RICHMOND, Va. -- A picture of his grandparents’ old home in rural Lunenburg county on land once worked by relatives during slavery holds deep meaning for Ed Baine.
It reminds the President of Dominion Energy Virginia where he comes from and the foundation that shaped his life.
“I wouldn’t be sitting in front of you today if it weren’t for my grandparents, parents and others that have been in my life," Baine said. "Growing up on a tobacco farm, it was hard work. Some people did it because they wanted to. I did it because i had to. It taught you hard work, dedication, responsibility.”
Those traits led Baine on a journey to success. He took his love of math and paired it with knowledge gleaned from his grandfather -- a certified electrician and plumber then sailed through Virginia Tech and Duke’s School of Business to build a career in electrical engineering.
Climbing the ladder in his twenty-five year career there, in 2020 Baine was promoted to President of Dominion Energy Virginia, the first ever African American to earn that position.
“Very humbled and honored by it and I don’t take it lightly because every day I know people are watching, judging seeing how I perform in the role," he explained. "I want to make sure that I pave the way for others like folks have done for me.”
Baine’s family inspired him and encouraged him to work hard. His wife Kim and three sons, Kyle, Jalen and Cameron, keep him lifted daily.
Though he’s is tasked with keeping the lights on for 2.7 million Dominion Energy customers, when he leaves the office his work doesn’t end.
He mentors youth, has been a coach and serves on several boards.
Giving back is something that was instilled at an early age.
“When we weren’t working on our farm, grandfather, dad and others, we would go help on other people’s farms," Baine said. "Our family, we live by the Bible verse Luke 12:48. To whom much is given, much is expected. When you help people, you give them hope.”
Baine never passes up an opportunity to share words of hope with the youth—and push them to pursue a career in STEM.
It’s something he knows can also help them build a brighter future.
“Often times kids that are doing well in school and focused in STEM, people call them names and call them nerds. It’s cool to be a nerd," Baine explained. "You can make a great life being smart and doing those things. They need to follow their passion. Follow their dreams. Don’t let people discourage them from the gifts that they’ve been given. Utilize those gifts to the best of their ability.”
Baine says as President of Dominion Energy he’s standing on the shoulders of many African American workers there who made significant contributions and who mentored and paved the way for him.