Edward H. Baine
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1995
Induction year: 2023
Raised on a tobacco farm in southside Virginia, Edward H. Baine came to Virginia Tech with humble beginnings and the encouragement of a trigonometry teacher to pursue engineering. Baine decided to study electrical engineering because his grandfather was an electrician and plumber.
He was one of two students out of a class of roughly 4,500 students to receive the Presidential Scholarship in 1991. This scholarship is a competitive program at Virginia Tech, designed to offset the costs of college for in-state Virginia high school students with significant financial needs. Baine said this financial support clinched his decision to attend the university after also receiving scholarship offers from the University of Virginia and Duke University.
“People from all walks of life, all economic means are ready and able to compete with anyone and take on the world. They just need the opportunity,” Baine said.
After Baine’s first steps on the Blacksburg campus, faculty and staff helped illuminate the path forward. Bevlee Watford, then in the Office of Minority Engineering, and Delores Scott, in the Office of Academic Enrichment, offered motherly advice while Baine was away from home, he said. Scott even offered Baine his first job at Virginia Tech, tutoring students from the Office of Academic Enrichment. Professors Arun Phadke and Robert Broadwater piqued his interest in the power industry, ultimately leading to his decision to work for Dominion Energy.
Since graduating in 1995, Baine has made a nearly 30-year career at Dominion Energy, from working in various electric distribution roles to his current position as president. He manages all facets of Dominion Energy Virginia, a vertically integrated electric utility with generation, transmission, and distribution assets that provides electric service to about 2.7 million customer accounts in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
In 2023, Baine was inducted into the Black Engineer of the Year Hall of Fame for devoting time and energy to ensure Career Communications Group’s career development and that STEM programs continue to expand. He was also named Philanthropist of the Year at the 2018 Virginia Tech Black Alumni Awards, in part for supporting the Student Transition Engineering Program (STEP). Currently, Baine serves as vice rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, giving his time and energy to help steward our university forward.
Lunenburg County, VA
- President, Dominion Energy Virginia, 2020-present
- Senior Vice President of Power Delivery, Dominion Energy Virginia, 2019-2020
- Senior Vice President of Distribution, Dominion Energy Virginia, 2016-2019
- Senior Vice President of Transmission and Customer Service, Dominion Energy Virginia, 2015-2016
- Vice President of Power Generation System Operations, Dominion Energy Virginia, 2013-2015
- Vice President of Power Generation Merchant Operations, Dominion Energy Virginia, 2012-2013
- Vice President of Shared Services, Dominion Energy Virginia, 2009-2012
- Various Electric Distribution Roles, Dominion Energy Virginia, 1995-2009
- Black Engineer of the Year Hall of Fame, 2023
- YMCA Chester, Social Responsibility Award, 2022
- AABE, Founding Member, 2021
- Virginia Tech Black Alumni Awards, Philanthropist of the Year, 2018
- Black Engineer of the Year, Anthony R. James Legacy Award, 2017
- Metropolitan Business League Humanitarian Award, 2017
- AABE, Outstanding Service Award, 2016
- Greater Richmond Chamber Chesterfield Business Council, Bernard L. Savage Community Service Award, 2015
Volunteer or personal awards:
- American Revolution 250 Commission, Commission Member, 2021-present
- Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, Vice Rector (2021-present); Member, 2018-present
- Valentine Museum, Board Member, 2018-present
- MEGA Mentors, President (2021-present); Member, 2012-present
- ChamberRVA, Chair (present); Member, 2009-present
- Dominion Energy Credit Union, Chair (2022-present); Member, 2011-present
Who influenced you during your career and/or time at Virginia Tech?
Bev Watford was in the Office of Minority Engineering during my time at Virginia Tech. She was very supportive and was like my mother or aunt away from home.
Delores Scott from the Office of Academic Enrichment was also like a mother or aunt away from home to me. She gave me my first job, which was tutoring other students.
Professor Arun Phadke and Professor Robert Broadwater were the two faculty members who piqued my interest in the power industry. They played a role in my ultimate decision to work for Dominion Energy (Virginia Power at the time).
I can’t forget to mention the host of friends, fraternity brothers, classmates, and study mates who provided a support network that I am forever grateful for.
As a Virginia Tech student, did you hold a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship?
I was awarded the Presidential Scholarship in 1991. I was one of two students who received the scholarship out of a class of roughly 4,500 students. I remember riding to Virginia Tech for the interview and remembering how proud my mother was of me to have the opportunity. I was raised on a tobacco farm in southside Virginia, so without the scholarship, I probably wouldn’t have attended Virginia Tech. The financial support also allowed me to focus on school without having to take out loans or work 40 hours a week to support myself and pay for school. Faith, family, and the financial support of the scholarship created a foundation for me to succeed and not only provide for my family now but have an impact on generations to come.
What advice would you share with your younger self just starting your career?
People have asked me before if you could talk to your 18- or 21-year-old self, what would you tell them? After thinking about it for a moment, I said, “I would tell him, don’t be afraid.”
Often, we think that we can’t compete, or we aren’t good enough because we didn’t grow up in this area, we didn’t go to this school, we aren’t from this family, we aren’t from this socio-economic status, race, or gender. The truth is that people from all walks of life, and all economic means are ready and able to compete with anyone and take on the world. They just need the opportunity.
What was the moment in your career that you felt like you made it – that you were really proud of yourself for what you had accomplished?
On the farm, my grandfather would get on me at times because I didn’t move fast enough, or I didn’t seem as interested in the work as my brother. As I was progressing in my career, he and I were having a conversation in his living room, and he told me that he now understood what I was trying to do and that he was proud of me. That was one of the happiest and proudest days of my life. He finally recognized my gifts and how I was trying to use them.
Please note: Inductee spotlight is as of the year of their induction.