OUTstanding Virginians 2009

Marge Connelly

Financial industry executive

During her 14 year history as a resident of the Greater Richmond area, Marge Connelly has been very active in both business and in the community.  Most recently, Marge was Chief Operating Officer for Wachovia Securities, the 3rd largest retail brokerage firm in the country, where she oversaw the firm’s information technology and operations management and served on the Executive Committee.  She was also very active in the Corporation’s efforts around diversity, participating on the Corporate Diversity Council, acting as Executive Sponsor for the GALEA, the corporation’s LGBT employee network group  and playing a leadership role in numerous diversity initiatives for the firm.

Marge has served on a number of boards both locally and nationally that emphasize economic development and education.  She is a member of the Executive Advisory Council for the University of Richmond’s Business School, the Rector for the Board of Visitors of Longwood University, a member of the Virginia Commonwealth University Business School Foundation Board, and  past Chair of the Greater Richmond Partnership.  She was appointed by former Governor Warner and current Governor Tim Kaine to the Council on Virginia’s Future  and was the past Chair of the Virginia Workforce Council.  In addition, she is a member of the CJW Medical Center Board of Trustees and Venture Richmond Executive Committee.  She has also served as Chair of the Central Virginia Food Bank, and served on the Executive Committees of the Greater Richmond YMCA, and the World Affairs Council of Greater Richmond. She has been a member of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the National Better Business Bureau, the Executive Committee of Richmond Renaissance, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board and the Richmond Region 2007 Advisory Council.  Marge was also involved with numerous financial services industry groups, participating on several committees including  the Operations Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), and the Depository Trust Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and the Executive Advisory Committees of both Visa and Visa International.


Marge has received numerous accolades for her business and civic contributions including receiving the 2007 Public Service Award from the VCU Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, being honored as one of the “Professionals Who Made a Difference” by Longwood University and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Virginia Union University.  She was named one of the most influential women by Richmond Magazine in 2006, one of the area’s most influential leaders by Style Magazine in 2004 and 2005 and “Woman of the Year in business” by the YWCA in 2003.  She was also named a “Top 100 IT Leader” by CIO Magazine and one of the “Hottest CIO’s” by Future Banker.  She has appeared on C-Span and been cited in several magazines including Business Week and Fast Company.  Marge has also appeared at some of the most prestigious business conferences, speaking on subjects ranging from women and leadership, the internet, customer service, business ethics and diversity.

Prior to coming to Wachovia Securities, Marge was an Executive Vice President for Capital One Financial Services, where she managed much of the company’s operations and technology and worked on identifying and cultivating relationships with other business, government and community leaders.  During her tenure with Capital One, she was instrumental in building the infrastructure and culture to enable the company’s growth from five million customers in 1994 to approximately 50 million customers in 2005.  She was a member of Capital One Senior Management Team and also served as the company’s co-CIO for two years.

Marge grew up in the small community of Horseheads, NY and has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Delaware.  She and her partner Julie have two children, Ryan (29) and Carolyn (21) and enjoy hiking, traveling and scuba diving.