Scenic Virginia, Inc.
4 E Main Street, Suite 2A
Richmond VA 23219
Mission Statement Scenic Virginia is the statewide conservation organization dedicated solely to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the scenic beauty and community character of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with a particular focus on the preservation of significant views and vistas.
Web and Social Media
Multi-Media Comments Our annual Virginia Vistas Photo Contest winners are revealed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in July. Our Honorable Mention photos and other submissions are featured weekly on the editorial page of the Saturday Richmond Times-Dispatch. These are posted to Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
CEO/Executive Director L. Leighton Powell
Board Chair Barry W. Starke FASLA AICP
Board Chair Company Affiliation Earth Design
Contact Information
Address 4 E Main Street, Suite 2A
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone 804 643-8439
Fax 866 499-8439
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1998
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $200,000.00
Projected Expenses $125,000.00
Mission Scenic Virginia is the statewide conservation organization dedicated solely to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the scenic beauty and community character of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with a particular focus on the preservation of significant views and vistas.
Top accomplishments in 2016:
  1. Continued work on our Virginia Viewshed Register project through the development of a new Virginia Viewfinders website
  2. Continued our work to preserve scenic and historic vistas, including our efforts to acquire the riverfront parcel along the James in Richmond that sits in the viewshed of The View That Named Richmond; and our work with the Save the James coalition and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reach a better energy alternative than transmission lines over the James River that would mar the view of the birthplace of America.
  3.  Hired our first Programs & Outreach Coordinator.
  4. Honored photographic beauty with our 2016 Virginia Vistas Photo Contest, as well as excellence in scenic preservation at the 2016 Scenic Awards Gala Reception & Ceremony at the Virginia State Capitol on December 2, 2016.
  1. Funding for implementation of our Development Plan.
  2. Funding for full implementation of the Virginia Viewshed Register/Areas of Outstanding Scenic Beauty project and the rollout of our Virginia ViewFinders website.
  3. Funding for new outreach program.
  4. Creation of a scenic preservation "toolkit" demonstrating best practices for use by individuals and localities.
Background Scenic Virginia was founded in 1998 by Hylah H. Boyd of Richmond following a bruising fight in the General Assembly in which the billboard industry secured the right to cut down mature hardwood trees in front of billboards. Since that time, Scenic Virginia has emerged as a sensible voice for the Commonwealth's scenic and natural resources. Believing that all -- young and old, rich and poor -- deserve beauty in their lives, Scenic Virginia works with citizens, government officials, localities, businesses, and other conservation groups to promote the value of aesthetics to economic development and tourism.
CEO Statement
From Executive Director Leighton Powell:
The Commonwealth of Virginia boasts some of the most beautiful places on Earth. What is remarkable -- astonishing, really -- is the depth and breadth of the scenic beauty found here. Scenic Virginia exists to remind Virginians that care must be taken to preserve this scenic beauty. Threats abound, and we must be ever-vigilant to prevent "death by a thousand cuts" caused by poor planning and ill-conceived visual intrusions. We know that scenic beauty is good for business, and is a tonic for the soul. 
Board Chair Statement

From President Cecelia S. (Cessie) Howell: I am honored to lead Scenic Virginia at this time. I care so much about the beauty in our Commonwealth, and I wanted to be involved with an organization that was continually striving to save what we have, and to enhance and protect our most vulnerable scenic resources. Scenic Virginia has succeeded in igniting the passions of Virginians in support of scenic beauty. We know that if we don't get serious now about preserving the views and vistas surrounding us, we will soon find that they disappear, never to be seen again. As an organization, we let our voices be heard regarding issues involving scenic viewsheds, Virginia's byways, and cultural landscapes. One of my favorite projects is our annual Scenic Awards program, in which we recognize those groups and individuals who have played an important part in scenic conservation. In particular, we look for programs that can be replicated by others all over our beautiful Commonwealth.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Board Chair
Board Chair Barry W. Starke FASLA AICP
Company Affiliation Earth Design
Term Jan 2014 to Dec 2017
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Lisa Dickinson Mountcastle
Company Affiliation Garden Club of Virginia
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
Charlotte D. Buttrick Virginia Outdoors Foundation
Frank Lingo Calhoun Esq.Retired, U.S. DOT
Carthan Currin IIIConsultant
Richard G. Gibbons FASLALandscape Architect
Cecelia S. Howell Community Volunteer
R. Philip Irwin Caledonia Farm
David R. Kenerson Jr.Virginia Global Management
Kathleen Kilpatrick Retired
Ellen LeCompte Brownell Travel
Lisa Dickinson Mountcastle Community Volunteer
James Edward Rich Jr.Shell Oil (retired)
Barry W. Starke FASLA, AICPEarth Design
Sally H. Thomas Albemarle Board of Supervisors (retired)
Rab Fleming Thompson SC League of Conservation Voters
Cabell Goolsby West Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 8
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 85
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Development / Board Orientation
Board Governance
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Advisory Board Members
John B. Adams Jr.Bowman Distilling
Eugenia Anderson-Ellis Church Hill Association
William M. Beck Beck's Antiques
Hylah H. Boyd Scenic Virginia founder
John P. Bradshaw Jr.Roanoke businessman
Lynn Crump ASLAVA Department of Conservation & Recreation
Deborah A. Dull Esq.Federal Highway Administration (retired)
Ray A. Foote National Parks Conservation Association
Alexander M. Macaulay Esq.Macaulay & Burtch
H. Edward Mann Self-employed
Katherine T. Mears The Garden Club of Virginia
Pamela Brown Michael William & Mary
John W. Newell Former Mayor of Ashland
Nancy K. Parker Virginia Beach City Council
Charles H. Seilheimer Jr.Chair, Virginia Outdoors Foundation
Katherine E. Slaughter Esq.Southern Environmental Law Center (retired)
Judith Boyd Terjen The Garden Club of America
John J. Zeugner AICP
Executive Director
Executive Director L. Leighton Powell
Experience Leighton Powell has served as Scenic Virginia's Executive Director since April 2000. 
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 10
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted July 2014
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Virginia Conservation Network1998

We are developing a Virginia Viewshed Register program to confer official state recognition on significant views and vistas in the Commonwealth.

Description Presentation of the Annual Scenic Awards, with a particular emphasis on projects that can be replicated in other areas of the Commonwealth. Scenic Virginia presents awards in the following categories: Scenic Hero, Scenic Lands Preservation, Scenic Water Corridor Preservation, Creative Scenic Enhancement, Scenic Tourism, and recognition of new State Scenic Rivers. - Presentation of the Annual Virginia Vistas Photo competition, which promotes the beautiful vistas in the Commonwealth and reminds Virginians of how lucky we are to live here.

We monitor legislation during the annual General Assembly Session in Richmond and year-round at the local level to ensure that citizens are aware of the benefits of scenic beauty, as well as potential threats.

Description Our annual photo contest serves two primary purposes: 1) It reminds Virginians of the scenic beauty around us, and 2) it provides Scenic Virginia with an enviable databank of beautiful photographs from all regions of our Commonwealth.
Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $3,500.00
CEO/ED/Board Comments
From Executive Director Leighton Powell: Since its inception in 2008, our Virginia Vistas Photo Contest has evolved into one of our most popular programs. Each summer the Richmond Times-Dispatch reveals that year's Winners in Sunday Flair. Honorable Mentions and other entries run on the Saturday edition of the Editorial Page.
In 2017, we are working with the Virginia Tourism Corporation toward additional promotion of the photo contest. In addition, we will be making our databank of photos available to media outlets around the Commonwealth. 
Each year's Winners and Honorable Mention photos are available for review in the Gallery section of Scenic Virginia's website. Note card sets of each year's Winners are available for purchase. 
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $200,000.00
Projected Expenses $125,000.00
Endowment Value $25,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$108,106$90,870$73,188
Administration Expense$32,564$53,711$32,210
Fundraising Expense$0$3,875$7,165
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.281.081.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%61%65%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%3%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$117,403$82,151$71,223
Current Assets$94,913$69,548$62,621
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$370$4,616$5,500
Total Net Assets$117,033$77,535$65,723
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities256.5215.0711.39
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2016View
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 prepared by Elliott Davis, LLC/PLLC
  • Financial statements prepared internally by the organization.
  • Financial information provided by the Form 990, with supplemental information provided by the financial statements.