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AR TS/ENTERTAINMENT/SPORTS


ALEX NYERGES DIRECTOR AND CEO, VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, RICHMOND


In June, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announced it would embark on a $190 million expansion, the largest in its history. The project will add a 100,000-square-foot wing, see 45,000 square feet of the current museum renovated and erect a standalone 40,000-square-foot collections center. This major project will be the second such initiative since Nyerges took the helm of the VMFA in 2006. Under Nyerges, the VMFA has seen several blockbuster exhibi- tions, including works by Pablo Picasso and Edward Hopper; Kehinde Wiley unveiled his sculpture “Rumors of War” on the lawn


of the VMFA in 2019. A Rochester, New York, native, Nyerges is an affiliate graduate faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University. This summer, he presented “Fleeting Light,” an exhibition of his own photography at Richmond’s Reynolds Gallery. Nyerges previously served as director and CEO of Ohio’s Dayton Art Institute and as executive director of the Mississippi Museum of Art and Florida’s Museum of Art – DeLand.


FAVORITE APP: My running app — to see how far I have gone and how fast, although that is a declining number each year!


TODD ‘PARNEY’ PARNELL CEO, RICHMOND FLYING SQUIRRELS, RICHMOND


Following positions with other minor league teams in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, Parnell — who’s better known around Richmond as “Parney” — came to Richmond in 2010 to serve as vice president and chief operating officer for the Squirrels.


In July 2020, Parnell replaced the retiring Chuck Domino as the Squirrels’


CEO, overseeing all aspects of the team’s day-to-day operations. Under Parnell, the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants led the Eastern League in average attendance in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 and in overall attendance in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015. He is a three-time Eastern League Executive of the Year winner and has received Baseball America’s Minor League Executive of the Year award. With the pandemic canceling the 2020 season, Parnell walked the bases 125


times in April 2020 to raise money for local COVID-19 relief efforts through an event called “500 Bases of Love.” He also serves as president of the Montgomery Biscuits, the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. A graduate of Messiah University, Parnell volunteers with Metropolitan


Junior Baseball League Inc. and serves on the boards of ChamberRVA, Richmond Region Tourism and Flying Squirrels Charities.


DAN SNYDER CO-OWNER, CO-CEO, WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, ASHBURN


This July, Snyder announced that he would be stepping away from day-to-day operations of the Washington Football Team following accusations last year from 15 female former employees who told


The Washington Post they were sexually harassed and verbally abused at work by other executives during Snyder’s tenure, although Snyder was not accused of misconduct. In June, Snyder’s wife, Tanya, was named as the team’s co-CEO, responsible for team operations and representing the club at all league activities. Days later, the NFL fined the team $10 million, citing its “highly unprofessional” workplace environment.


Snyder purchased the team in 1999 from the estate of Jack Kent Cooke, back when it was known as the Washington Redskins, a name criticized for decades as racist. The name and logo were retired in 2020 following pressure from corporate sponsors.


A lifelong entrepreneur from Maryland, Snyder co-founded a wallboard


advertising company in 1989 with his sister, Michele Snyder, that became Snyder Communications LP. In 2000, Snyder sold the business, which employed 12,000 people, for more than $2 billion. This year, Forbes valued the Washington Football Team at $3.5 billion, making it the world’s 19th most valuable sports franchise.


36 VIRGINIA 500


PHARRELL WILLIAMS MUSICIAN, PRODUCER AND DEVELOPER, LOS ANGELES/VIRGINIA BEACH


Is there anything Williams can’t do? The internationally renowned music superstar behind hits like “Happy” and “Blurred Lines” has garnered 13 Grammys, but he’s also increasingly gaining admiration for his business activities in Virginia, his home state. In 2019, Williams launched Something


in the Water, a three-day music festival in his native Virginia Beach that featured the likes of Janelle Monáe, Missy Elliott, Migos and Dave Matthews Band, among others. The festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, but sponsors hope it will return in 2022. Williams also is co-developing the $325 million Atlantic Park mixed-use project and surf park at Virginia Beach’s Oceanfront, and he put forward a proposal to redevelop Norfolk’s former Military Circle mall. In June 2020, Williams spoke at Gov. Ralph


Northam’s news conference announcing that Juneteenth would become a state holiday. Last year, he also launched Black Ambition, a nonprofit initiative to provide support for minority entrepreneurs launching startups. And this fall, Williams’ nonprofit, Yellow, will open an independent “micro” elementary school in Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood, focusing on STEM and workforce preparation.


Pharell Williams photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP


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