Thomas Farrell: CEO, Civil War buff, filmmaker


Thomas F. Farrell is not your ordinary Fortune 500 CEO.

Then again, maybe he is.

Boardroom to the silver screen

Farrell runs Dominion Resources, No. 212 on Fortune's 2014 list. It's one of the country's biggest utility companies, with greater than $13 billion in revenue, more than 15,000 employees and operations in well over a dozen states.

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But that's not all. Like many CEOs, Farrell is perpetually in motion. He's the presiding director of Altria, the huge tobacco company. He is on the board of the Edison Electric Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. He's chairman of the Governor's Commission on Higher Education, the Richmond Performing Arts Center, the Virginia Business Council and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He formerly served on and led the board of visitors of the University of Virginia, where Tom and I met (egad!) 40 years ago.

Oh, yeah. And he also just co-wrote, produced and had a cameo role in a movie now in theaters in about 20 cities. It's a Civil War drama called "Field of Lost Shoes," and it's worth seeing.

Where does a guy like Farrell find the time for all he does? Beats me. When does he sleep? Evidently never. How does he manage to show up at most Virginia home football games on fall Saturdays? I've got no idea.

In these ways, I suspect Farrell is like a lot of American CEOs. There's just not enough time in the day for them to do all they want to. And yet they seem to find it. Sitting still is not an option.