Southern Virginia's 'Most Influential Virginians' Recognized

Virginia Business announced the "50 most influential Virginians" and Southern Virginia proudly boasts three of them.

Ben J. Davenport Jr.

ben davenportChairman, First Piedmont Corp. and Davenport Energy and Vice Chairman of the IALR Board of Trustees

Davenport was recognized for his work to support economic development in rural Virginia and to support early childhood development projects.

Vice Chairman of the Board of GO Virginia, he also serves on the boards of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp. and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.


Tad Deriso

tad derisoPresident and CEO, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp., South Boston

Deriso was acknowledged for his role in improving Southern Virginia’s economic development. MBC, which he helped established 15 years ago, is now responsible for a 1,900-mile advanced fiber optic network covering 33 counties and also reinvests revenues in economic and community development initiatives. Deriso serves on the board of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.


Connie Nyholm

connie nyholmMajority owner and CEO of Virginia International Raceway, Alton, and a member of the IALR Board of Trustees

Nyholm was lauded for her business acumen and her impact on Southern Virginia. Nyholm resurrected a historic track that now draws 300,000 visitors each year and helps employ more than 400 people. Nyholm serves as president of the Road Racing Industry Council and on the board for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.


from IALR March 2019 newsletter