Cheryl Miller profiles the 2014 Boomer & Shaker award winner, former president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Richmond.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: From May 2004 until his retirement last year, Thomas J. Victory, 63, served as president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Richmond. That capped a total of 33 years of working with the organization. His recent retirement gave him the opportunity to spend more time with family and to focus on his other community service project, the 80-member Victory 7 Mustang Club covering Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. “I started the club in 1985,” Victory notes. “We help raise monies for cancer, diabetes and autism. We also provide Thanksgiving baskets for needy families and toys and food at Christmas for the Homeless Shelter.”
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES: “My special challenge in life was losing both of my parents by age 10 (his mother to breast cancer), leaving me homeless in New York. My grandmother in Virginia took me in and helped me become the man I am today.”
OTHER AFFILIATIONS: Founding board member, Emergency Food Bank, Richmond; commissioner, State Environmental Board; board member, Hope in the City; state board member, AARP; Virginia Heroes mentorship program; National Association of Black Social Workers.
FROM OTHERS’ NOMINATIONS OF VICTORY:
• “Mr. Thomas Victory has been paying it forward … he is a man of great character and leadership.”
• “When volunteers are needed, Thomas is the first one on the job.”
• “He truly makes the world a better place one community event, show or parade at a time.”
• “He is someone every community needs.”
• “A great role model and mentor.”
THE PONY CAR CONNECTION: “My first car was a Mustang,” Victory says. “I was a senior at [Virginia State University]. It was love at first sight. All my cars are called Betsey, named by my grandmother.” Victory currently owns seven Mustangs, including his dream car, a 2005 yellow Mustang, and still has that first one, a 1968 Mustang.