services for sexually abused children and their families to begin the healing process.
- John Hartung, a retiree from Dominion Transmission in Clarksburg, W.Va., devotes at least eight hours per week tutoring or providing other services for Literacy Volunteers of Harrison County. Hartung says he derives tremendous satisfaction when he sees his students achieve a break-through moment. For example, Hartung helped a 17-year-old high-school dropout prepare for and earn his GED. The young man later reported that he had been hired as an apprentice coal miner. Hartung is now taking specialized training to become a tutor in English as a Second Language.
- Holly Kelly, a senior controls specialist at Millstone Power Station in Connecticut, devotes hundreds of hours with the Mystic Aquarium. Three years ago, Kelly began working with her favorite animals, beluga whales, as a member of the facility's Whale Enrichment Team (WETeam). Kelly comes to the aquarium in the morning to entertain and play with the whales. She is known among aquarium staff for picking up additional shifts when fellow volunteers are not able to come in. She also joined the Aquarium's Stranding First Responder Team. This unit receives special training to assess and help coordinate rescues of marine mammals and sea turtles, who accidentally strand themselves.
- Robert Kelly, a customer contracts administrator in Richmond, Va., has been a Richmond Christmas Parade volunteer for 29 years. As chairman of the now named Dominion Christmas Parade, Kelly increases his parade-related workload in August, reaching out to corporate sponsors and conducting biweekly meetings for a 15-member committee. He organizes more than 100 parade units, coordinates local television coverage and prepares for more than 100,000 parade watchers. Kelly is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Westover Hills Neighborhood Association, serving as its president for two terms and leading its annual spring cleanup.
- Willie Phillips, a lineman in Virginia Beach, Va., spearheaded a landscaping project at a women's shelter during a recent United Way Day of Caring. He also participated in an electricity demonstration at the school of a fellow lineman's daughter where he and his coworkers taught students about electric safety. Phillips sets up bucket trucks at the starting line of the annual March of Dimes charity walk on the Virginia Beach oceanfront. This past year, in honor of his dedication to the event, organizers asked Phillips to serve as official starter, holding a banner and walking alongside local media representatives.
- Phillip Sandino, a Customer Solutions director in Herndon, Va., serves as cub master of Pack 873 where leads and organizes monthly activities. Sandino also supports the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network working on fundraising projects to award scholarships to deserving Latino students. Sandino also joins fellow employees in packing and delivering supplemental food packages to ensure that students who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the week will have better nutrition on the weekends.
- Linda Warren, an administrative assistant at Surry Power Station in Yorktown, Va., is an active member of the Surry Station Volunteers, serving as chairperson on various projects, including: collecting grocery store receipts, box tops and labels for Surry elementary schools for needed supplies; collecting and distributing toiletry items for the needy through Social Services; helping the Lions Club of Surry collect used eyeglasses; and collecting cell phones for military troops. She helped organize the Adopt-A-Highway program, works with and enlists fellow employee volunteers for SkyAnchor's Disability Awareness Campsite in Surry, and works with the station's Green Team on environmental and recycling concerns.
- Lisa Weinsheimer, a Customer Service Center supervisor for Dominion East Ohio in Akron, is a long-time volunteer with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Ohio Buckeye Chapter's Walleye Fishing Tournament, which raises money to fund research seeking a cure for the disease. For more than a decade, she has worked as a tournament volunteer, using vacation time to help plan, work with logistics and recruit other volunteers to ensure a successful tournament. She supports victims of domestic violence with the Domestic Violence Project's Hearts with Hope fundraiser. She also participates in Rebuilding Together, a year-round program that helps repair and rehabilitate the homes of low-income, elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners in the Akron area.
In 2012, Dominion, its charitable foundation and employees invested more than $21 million and nearly 130,000 volunteer hours in programs that help improve the quality of life for people in the communities where they work and live.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,500 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
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For further information: Media: Daisy Pridgen, (804) 771-6115, Daisy.Pridgen@dom.com, Le-Ha Anderson, (703) 796-9308, Le-Ha.Anderson@dom.com, Bonita B. Harris (757) 857-2700, Bonita.B.Harris@dom.com