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Bank of America - Chamber Partner Since 1867
Bank of America - Chamber Partner Since 1867
The Hampton Roads Chamber is proud to have been the voice of business in this region since 1801. Our ability to serve the business community is due in large part to the unwavering support of our region’s business leaders. There are 56 members who have invested in the Chamber for more than 50 years. The Member Voices series will highlight those members and their contributions to our community.

For over 150 years, Bank of America has served the Hampton Roads community and this global financial services company is the Chamber’s oldest standing member supporting our mission, vision and values since 1867.  There are now three distinct units serving our region, Bank of America (business, consumer, commercial and wholesale banking), Bank of America Private Bank and Merrill (formerly Merrill Lynch Wealth Management).  These units include 30 financial centers, 100 ATMs and four Merrill offices. 

Mr. Henderson and his team “deliver national resources at a local market level” and they aren’t slowing down any time soon.  As markets, customer habits and expectations change, they continue to design their place of business as a destination for in depth conversation to better serve the customers of our region.  In addition to complete renovations at some local branches, Bank of America is creating a “high tech, high touch’ environment, balancing both mobile banking with exceptional customer engagement.    

We recently had the pleasure and honor to sit with Charlie Henderson to discuss Bank of America’s history in our community and their support for the Hampton Roads Chamber.  In addition to the industry leading products and services for their clients, Bank of America has a long history of community involvement through their expertise, volunteerism and philanthropy. 

Bank of America utilizes their membership with the Chamber to drive economic growth throughout the region.  Through Chamber membership and sponsorships, the Bank of America team has hosted and supported programs focused on legislative updates from our elected leaders, veteran transition, and professional development for women in business.  Mr. Henderson stated, “Our Chamber membership has been and continues to be a way for Bank of America to engage in important economic, educational and legislative matters important to Hampton Roads businesses.”

In addition to supporting the Chamber and its mission, Bank of America also supports other non-profits in the region.  Through their signature Bank of America Charitable Foundation program, “Neighborhood Builder”, they have recognized over 20 nonprofits and provided over $4 million in grants designed to improve our community.  A recent example of their team’s expertise is the work Banc of America Community Development Corporation will undertake as co-developer of Norfolk’s proposed Choice Neighborhood grant, a first for mid-market regions.  As a finalist for this grant, Norfolk has an opportunity to redevelop a community, improve the lives of its residents and drive economic development.

The YWCA of South Hampton Roads is the 2018 Neighborhood Builder.  In March of this year, Bank of America’s LEAD for Women leadership team visited with Mary Kate Andris, President & CEO of the YMCA and her team to discuss issues important to women.  As part of the award, Mary Kate Andris and Sequoia Owen, Emergency Shelter and Housing Program Director, are attending leadership classes and the organization will receive a $200,000 grant.  Mary Kate Andris stated, "We are extremely grateful to be awarded the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders grant this year.  This transformational gift will allow us to continue to serve the more than 10,000 victims of violence we do every year.  This opportunity will also provide our leadership the chance to increase their potential in the South Hampton Roads community."


Bank of America & YWCA

Bank of America & YWCA

Bank of America’s long history of economic development in our region includes their efforts to establish the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Hampton Roads.  Tackling the need to increase the number of healthcare professionals, a number of individuals worked tirelessly to start the school, including several of the bank’s leaders.  Most recently, EVMS began construction on additional classroom and administrative space in 2018 to increase their student enrollment.  Bank of America provided a $500,000 grant to support the capital campaign. 

Bank of America & EVMS

Charlie Henderson, Bank of America and Dr. Richard Homan, EVMS

For 15 years, Bank of America has selected local high school juniors and seniors as student leaders. The Student Leaders program is part of their ongoing commitment to youth employment and economic mobility.  The students are offered an 8 week paid internship with a local nonprofit to expand their understanding of the organization’s mission as well as the importance of the nonprofit sector.  During the summer program, over 220 student leaders from across the country travel to Washington, DC to participate in a national leadership summit with the focus on skill building and creating a more civically engaged society.  Many of the student leaders go on to accomplish much following the summer program.  One example is Isaiah Swift.  After high school, Isaiah enrolled at Norfolk State University.  He wrote a book to help high school students in their transition to college and has also done a Ted Talk.

Isaiah Swift

Charlie Henderson, Isaiah Swift, Michelle Little and Hans VonKruger

It is estimated that 6,000 active duty service members in Hampton Roads leave the military each year.  Understanding the experience and expertise that these individual have, Bank of America has supported efforts to support the transition from active duty to private industry.  In partnership with Hampton Roads Workforce Council, the Hampton Roads Chamber and others, Bank of America supported the Veteran's Transition Center. 

Shawn Avery

Charlie Henderson and Shawn Avery, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads 
Workforce Council at the Grand opening of the HRVEC Training Room.


The Hampton Roads Chamber is grateful for Bank of America’s long history of support for our organization and the local business community.  Here’s to another 150 years of success.




Sylvia Haines
Executive Vice President, Operations
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