Category Archives: Chesapeake Bank

Food Pantry Volunteers

Shopping for a Cause

Once a month, several members of Chesapeake Bank get together for a special day of shopping. At the end of their trip, they leave empty-handed, but with full hearts.

 

Through the United Way of Greater Williamsburg’s Community Resource Center and the Peninsula Food Bank, five to eight of our associates volunteer to help feed needy families in the Williamsburg community. Each month, between 100 and 150 “shoppers” arrive at the Mobile Food Pantry to pick up essential grocery items for their families. Our team helps with check-in, grabs a cart and shops with the visitors for things like frozen meats, fresh fruit and vegetables and crackers.

 

“Literally, they have to do nothing but check in, and we do everything else,” said Tucker Edmonds, assistant vice president and a mortgage lender at Chesapeake Bank.

 

Edmonds has served as chair of several committees during his many years on the United Way board.

 

“They asked if we would put this together and help pull it off,” he said, adding that Chesapeake Bank, a big supporter of United Way, has been helping with this program for a little more than a year.”

 

Added Jennifer Harris, a senior merchant support technician at Chesapeake Payment Systems, “Volunteering has always been important to me and given me a sense of purpose.  We can strengthen our communities by giving back and helping others.”

 

For more information about the United Way of Greater Williamsburg, visit www.uwgw.org.

Winter Blues Jazz Fest

Winter Blues Jazz Fest Brings Music, Art, Food & Film

Jazz will be in the air next weekend.

 

The Winter Blues Jazz Fest kicks off Thursday, Jan. 15 and features a fusion of music, art, food, drink and film over four days in Williamsburg. Jennifer Raines, the owner of Quirks of Art, and Steve Rose, president of Eco Discovery Park and owner of Williamsburg Event Rentals, created the event to celebrate jazz and those who appreciate the music and heritage. David Everett, chef and co-owner of Blue Talon Bistro, The Trellis Restaurant and DoG Street Pub, is assisting as culinary partner and consultant.

 

Chesapeake Bank is proud to serve as the signature sponsor of the festival, which starts with the Art of Jazz at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, where Good Shot Judy’s jazz will accompany the museum’s artwork (Tickets: $30). Other highlights include:

 

  • Jazz Jam takes place on Friday night (6:30-10 p.m.) in a heated tent on Duke of Gloucester Street – The DOG Street Rhythm Kings, The Harris Simon Trio and Holly Hunt and Limelight will entertain. Tickets: $15.
  • On Saturday, the #3BF The Big Bold Beer Fest (VIP session 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; open session from 1-4 p.m.) features rare and aged beers and gourmet food from David Everett to go along with two stages of music. Herbie D and the Dangermen and The Mike Lucci Band, with special appearances from Bobby “BlackHat” Walters and Logan and Cole Layman from In Layman Terms, will entertain. Tickets: $50 for VIP session, $30 for open session.
  • Mixology & Music takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Williamsburg Lodge. The area’s top bartenders will prepare cocktails, and Michael Bellar & the AS-IS Ensemble will entertain. Tickets: $60 apiece, two for $100.
  • Five area restaurants will host Jazz Brunch at 11 a.m. on Sunday: The Trellis, Le Yaca French Restaurant, Opus 9 Steakhouse, Waypoint Seafood & Grill and Blue Talon Bistro. Various groups will entertain for two hours at each of the locations. Tickets: $35.
  • A free Community Concert with the William & Mary Jazz Ensemble will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. How does a heated tent and free hot chocolate sound?
  • Jazz Movies at the Kimball Theatre will be shown for free on Saturday and Sunday. Bird is featured at 4 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, and The Cotton Club will run at 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Check out the Winter Blues Jazz Fest website for more details, including festival passes or individual tickets.

Spotlight on Gloucester

Spotlight on Gloucester

It’s an exciting time to live in Gloucester. This month, Gloucester Village Main Street was one of three Virginia communities awarded with a $100,000 grant from the state to support small business development. The funding was a part of the Governor’s strategic vision for economic development and centers around an entrepreneur contest in each of the chosen communities called the Virginia Community Business Launch. The contest will begin in mid-January and boasts substantial prize packages for the top three winners to include startup capital, a marketing package, free business consultation, and abatement for rent and utilities. It will be a terrific asset to the great things already happening in the Gloucester Village Main Street community.

 

We recently had the chance to catch up with Jenny Crittenden, executive director of the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Ashley Gilmartin, executive director of the Gloucester Main Street Association to learn more about their organizations and what’s happening in Gloucester. Though representing separate organizations, Crittenden and Gilmartin work together for the benefit of the Main Street business community.

 

Chesapeake Bank: What is the history and purpose of the Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association?

Jenny Crittenden: It all started with the incredible vision and generosity of the late Edwin Joseph and his wife, Adrianne Ryder-Cook Joseph.  The Joseph’s, when looking at the old Gloucester Exchange  Shopping Center where the vacated property of the Ames store was located, saw an opportunity for Gloucester while others most likely saw a vacated run-down shopping center.  Mr. Joseph’s plan was to purchase the shopping center, rehabilitate the property, providing suitable space for a new public library for Gloucester and creating a vehicle that would produce income to be used to enhance and improve Gloucester Main Street.  He and his wife purchased the center in January 2003 and proceeded with the initial renovation and thus, Main Street Center was born.

 

Currently, Main Street Center is a thriving center of business housing the Gloucester County Public Library, United States Post Office, Gloucester County Health department, restaurants, offices, physicians and retail businesses.  The Main Street Preservation Trust office and event center is also located on the property.

 

As you can see, the Joseph’s provided two gifts to Gloucester – the first being the vision and funding to bring Main Street Center to life and the second, the gift of placing Main Street Center in a Trust that specifically states the profits from Main Street Center are to only benefit Gloucester Main Street through attracting new and additional business to Main Street, enhancing the economic and business environment, preserving historical landmarks in the Court House area, and promoting civic and cultural activities.  Their un-paralleled gifts rate as the greatest acts of philanthropy ever bestowed upon Gloucester County.

 

Ashley Gilmartin: The Gloucester Main Street Association is a group of Main Street business owners, residents, commercial and residential property owners and other individuals who have joined together to form a nonprofit organization with its goal being to promote Historic Gloucester Main Street, plan and implement events and attract additional businesses and residents. We want to make Gloucester Main Street beautiful, interesting and a great place to visit, live, invest and work.

 

Chesapeake Bank: What goals are the Trust and Association currently working on?

Jenny Crittenden: The Main Street Preservation Trust is currently working on these projects and initiatives:

  • We offer annual grants for improvements of facades and interiors for buildings located in the target area of Main Street.
  • We offer merchandising grants for businesses to access a professional for store design and merchandising.
  • We offer workshops, trainings and seminars as well as business one-on-one consultations with small business specialists.
  • We are in the early design process of a corridor enhancement project to beautify the Main Street corridor from the Walmart light (Route 17 & Main Street) to Newington Baptist Church (northern end of Main Street & 17).
  • We print more than 20,000 shop & dine brochures to be placed in the visitors centers across the state of Virginia.
  • We financially support the newly formed Gloucester Revolving Loan Fund.
  • We partner with Gloucester County Tourism on tourism efforts and marketing.
  • We provide financial support to the Gloucester Main Street Association.
  • We partner with Gloucester County on future planning and business growth strategies.
  • We partner with the Gloucester County EDA on business growth strategies and the promotion of Gloucester as a business destination.

Our goal is to foster an environment where entrepreneurs can grow. We strive to create a business ecosystem of support, mentorship and education.

 

Ashley Gilmartin:

  • Downtown marketing including newsletters, blogging, social media, etc.
  • Hold downtown events and promotions throughout the year
  • Developing cooperative advertising opportunities for Main Street businesses

Chesapeake Bank: What do you think the future is of Gloucester Main Street and Main Street USA in general?

Jenny Crittenden: The future of the Main Street in Gloucester is very bright. Unlike anywhere else in the nation, Gloucester Main Street businesses have the support of the Main Street Preservation Trust that has a perpetual funding stream due to the incredible generosity of Edwin & Adrianne Joseph in the form of developing Main Street Center and then gifting it into a trust to ensure that the Main Street businesses would have the opportunity to not only survive, but also grow and thrive. Most small communities, like Gloucester, are built on the backs of small business. It’s our small business owners who volunteer. It’s our small business owners who donate to local charities. It’s our small business owners who bring a personality to the street, an energy that only an entrepreneur can bring. They are a fiber in our community closely woven to all of us. Supporting them in their efforts means you are supporting your neighbor and what better way to spend your money than with friends?

 

Main Streets in general are seeing a rebirth with increased investment of funds being used to renovate and repurpose historic buildings, breathing life back into our cities and towns.  People are migrating back to a place where they can enjoy a walkable environment for shopping and dining, be a part of close knit community, and mesh with different ages and backgrounds.  Where the new town center style mixed use developments are becoming popular, the Main Street communities are authentic, not copied.  We can offer a sense of place that can’t be imitated because our “place”, in some communities, has developed over generations.  It’s important for our human character to feel a part of something, some place and Main Streets can offer this like no other.  Nationally, even the big box retailers are developing concepts that scale down the size of their models, recognizing that people are migrating back to a downtown style of living and wish for quick convenience and a human connection that a smaller store provides.  The future of the Gloucester Village Main Street…definitely bright.

Camden's Cause

Giving Back: ‘Camden’s Cause’

The season of giving is in full swing. For one member of our extended Chesapeake Bank family, the season of giving – and giving back – never ends.

 

Meet Camden Giroux, the 12-year-old grandson of Kathy Jarvis, a Commercial-Consumer Loan Associate in our loan processing center. For the past few years, Camden has made it his mission to assist the homeless in and around Richmond, not far from where we’ll be opening a retail branch in 2015.

 

“Camden’s Cause” has made an impact by donating backpacks full of items like snacks, canned food, warm clothes, toiletries, vitamins and a Bible to needy men and women. He and his family, including Kathy, have purchased or raised money for coats, sleeping bags and even a tent. Last January, he put $50 of his Christmas money – and $50 each from his mother and grandmother – toward purchasing pizzas and delivering them in needy areas.

 

A few dozen Chesapeake Bank employees have gotten in the spirit by purchasing T-shirts and donating supplies, and local churches and community groups also have donated supplies.

 

To find out more about Camden, who was featured by all three Richmond TV stations (including this WRIC feature), PBS’ Virginia Currents (22:45 mark) and the Mechanicsville Local, visit his Facebook page or fundraising page.

 

Photo via facebook.com/camdenscause

2014 Best Banks to Work For Photo

Chesapeake Bank Named Best Banks to Work For

At Chesapeake Bank, we always strive to be the bank and employer of choice in each of the communities we serve. That’s why we were so excited to be named one of the Best Banks to Work For in 2014!

 

The program, initiated in 2013 to identify, recognize and honor the best banks to work for in the nation, is a project of American Banker and Best Companies Group. In all, 40 banks achieved “Best Bank” status this year with Chesapeake Bank at No. 11.

 

To be considered for participation, banks must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have at least 50 employees working in the United States;
  • Be a Commercial Bank, Thrift, Mutual Association, Mutual Savings Bank, Savings and Loan Association or a Savings Bank

Determining the Best Banks to Work For involved a two-step process. The first step consisted of evaluating each participating bank’s workplace policies, practices and demographics. The second part consisted of employee surveys aimed at assessing the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to their workplace. The combined scores determined the top banks and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final ranking.

 

In all, 40 banks achieved “Best Bank” status in this second year for the program. The full Best Banks to Work For list is featured in the November issue of American Banker Magazine and is available online at AmericanBanker.com

Go Local Holidays

Return of #GoLocalHolidays Twitter Chat

Chesapeake Bank again will take part in the Independent Community Bankers Association’s (@ICBA) #GoLocalHolidays Twitter chat.

 

The focus of the chat, which will take place Friday from 2-3 p.m., is “all things local” during the holiday season. We’re taking part as a panelist because it’s a natural fit to promote shopping locally in our community beyond Shop Local Day.

 

Community bankers, small businesses and consumers are encouraged to join in the conversation and share tips for shopping local or ask questions. Follow @ChesBank and the hashtag #GoLocalHolidays to interact – we’ll be joined by the American Independent Business Alliance (@TheAMIBA), Bank of Ann Arbor, Mich. (@BankofAnnArbor), Citizens Bank of Edmond, Okla. (@CitizensEdmond) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (@SBAgov).

Give Back

‘Tis the Season for Giving

As we enter the “season of giving,” we know we’re only as strong as the communities we serve.

 

Chesapeake Bank and our employees encourage you to join us in supporting area nonprofits and service organizations that play an essential role in the growth and well-being of our communities. Here are some of the organizations we’re supporting this holiday season:

 

  • Our Williamsburg branches and offices have adopted multiple families through the Salvation Army of Williamsburg’s Angel Tree program for Christmas.  Our branch at Williamsburg Landing is collecting scarves, hats and gloves for the United Way of Greater Williamsburg’s Community Resource Center.
  • Our Hayes branch is currently collecting food to help the Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church with their local food drive and sending holiday cards to soldiers at our local Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
  • Our Gloucester branches will be adopting a local family in need as identified by Bethel Elementary School for Christmas.
  • Our Mathews branch is collecting personal care items, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, shaving cream, deodorant and toilet paper, for area Meals on Wheels recipients and the Mathews Department of Social Services Food Bank.
  • Our Northern Neck branches are collecting donations and food for the Food Bank’s BackPack Program to help ensure children in their community have plenty of food to eat while out of school on holiday break.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Chesapeake Bank!

 

SLD Thank You

Thank You for Another Successful Shop Local Day

Together, you, Chesapeake Bank and our area chambers have created a shop local movement that reinforces the very real connection between shopping locally and a stronger local economy.

 

By any measure, our fifth Shop Local Day was a resounding success. More than 335 businesses from the lower Northern Neck, Mathews County, Gloucester County and Greater Williamsburg actively participated by displaying “The Buck Stays Here” decal in shop windows and offering special discounts and other incentives to shoppers.

 

That’s pretty impressive, and you helped make that happen. Thank you.

 

Let’s keep the momentum going this holiday season and continue to spread the shop local message. Just download and print the “Ten Good Reasons to Shop Locally” flyer and share with customers, friends and family. When people understand the connection between shopping locally and a stronger local economy, they will think “Shop Local” first.

 

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous holiday season from your friends and Shop Local partners at Chesapeake Bank.

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on Shop Local Day in the comments section, so please share!

Paula Milsted

Our Director of Marketing, Paula Milsted, on Her Passion for Shopping Locally & Supporting “Charming Small Towns”

The blog post below is first in what will be a series of employee-written blog posts. This post is written by Paula Milsted, who serves as the director of marketing for Chesapeake Bank. She celebrated her 12th anniversary with Chesapeake Bank in April of this year. Paula lives in Warsaw with her family and works in Kilmarnock. Here, she talks about why shopping local is so important.

 

I grew up on a farm outside a small town in Northwestern Pennsylvania not unlike the town in which I live now.  Growing up we were able to go town (meaning the small town) to get groceries, go to the drugstore, visit the dentist, shop for cards, party supplies and gifts, hang out at the local Pizza Pad and play the jukebox, rent videos next door and run to the ATM at the community bank across the street for more money to do all of those things.  We even had a movie theater in this little town.

 

As I grew older, the next larger town down the road started opening up Walmart, Home Depot, Giant Eagle (large grocery), Blockbuster, an AMC movie theater and more.  One by one each of the businesses mentioned above closed and have left main street looking like a scene from Stephen King’s The Stand.  Well, maybe not that bad, but you get my point.

 

This town had hidden charm that I hope will come back someday.  I don’t think the community fully understood the impact they were having on their town, until it became what it is today.  A community group has formed to bring this town back to the charming small PA town it once was.  I look forward to the resurgence of this little town.  It takes a lot more work to bring it back than it does to maintain.

 

And, that is why Shop Local Day is so important to us!!  We all live and work in charming ‘small’ towns (yes, even Williamsburg counts as a small town with all of its charm).  Shop Local Day is a way to raise awareness within our communities about the importance of preserving this charm and maintaining our livelihood, character, economic stability, product diversity and community’s well-being.

 

So, think about starting with your local shops when finding those groceries, that appliance part, the perfect gift, a gift certificate or a place to have lunch.  You will make a difference and can feel good about supporting your friend, neighbor, civic leader and charming community.

Karen Podd - The Poddery

Shop Local Day Profile – The Poddery

Leading up to our next Shop Local Day event on Saturday, November 8, we’re highlighting some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.

 

Chances are you’ve seen the work of the Podds, whether it be at a local restaurant, a neighbor’s house, an art gallery or strolling the grounds at Monticello. Their handmade pottery – Karen and Robert Podd are owners of The Poddery in Mathews County – has a way of standing out.

 

For more than 40 years, the Podds have been offering unique pottery pieces out of their home/studio. A couple pieces – a cylinder-shaped dish that has proven versatile (customers have been known to bake foods, place candles, plant bulbs or pot plants in it) and a chip-and-dip platter – have been big hits: “We’ve sold thousands of them,” Karen Podd said. But the one-of-a-kind pieces, says Karen, are the cream of the crop. “As an artist, I just have to do them.”

 

Learn more about The Poddery in the profile below.

 

Business Name: The Poddery
Contacts: Karen or Robert Podd
Contact information: Website or by phone at 804.725.5956.
Shop Local Day Deal: Mention Shop Local Day and receive 10 percent off all purchases.

Store information: The Poddery is located at State Route 660, Foster, VA, 23056 (a quarter mile past the Foster post office). Visit the studio from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week.

 

Chesapeake Bank: What does shopping local mean to you?

Karen Podd: It means keeping the money in the county…The domino theory: If we can keep the money in the county, it can give someone a job and promote the business and help them spend money. Considering the gas prices today, it really is more economical to shop in the county instead of getting in your car and going somewhere.

 

CB: What is one of the biggest challenges you face, and how are you dealing with it?

KP: One of the biggest challenges is just to get people here. We’re not in downtown Mathews. Just getting people to come and see what we do. Once we get them here, they usually buy something. Because we’re high-quality crafts, we’ve been known in the Tidewater area for the past 45 years. We’re part of Made in Mathews, 12 artists who joined together and open their studios. We also have our work in the Bay School in town and a small display of our work in the information center in town.

 

CB: What has been the greatest success in your business?

KP: Disney World has some of our work at their convention center in Orlando. Our garden pots are in the garden at Monticello. Berret’s restaurant in Williamsburg has numerous pieces of ours, including a 24-foot piece behind their bar. Just a general statement, nobody does what we do; nobody does the designs that we do, really unique takes on regular stuff, like fireplace fronts, kitchens and mosaic walls. That’s what we’re known for.

 

CB: How did you get your start?

KP: We got started because clay ceramics was one of my classes, part of my curriculum at Northern Illinois University. Robert was in the Navy at that time. The Navy brought us to the area, and I became an art teacher for the Mathews Public School System. We lived in Norfolk for about five years, and I became more and more proficient with my clay work and started entering local shows. Robert got out of the Navy, and we decided to stay in the area. By that time, studios had started to carry my work…We kept looking and looking and looking and found this old place here. I was teaching at Granby High School and teaching a lot of Granby wrestlers, who came up here on weekends and helped us gut our house and build our studio [in 1972]. We started doing art shows along the East Coast, and our work was featured in galleries in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Richmond. The rest is history: Now people come to us.

 

CB: How many art shows do you think you’ve done over the years?

KP: Oh, lord. I would say easily over 500.

 

CB: What made you take the entrepreneurial plunge?

KP: There was passion there, but we were outdoors people. We were always going to what was called at that time Seashore State Park. Most of my designs, I was really interested in nature… [Starting the business] it just seemed like the right thing to do. We always felt that if it didn’t work out, we could go back to the city and get our jobs back. And we had the support of our families. It was the right move at the right time.

 

CB: Do you have a favorite piece?

KP: I’m proud of a lot of the one-of-a-kind pieces that I’ve done. The ones that have given me the biggest thrill were Disney World buying a piece and doing work for Monticello. It’s a thrill when you’re looking at a garden magazine and see a picture with our pots from Monticello.

 

CB: How do you stay involved or give back to the community?

KP: We have always donated work for any group, the fire department, silent auction for PTAs. Also, we have donated reproduction tiles at Tompkins Cottage in the style of the 1800s. We’ve demonstrated at local events. We’ve talked to women’s groups and garden groups. We’ve always been involved with our community.