Political Leaders 2006 Profile: Conaway Haskins

Jun 22 2006 - 9:38am

Name: Conaway Bernard Haskins III
Age: 29
Born: I was born in Farmville and grew up in Lunenburg County, Virginia
Current Digs: I live in Chesterfield County, and I work in Petersburg.
Occupation: Program Officer with The Cameron Foundation, a philanthropic grantmaker serving the Petersburg region.
Favorite part about the job: Interacting with dedicated and passionate nonprofit, community, and government leaders.
First job ever? Cashier at the Hardee’s in South Hill.
Favorite book? Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Favorite movie? “A River Runs Through It”
Must See TV?  The Daily Show
Comfort food? Peach cobbler, blackberry cobbler…actually anything named “cobbler.” Basically, I’m addicted to Ukrop’s.
What's in your car CD player right now?  David Sedaris’ CD series, “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.”
Next journey? Paris
One thing people might be surprised to learn about you? I was classically-trained as a pianist.
Last gift you received?  Portable XM Satellite Radio player
Best advice you ever got?  Just be yourself. Having people respect you is more important than having them like you. 
Whom do you admire and why?  I really admire my maternal grandmother because despite all of the unpleasant things that happen in life, she always manages to find the silver lining in situations and discover something redeeming in everyone that she knows. Plus, she’s the sweetest, classiest lady I’ve ever known.
If you could have dinner with any one currently living, whom would it be and why? I’d love to have dinner with Doug Wilder. Very few Virginians truly understand that he has been part of four historic Virginia elections. In addition to his notable statewide wins as Lt. Governor and then Governor, he was the first black state Senator since Reconstruction and the first elected mayor of any race in the modern history of Virginia’s capital city. Despite the controversy that sometimes surrounds him, from both an electoral and policy perspective, Doug Wilder is arguably the greatest politician in the history of modern Virginia and one of the best of all-time. He demonstrated that the Commonwealth indeed had room for African Americans at the table of public leadership, and his life and career motivated me to pursue my own path in politics and public service.
Ambition, political or otherwise? For now, my goal is to evolve as a writer into a more noteworthy voice among Virginia’s political commentators and policy analysts. Being a pundit seems like a lot of fun. Personally, I want to lose 30 pounds and approach running a 9-minute mile.   
Describe a perfect day. For me, a perfect day would be spent traveling with my wife through Virginia’s great wine country sampling the latest offerings from the various wineries and touring the vineyards and wine-production facilities. Of course, I’d definitely watch my level of consumption as to not end up meeting some of Virginia’s finest state and local law enforcement officers up close and personal!

Note: Conaway is the author of an article regarding public schools published this week in the Richmond Style Weekly.
Click here to read the article.

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